Now that Bitcoin exchange Mt.Gox has terminally discredited itself following the latest, and likely last, withdrawal halt announced late last week which sent the value of Bitcoin tumbling by 25%, Bitcoin traders are left with just two exchange options on which to transact: BTC-e and Bitstamp. And for those using the former to buy and sell the virtual digital currency, things went from bad to worse a few short hours ago, when Bitcoin had its very own "Waddell and Reed" moment, when the price of Bitcoin cratered by over 80% in the span of seconds, after a modest block of just under 6000 Bitcoins sent the price plunging from over $600 to $102.
However, market gymnastics may just be the tip of the iceberg - a far bigger issue, one we have been warning about since the last March surge in Bitcoin's dollar price, is that the crackdown on Bitcoin both in the US (see "Miami Bitcoin Arrests May Be First State Prosecution"), and around the world (in Russia Bitcoin was just declared illegal) is finally heating up. It's only going to get worse in an insolvent world desperate to halt money laundering.
And since digital currency advocates have finally realized they can't hold the electronic 1s and 0s in their hand in a worst case scenario, the biggest winner of the latest Bitcoin crash is none other than the real alternative currency (in Paul Singer's words), gold, which moments ago just hit a one month high and rising.