is a digital currency
that has been rather volatile both in regard to its legality
and in terms of its value
. Up and down it goes, and the value has dropped again to $129 after hitting $140 the previous day in the wake of the shutdown of online marketplace Silk Road by the FBI
Silk Road was a space where illegal drugs and other shady miscellany were allegedly sold, and the anonymity afforded by Bitcoin was certainly an appeal for buyers. Those Bitcoins--all $3.6 million worth--have now been “seized” by the FBI, and Silk Road’s owner Ross William Ulbricht (aka “Dread Pirate Roberts”) has been arrested.
It’s likely that the arrest had something to do with the Bitcoin value drop, as Bitcoiners are skittish about the fact that the feds have all of Ulbricht’s records and data. "They're going to be pouring [sic] all over his records, getting subpoenas for every piece of data and account he has ever used and trying to figure out who all these different dealers are," Garth Bruen, a security expert at Internet consumer group Digital Citizens Alliance, told Reuters. "People are jumping ship."
Reuters also stated that Silk Road’s sales included over 9.5 million Bitcoins.