Mt. Gox took a lot of ribbing over its recent decision to suspend Bitcoin withdrawals due to the malleability issue which could mean that some hackers might be able to double request withdrawals. Their problems are mostly their own fault because they never upgraded sufficiently to be less vulnerable to potential attack.
But to be fair, apparently the malleability issue is a vulnerability in the Bitcoin code which some attackers found a way to exploit, or at least there is the possibility that they found a way to exploit it. As a precaution BitStamp also suspended Bitcoin withdrawals for a day or two, though they are certain that no one’s funds are at risk. The Bitcoin price took another hit with this news but it wasn’t nearly as bad as when Mt. Gox made its big announcement.
So Mt. Gox really did sneeze. It really did catch some sort of germ. No, it wasn’t the most responsible about protecting itself. It didn’t eat right and it went outside barefoot and without a coat in the middle of winter, so now it’s in the hospital with pneumonia and it very well might die.
BitStamp heard about Mt. Gox’s sneeze and its potentially fatal consequences, and decided it was feeling a bit under the weather and had better call in sick to work just in case. The rest of us may be wondering if it’s really just going fishing.
There are always the gloom and doomers who believe that this is the demise of Bitcoin, not just Mt. Gox, as well as the bankers who rage against it. But all the other news about Bitcoin has been good. Over the past few days of perusing CoinDesk I have learned that big banks are beginning to integrate Bitcoin use, Overstock is not only accepting it but rewarding people for using it, a UK computer supplier takes Bitcoin in payment, and Bitcoin won the 2013 best technology achievement award from TechCrunch. Oh, and did I mention the New York hedge fund which has already accepted $5.4 million in Bitcoin deposits, or the fact the Fiverr is now paying for services in Bitcoin? With all that good news, it seems almost a crime to part with Bitcoin for any less than $10,000.
Although far lower than $10,000 the current Bitcoin price is actually demonstrating Bitcoin’s resiliency. Sure, it is around $140 lower than the $800 I’ve gotten used to, but it’s still worth $660! You can pay some bills selling off Bitcoin at that price. And if you’re an investor and have some cash lying around you will look back in a year and figure you bought them at a bargain. In some ways the Bitcoin price is perfect. It’s low for investors to get in but still high enough that you can do something substantial with the cash if you sell.
Not that I would complain if the price climbed a couple hundred dollars by this next Monday when I do plan to sell some more.