Bitcoin bubble pops (again)

There's been a mini-crash in the value of the cryptocurrency...

Bitcoin bubble pops (again)

Spot-checks on a Bitcoin trade in China have crated a mini-crash in the value of the cryptocurrency.

The People's Bank of China said the "spot checks were focused on how the exchanges implement policies including forex management and anti-money laundering" in Bitcoin exchanges.

A recent spike in Bitcoin trading brought its value to almost $1,130 on January 4th - it's now dropped to $779.

Its value rose by 126% in 2016. Bitcoin hit its all-time high of $1,163 in late 2013 - but its value soon plummeted to less than $400 after a major exchange site was hacked.

In recent weeks its value passed $1,000 for the first time in three years.

The majority of Bitcoin transactions take place in China - and its rise coincided with yuan’s fall in value.

The digital currency’s value also rose after Donald Trump was named US President-elect in November.

Chinese authorities met with the country's three main bitcoin exchanges last week to remind them to follow the country's financial regulations.

Given Bitcoin's volatility, hoarding is common as speculators buy-up coins waiting for the next up-swing in the market, rather than using them to purchase goods and services.

Bitcoins are mined by computers who unlock them by solving codes - they are being released at a rate close to 12.5 every 10 minutes.