As investors, technophiles and lawmakers debate the legitimacy of Bitcoin, one thing's for sure: the fledgling digital currency is on the roller coaster ride of a lifetime.
Within a 28-hour period stretching from Monday morning to early Tuesday, the price of the currency soared nearly 70%, from a little over $500 to an all-time high of $900.98 before plunging back down again to a level just above $500. (Bitcoins trade 24/7 online.)
By midday Tuesday, Bitcoin was back above $700, a 50-fold increase since the beginning of the year, when a single Bitcoin was worth around $13, CNN Chief Business Correspondent Christine Romans reports.
We had a lot of fun on our show Wednesday as our team created Chriscoins, basically paper with Chris Cuomo's face on it. On Twitter, fans responded positively.
The latest surge in Bitcoin has been fueled by investors, particularly those in China, betting on the future growth of the currency as a credible alternative.
Bitcoin was created anonymously in 2010 as an experimental form of money that exists only online. It is not managed by any central authority and is "mined" by solving complex math problems using powerful computers.
The algorithm behind the virtual currency caps the total number of Bitcoins at 21 million. Currently, there are almost 12 million Bitcoins in circulation, giving the currency a total market value of almost $8.5 billion.