Slovenia-based Bitstamp, among the largest bitcoin exchanges, said
on its website that developers had come up with a solution to thwart
the cyber attacks against its platform that had forced the hiatus.
It suspended withdrawals on Tuesday, days after one of the best
known exchanges, Mt. Gox, suspended withdrawals indefinitely.
"After additional testing, we plan to enable bitcoin withdrawals
later today," Bitstamp's statement said.
Mt. Gox has not yet resumed withdrawals and has not issued a public
update on the matter since Monday.
Bitcoin prices continued their pattern of volatile trading on
Friday, and prices varied widely by exchange. On Mt. Gox, where
trading has continued despite the withdrawal suspension, the price
plunged to as low as $302 early on Friday, but recovered later in
the day following the Bitstamp announcement, last trading at $443,
down about 7.5 percent from Thursday.
"The news that Bitstamp is resuming withdrawals restored some
confidence and prompted people to buy back bitcoin," said Joseph
Trevisani, chief market strategist at WorldWideMarkets in Woodcliff
Lake, New Jersey. "The fear trade seems to have dissipated."
At CoinDesk, which this week excluded Mt. Gox data from its Bitcoin
Price Index, the currency's price was substantially higher. There,
bitcoin was quoted at $647.12, up more than 8 percent on the day.
Adding to the choppiness were reports that the online drugs
marketplace Silk Road 2 had been hacked and drained of about $2.7
million worth of the digital currency. CNN said the site's
administrator posted the news late on Thursday.
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The first Silk Road site, which like its successor was accessible
only using a special program that hides users' physical locations,
was shut down last year by U.S. law enforcement authorities, and the
man authorities say was behind its operations was arrested and
charged with narcotics trafficking and money laundering.
"There should be no impact on bitcoin prices based on the reduction
of illegal activity," said Sebastien Galy, currency strategist at
Societe Generale in New York. "It really indicates that there's
nervousness in the market."
Galy said seasoned traders likely bought bitcoin after its price
"Professional traders would recognize that there is overselling
based on irrational fears," he said.
(Editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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