Just hours after smashing the $10,000 barrier, Bitcoin briefly surged past the $11,000 mark in trading on Wednesday before plummeting down again to less than $9,600.
As widely predicted, having hit the $9000 mark over the weekend, by 01.45 GMT bitcoin broke the psychological $10,000 point.
But the cryptocurrency didn't stop there; according to data from CoinDesk, just 12 hours later it was trading at $11,377.33, meaning year-to-date gains of more than 1000%.
While, things quickly settled down to $10,712.63 at pixel time, this still represents a 8.12% gain on the day.
As the mania took hold, Coinbase - which saw around 300,000 people sign up to exchange over the Thanksgiving weekend - says that its users experienced "intermittent login issues" this morning.
Whether the bubble is about to burst is uncertain, but former Fortress hedge fund manager Michael Novogratz told CNBC that Bitcoin could "easily" reach $40,000 in a year's time.
Central bankers on both sides of the pond have taken to the airwaves to dismiss the startling rise of the cryptocurrency as purely speculative activity and to warn potential investors to do their homework before wading in. Presumably a quick read-up on the mania for tulip bulbs that gripped Holland 400 years ago should do the trick.
“The madness of crowds is well documented, but it is quite something to behold in the flesh. It’s hard to keep up with this - bitcoin just flew past the $11,000 mark, leaping $200 in barely five minutes before taking another big leg higher,” Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Captial, told UK broadsheet The Guardian. “The year-to-date chart is simply staggering. There are no fundamentals or technicals that explain this other than it being a massive speculative bubble.”
Others believe that the rapid fluctuations in bitcoin may be the result of more sinister forces. Christopher Grey, co-founder and COO of enterprise risk outfit CapLinked, believes that, “the large market fluctuations are driven by people who are using the media to manipulate the prices of various coins for quick profits both up and down, especially because nobody is regulating or watching these markets. Market manipulation that would be illegal for most other things can be done basically without risk for now in these crypto markets.”
Meanwhile, ethereum also hit a record high today, reaching $522.31 before slipping back below $500. On 1 January it was valued at $8.31.
By 21.00 GMT, bitcoin was back below the $10,000 mark at $9515.11, while ethereum had also fallen, to $433.15.