Bitcoin's Roller Coaster Day

Bitcoin finally crashed! And then it didn't. After two weeks in the spotlight, the anonymous techno-libertarian dweeb-currency rocketed past $250 yesterday—only to lose more than half its value over just a few hours today. Only to rally back up to around $200 again, just over the last hour or so. That's millions of dollars. Traded on a Magic: the Gathering site.

Or some of it, anyway. Mt.Gox, once the foremost place on the internet for exchanging collectible fantasy game cards, is now the most popular Bitcoin exchange on the internet. Today, it was trading at as low as $105, and quick nervy day traders likely made a mint: it's back up to near $200.

Of course, for most real Bitcoin enthusiasts—not just the Russians and Cypriots and schemers who are said to be putting all their money into it—this was to be expected. Like "the man who gave his life to Bitcoin," they're in it for the long haul—the promise of an encrypted, anonymous future economy, unencumbered by messy things like "a central bank" or "stability"—and not just the get-rich-quick possibilities of an insanely volatile market.

So as the charts (this one via Business Insider) began to look like this—

Bitcoin's Roller Coaster Day

—the subreddit /r/bitcoin responded with encouragement. "HOLD SPARTANS!," a photoshopped image from the 300, has been the top post on the board all day. (For much of the day, the second most popular link was "Are We the First Winery in the US Accepting Bitcoin? Yes. (Why We're Doing This, and Are We crazy?)").

The fantastic Twitter account @Bitcoin_TXT relayed quotes from the Bitcoin communities on Reddit and elsewhere. Bitcoiners were generally in a conspiratorial mood:

And there was some infighting:

But generally, everyone could agree on one thing: