For the last five years, Bitcoin critics have said that the currency is too volatile to be a practical economic tool.
"While the bitcoin valuation is incredibly tantalising, investors need to recognise that cryptocurrencies are not magic - they can be stolen just like regular money, and are comparatively easy to launder".
The value of Bitcoin has doubled in the last two weeks - it crossed $14,000 on Thursday, surging $2,000 in less than 24 hours - owing to futures trading over its price in markets in the United States, leading to growing interest among both individual investors and financial firms. Its system works without a central repository or single administrator; transactions between users take place directly through the use of a cryptography.
But closer scrutiny by financial watchdogs could damage the appeal of bitcoin as a currency free of banks, regulators and governments.
Bitcoin's exact origin is still somewhat mysterious.
Bitcoin was first created in 2009 under mysterious circumstances - little is known about who originally came up with the idea.
NiceHash matches people looking to sell processing time on their computers with those looking to mine cryptocurrency, which is a compute-intensive activity involving complex algorithms. In this way, the bitcoin network harnesses individuals' greed for the collective good. That has become an increasingly critical question for investors and observers as bitcoin's value rose past $16,000 in early December. "At the moment, we are doing 150-200 bitcoin sales a day". The digital currency's value continues to skyrocket, reaching a 1 BTC to $16,000 exchange rate this week.
"We don't know how much gold is still in the ground, but we know how much bitcoin there is, and there is no way to turn on the printing press", noted Moas.
Some leading economists and financiers are calling bitcoin a bubble and a fraud, but industry insiders say they think it's only going to get bigger as it gains more widespread acceptance. "So it is acting like a currency is supposed to act". Some Indian e-commerce platforms have started recognising the digital currency as well.
Hackers steal almost $80m in bitcoin
Since that milestone a week and a half ago, Bitcoin has added a further $7,000 to the price.
"I'm not quite sure that they know enough about what [bitcoin] is", he said, adding that it would be "a very risky move in reputational terms" for major financial firms to start offering trading in bitcoin.
"Blockchain technology is mathematically sound and provides the basis for the latest round of cryptocurrencies, and as with most technology innovations, this has lowered the barrier to entry", Nunnikhoven told the E-Commerce Times.
Like anything the value of Bitcoin is essentially determined by supply and demand.
Bitcoin's meteoric rise is more akin to that of hot stocks, though, which can see quick spikes - as well as dips, or even crashes - in price. The Mount Gox hack in 2011 transferred nearly 10 times the bitcoins that NiceHash's security breach involved.
Search for bitcoins in India has increased in last 90 days, especially after mid-November.
"It's understandable that some services would drop support for bitcoin due to this volatility, depending on the flexibility of their internal systems", said Nunnikhoven.
Users do not have to buy whole Bitcoins and can purchase a small percentage that matches the value of their cash investment.
Hackers made off with contents of the company's bitcoin account, according to Andrej Škraba, the Slovenian marketplace's head of marketing.
The eventual limit of 21 million bitcoins in the entire world could allow the currency fluctuations to stabilize, but that ceiling has not yet been reached.
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This year's flu season is off to a quick start and so far it seems to be dominated by a nasty bug. The CDC says most flu seasons don't really get going until around Christmas.
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