Bitcoin round-up
As a new study throws doubt over MtGox claims that its bitcoins were stolen, Stripe adds support for bitcoin while auroracoin continues to drop. IBTimes UK

It hasn't been a good day for cryptocurrencies with just six of the top 50 virtual currencies gaining in value of the last 24 hours.

All of the top 30 coins saw falls in value of between 7% and 63% as the fall in bitcoin's value had a knock on effect on the rest of the market.

Of the most valuable coins, litecoin was down 8%, peercoin 13%, auroracoin 40% while dogecoin was down 10%.

Bitcoin Price Drops Below $500

The price of bitcoin briefly dipped below $500 on Friday as the overall value of the cryptocurrency fell by almost 10% in the last 24 hours.

Bitcoin Coin Price graph
A chart of bitcoin's price for the last seven days.

There doesn't seem to be a specific reason for the latest dip in the price of the world's most valuable and well-known digital currency, but it seems that many people may be panicking following a steady decline in the value of the cryptocurrency, predicated on the collapse of MtGox.

Bitcoin's price has declined by almost 60% since hitting its high of $1,200 late last year.

MtGox study poses big questions for Karpeles

The study by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich has concluded that barley 386 bitcoins could possibly have been stolen from MtGox by cybercriminals attacking the transaction malleability flaw in bitcoin's source code.

The study will add more fuel to the fire surrounding under-fire CEO Mark Karpeles at the moment with police in Japan now actively investigating the missing bitcoins and a court-appointed investigator about to reveal the findings of a month-long study into bitcoin.

Stripe accepts bitcoin

Stripe Supports Bitcoin

In what could pistentially be the more important adoption of bitcoin yet, payment processing platform Stripe has begun accepting the cryptocurrency.

Stripe is the hot startup in Silicon Valley at the moment and is challenging the likes of PayPal by targeting small businesses.

It will begin the rollout of bitcoin support slowly but already there is one customer using it, with Tarsnap, an encrypted backup service, selected as the very first tester.

"Bitcoin fits in nicely with Stripe's product plan," Collinson told the Guardian, "in that we want to help people accept payments from customers however those customers want to pay. And so credit cards are a good first thing to roll out because they have such widespread penetration, but we don't bill ourselves as a credit card processing company, we're a payments company."

If Stripe takes off like many in Silicon Valley believe it will, then it could become the platform to make bitcoin a much more widely accepted currency.

Auroracoin Price Continues to Decline

Auroracoin is the world's first country-specific cryptocurrency and this week the Airdrop took place which offered 31.8 auroracoins to each and every Icelandic citizen.

Since the launch three days ago, 5.6% of the population has taken up the offer, but at the same time the price of the cryptocurrency has plummeted.

It has fallen a further 40% in the last 24 hours, and one auroracoin is now valued at £2.68, having been valued at £9-a-coin just days before the Airdrop.

Of course, as the developer of auroracoin Baldur Friggjar Óðinsson said, this fluctuation has "nothing to do with the viability of auroracoin" and it will only be seen as a success if it is adopted widely in Iceland.