Bitcoin price cryptocurrency
The price of bitcoin has crashed below $300 to its lowest price since November 2013 IBTimes UK

Bitcoin has plummeted to its lowest price in over a year, falling by $50 since Friday to take its value as low as $262 over the weekend.

Following several days of stability across all markets over the new year, litecoin, dogecoin, and other big players have followed in bitcoin's lead with their own significant price drops.

bitcoin price drop jan 2015
Bitcoin's market cap fell by around $0.8bn in recent days CoinMarketCap

Litecoin, often considered the silver to bitcoin's gold, saw its market cap fall from $95m to $70m, while the meme-inspired dogecoin lost around a fifth of its value.

Bitcoin price drop

As with any price movements across cryptocurrency markets, it is difficult to ascertain the exact cause of bitcoin's woes.

A recent fall in bitcoin's transaction volume could either be seen as a contributing factor or a driving force in pushing it lower.

bitcoin blockchain transaction
Bitcoin transaction volumes have fallen at the beginning of 2015

Other theories in bitcoin forums online include the fact that in recent weeks mining difficulty has dropped.

Despite the dramatic fall, many within the bitcoin community remain positive. As one poster on Reddit pointed out, bitcoin's price today may be down 68% on its price this time last year but it is still up 1,885% since this time two years ago.

Bitstamp wallet issues

Bitcoin exchange service Bitstamp has suspended its services due to fears that one of its wallets has been compromised.

Customers have been warned not to make any deposits, however the firm claims that any bitcoin's lost can be covered by reserves stored in offline wallets.

In a statement on its website, Bitstamp said: "We have reason to believe that one of Bitstamp's operational wallets was compromised on January 4th, 2015.

"As a security precaution against compromises Bitstamp only maintains a small fraction of customer bitcoins in online systems. Bitstamp maintains more than enough offline reserves to cover the compromised bitcoins.

"In the meantime, please do not make deposits to previously issued bitcoin deposit addresses. They cannot be honoured."