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Bitcoin value dropping following major hack

The value of digital currency bitcoin has been steadily dropping since the early January hack of a major online bitcoin exchange.

As of Wednesday, the value of a bitcoin had fallen to $185, the first time since October 2013 the currency had dipped below $200. In 2015, bitcoin has lost roughly 42 percent of its value.

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Last week, bitcoin exchange Bitstamp shut itself down for four days following the theft of $5 million worth of bitcoin.

Online exchanges like Bitstamp process all bitcoin transactions. Bitcoins can be used directly to make purchases at an increasing number of online retailers, or can be exchanged for physical currency.

Although the virtual currency’s worth is historically volatile, bitcoin has been on an overall decline since early 2014. In February 2014, the world’s largest bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, went bankrupt after hackers reportedly stole $475 million worth of bitcoin.

Cybersecurity concerns, plus the anonymity the currency provides users, have drawn the attention of lawmakers and regulators.

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinMcConnell: Power-sharing deal can proceed after Manchin, Sinema back filibuster Budowsky: A Biden-McConnell state of emergency summit Manchin vows that he won't vote to kill filibuster 'under any condition' MORE (D-W.Va.) at one point called for regulators to ban bitcoin, but later relented a bit after federal agencies moved to tighten oversight.

Financial regulators are expected to consider additional guidelines and oversight in 2015 that would enhance the reporting requirements and security standards for companies using bitcoin.