Bitcoin's value plunges to its lowest in 13 months

Bitcoin's value has dramatically plunged, dropping US$500 in one day to hit its lowest value in 13 months.

According to CoinDesk, Bitcoin has fallen below US$5000 for the first time since October 2017, after a dramatic week for the cryptocurrency.

It dived past US$6000 last week and then slid to US$4981 (NZ$7297.09) on Tuesday before rebounding slightly to US$5048.

The wider cryptocurrency market also lost a lot of its value, with more than $15 billion in total market capitalisation being shed in the last day.

After becoming a household name in the middle of 2017, Bitcoin's value rose quickly to nearly US$20,000 before Christmas last year.

Then-Acting Reserve Bank Governor Grant Spencer described Bitcoin's gains as a "bit of a bubble" and said it was too unstable to be useful in the future.

He may have been right, with the cryptocurrency diving throughout 2018. The plummet was influenced by South Korean virtual currency exchange Coinrail admitting hackers stole almost a third of the virtual currency it held.