More bumps in the road are probably in store for Bitcoin. The virtual currency has seen some massive swings in value over the last several weeks, but that volatility is not likely to end soon, its lead developer suggested on Saturday.
"We've been on a rollercoaster ride," said Gavin Andresen , chief scientist at the Bitcoin Foundation, which provides much of the core backend development for the currency.
"I expect for the next few years we're going to remain on a rollercoaster ride," he said, speaking in front of a packed room of developers, enthusiasts, venture capitalists and other industry players at Bitcoin 2013, the first conference in Silicon Valley to be held on the topic.
Bitcoin is a digital currency that is managed and traded on a peer-to-peer computer network. Often referred to as a form of "crypto-currency," it is intended to be a decentralized form of payment not regulated by any financial institution or governmental body. A variety of online retailers and a growing number of brick-and-mortar stores are now accepting Bitcoins, which can either be purchased through exchanges on the Internet or "mined" by using specialized hardware.