Two weeks ago, Bitcoin saw a dramatic surge in price that saw the digital currency soar from $10,000 to $20,000 in the space of a week.

But in the words of the great Canadian philosopher Ricky: what comes around is all around, and Bitcoin is having its moment of reckoning.

As of the time of writing, Bitcoin prices on the GDAX exchange plunged to around $10,000, marking a 30% fall in the last 24 hours, and nearly a 50% fall in value from the high of $19,666 recorded on Sunday evening. For anyone who bought Bitcoin early this week, it’s a painful and expensive lesson in speculating on unregulated strings of numbers; for the Bitcoin community at large, it’s a reminder that there’s a long way to go for this currency to be “viable.”

At this point, it’s easy to say that wild price swings are Bitcoin’s biggest problem. Crypto-currency as a concept isn’t as dumb as it might sound; on paper, it’s a transparent, secure way to transfer money that doesn’t rely on a handful of centralized banks. But no-one is going to use Bitcoin as a currency when it’s fluctuating by 50% on a week-by-week basis. You don’t want your ability to buy groceries to rely on the whims of crypto traders, and you’re certainly not going to bet your life savings on a coin toss. If Bitcoin wants to grow up, it needs stability, and as fun as the massive week-long price surges have been for investors, they’re not helping the long-term stability.

It’s also showing the limitations of Bitcoin as a completely unregulated currency. Normal investments and government-backed currencies have safeguards against hyper inflation or deflation. Governments can use vast currency reserves — or tools like the interest rate — to help mitigate the effects of speculation on a currency, and keep things stable. Bitcoin advocates love to point out how the currency is decentralized, but just as that means that no-one can “tamper” with your money, it also means that no-one’s coming to save you.

Chris Mills has loved tinkering with technology ever since he worked out how to defeat the parental controls on his parents' internet. He's blogged his way through Apple events and SpaceX launches ever since, and still keeps a bizarre fondness for the Palm Pre.