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INTERNATIONAL - Bitcoin's recent wobbles have given fresh urgency to a question that has gripped market observers for much of the past year: Will the cryptocurrency go down as one of history’s most infamous bubbles, alongside tulipmania and the dot-com craze?

Bitcoin dipped below 10000, a 50percent loss from its all-time peak. The magnitude of Bitcoin’s boom (before it lost up to 48percent from its December 18 high) suggests that investors have reason to be worried.

The cryptocurrency’s nearly 60-fold rise in the past three years was extraordinary.

It dwarfed the Nasdaq Composite Index’s gain during the headiest days of the 1990s. Going further back, it comfortably outstripped the Mississippi and South Sea bubbles of the 1700s.

It even topped the Dutch tulipmania of the 1630s, though that last comparison should be taken with a pinch of salt, given the scarcity of recorded tulip values.