The value of bitcoin has dropped just below $10,000 after hitting a record high earlier this week.

The cryptocurrency, which is attracting a huge amount of mainstream attention, has fallen steadily since Wednesday 29 November, when it reached $11,342.

Its value is $9,900 (£7,342) as of Friday morning UK time, according to the Coinbase exchange. 

However, its value is still up more than 20 per cent over last week, more than 50 per cent over last month, and more than 1,200 per cent over last year.

Bitcoin is notoriously volatile, and its value is expected to continue to fluctuate wildly.

Naturally, its spectacular rise has coincided with increasing amounts of interest, with more and more people now looking to invest. 

However, there are serious fears that the digital currency has created a bubble that could burst at any moment.

Numerous financial experts are advising potential investors to avoid getting involved with bitcoin, though others are speculating that it could keep rising towards the $1m mark.

Bitcoin only exists online, has no central bank and isn’t linked to or regulated by any state.

An anonymised record of every bitcoin transaction is stored on a huge public ledger known as a blockchain. 

However, transactions made with the cryptocurrency are irreversible, which makes investors in bitcoin attractive targets for cybercriminals. 

This article is being regularly updated to reflect bitcoin’s latest value.