However, bitcoin beat its high on some other cryptocurrency exchanges. Whereas CoinDesk's price index takes into account many different bitcoin exchanges – individual exchanges, where users can trade bitcoin, noted their own highest prices were exceeded. Among these were one of China's biggest and most liquid exchanges, BTC China.
Industry experts said the rapid rally in bitcoin created a little bubble which is now bursting but the long-term prospects are still positive.
"Once we broke through the nominal all-time high, liquidity dried up – no shorts, no sellers, which means a volatile little bubble formed quickly," Peter Smith, chief executive of bitcoin wallet Blockchain, told CNBC by email.
"We are seeing the effects of that now. It's still fairly thin trading volume though. I expect the market will find a floor and stabilize somewhere in the $850 to $1,000 range, but we'll see."
Wild swings in bitcoin's price are not unusual and volatility is a characteristic of the virtual currency.