Bitcoin traders say they are victims of their own success

As Bitcoin plummeted from $266 to $100 yesterday (before recovering to $167 now) many speculated that the sites which enable trade in the cryptocurrency had yet again come under malicious distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Mt. Gox, one of the largest sites for trading Bitcoin and originally named after the Magic the Gathering trading card game, has now denied that:

First of all we would like to reassure you but no we were not last night victim of a DDoS but instead victim of our own success!
Indeed the rather astonishing amount of new account opened in the last few days added to the existing one plus the number of trade made a huge impact on the overall system that started to lag. As expected in such situation people started to panic, started to sell Bitcoin in mass (Panic Sale) resulting in an increase of trade that ultimately froze the trade engine!
To give you an idea of how impressive things were here are some numbers that we would love to share with you guys:
- The number of trades executed tripled in the last 24hrs.
- The number of new account opened went from 60k for March alone to 75k new account created for the first few days of April! We now have roughly 20,000 new accounts created each day.
The causality of the tumble is unclear - did sites fail because people wanted to get out of Bitcoin, or did site failures cause people to want to get out of Bitcoin or both? - but either way the drop was quite predictable.