Bitcoin prices hit an all-time high of $2,791 per coin this morning, according to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (BPI). But the price euphoria was short-lived -- even by the standards of this famously volatile virtual currency -- falling below $2,400 by 2:30 p.m. EDT. 

Both Ethereum and Bitcoin had been enjoying rallies in the last few days, with Ether reaching its own historic high of $228.37 at around 8:30 a.m. EDT on May 24, according to Coindesk data. Ether is currently trading down almost 21% at $180.75. 

Some analysts attribute the recent surges in the two currencies on a convergence of news items related to blockchain​-based banking technology. On May 22, for example, Citigroup Inc (C) and Nasdaq (NDAQ) announced their co-branded product "CitiConnect for Blockchain," which promises to provide a seamless end-to-end transactional process for private securities.

Governments, big banks, and Silicon Valley have been scrambling to find ways to use blockchain--the connective technology developed to enable Bitcoin transactions--to create faster, more secure, more frictionless, and more transparent transactions. Virtual currencies have benefited from this attention, allowing them to recover from a very touch-and-go couple of years. Such setbacks as the June 2016 Ethereum DAO hack and Bitcoin's Hard Forking talks had skeptics and advocates alike speculating whether virtual currency was futuristic folly.