In the established stock market, a decline of at least 10 percent from a recent high sends a stock into "correction" territory, and a drop of at least 20 percent marks "bear market" territory.
Wednesday's gains in bitcoin came after news that Jack Dorsey's company Square is testing support for bitcoin through its payments app Cash. Early on Wednesday, Credit Suisse analysts published a report on the Square news describing how the "bitcoin buying option could help stock."
Bitcoin performance over the last six months
Digital currency trading firm Genesis Global Trading found bitcoin tends to recover dramatically from large drops. The last four times bitcoin has fallen more than 20 percent this year, it has gained an average 28 percent in the two weeks following, and an average 61.5 percent in the four weeks following, the analysis showed.
Trading in Japanese yen accounted for about nearly 56 percent of bitcoin trading volume Wednesday, according to CryptoCompare. U.S. dollar-bitcoin trading volume accounted for about 25 percent.
Another digital currency, ethereum, traded about 1.5 percent lower near $331, according to CoinDesk.
"A lot of the recent volatility has been caused by the recent narrative and events surrounding bitcoin and bitcoin cash and the record setting exchange trading volume between the two amongst large investors, miners, and retail investors in Asia," Alex Sunnarborg, founding partner, Tetras Capital, said in an email. "The price of BTC and BCH have moved inversely between each either, driving the price of bitcoin down as it flows to bitcoin cash and vice versa."
The controversy over the best way to improve bitcoin's transaction speeds and costs remains unresolved.
One upgrade proposal called SegWit2x was called off last Wednesday, causing bitcoin to surge temporarily to its record high before crashing.
An upgrade which took effect in August split bitcoin into bitcoin and bitcoin cash. The offshoot bitcoin cash traded slightly lower Wednesday near $1,222, about 50 percent below its record high of $2,477.65 hit Sunday, according to CoinMarketCap.
Another version of bitcoin that launched Sunday, bitcoin gold, has tumbled more than 20 percent in the last 24 hours to around $162, according to CoinMarketCap. Bitcoin gold is an attempt to make "mining," or creating, the digital currency less dependent on specialized hardware.