Bitcoin prices swung between small gains and losses close to the $500-level on Tuesday, as speculators awaited the next catalyst to influence price direction.

Bitcoin (BTC/USD) tacked on 0.36%, or $1.83, on Slovenia-based BitStamp to trade at $507.00 during U.S. morning hours. Prices held in a narrow range between $499.00 and $508.59.

Elsewhere, the price of a Bitcoin on Bulgaria-based BTC-e inched up 0.3%, or $1.51, to trade at $503.51.

According to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index, which averages prices from the major exchanges, prices of the crypto-currency rose 0.96% to trade at $506.46.

Meanwhile, euro-denominated Bitcoin prices Bitcoin (BTC/EUR) climbed 1.38%, or €5.27, to trade at €387.27 on U.S.-based Kraken Exchange.

Prices of the virtual currency have stabilized in recent sessions, following sharp losses suffered earlier in the month.

Market analysts have blamed various events for the downward trend, including a recent U.S. government report that highlights the risks associated with virtual currencies, New York's BitLicense proposals, and the introduction of new sophisticated trading techniques.

A number of traders and market participants also attributed the recent decline to price manipulation by short-term profiteers who are deliberately driving prices down to eventually buy them back at lows.

Bitcoin is digital cash and is not backed by a government or central bank to regulate or issue it. It can be used to purchase goods and services from stores and online retailers.

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