Bitcoin's Price History

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Bitcoin's Price History
Among asset classes, Bitcoin has had one of the most volatile trading histories. The cryptocurrency’s first price increase occurred in 2010 when the value of a single Bitcoin jumped from around $0.0008 to $0.08. It has undergone several rallies and crashes since then. Some have compared the cryptocurrency (and its price movements) to the fad for Beanie Babies during the 1980s while others have drawn parallels between Bitcoin and the Dutch Tulip Mania of the 17th century.

The price changes for Bitcoin alternately reflect investor enthusiasm and dissatisfaction with its promise. Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s inventor, designed it for use as a medium for daily transactions and a way to circumvent the traditional banking infrastructure after the 2008 financial collapse. While the cryptocurrency has yet to gain mainstream traction as a currency, it has begun to pick up steam through a different narrative—as a store of value and a hedge against inflation.

Though this new narrative may prove to hold more merit, the price fluctuations of the past primarily stemmed from retail investors and traders betting on an ever-increasing price without much grounding in reason or facts. But Bitcoin's price story has changed in recent times. Institutional investors are trickling in after the maturing of cryptocurrency markets and regulatory agencies are crafting rules specifically for the crypto. While Bitcoin price still remains volatile, it is now a function of an array of factors within the mainstream economy, as opposed to being influenced by speculators looking for quick profits through momentum trades.
For the most part, Bitcoin investors have had a bumpy ride in the last ten years. Apart from daily volatility, in which double-digit inclines and declines of its price are not uncommon, they have had to contend with numerous problems plaguing its ecosystem, from multiple scams and fraudsters to an absence of regulation that further feeds into its volatility. In spite of all this, there are periods when the cryptocurrency’s price changes have outpaced even their usually volatile swings, resulting in massive price bubbles.
The first such instance occurred in 2011. Bitcoin's price jumped from $1 in April of that year to a peak of $32 in June, a gain of 3200% within three short months. That steep ascent was followed by a sharp recession in crypto markets and Bitcoin's price bottomed out at $2 in November 2011. There was a marginal improvement the following year and the price had risen from $4.80 in May to $13.20 by August 15.
2013 proved to be a decisive year for Bitcoin's price. The digital currency began the year trading at $13.40 and underwent two price bubbles in the same year. The first of these occurred when the price shot up to $220 by the beginning of April 2013. That swift increase was followed by an equally rapid deceleration in its price and the cryptocurrency was changing hands at $70 in mid-April.
But that was not the end of it. Another rally (and associated crash) occurred towards the end of that year. In early October, the cryptocurrency was trading at $123.20. By December, it had spiked to $1156.10. But it fell to around $760 three days later. Those rapid changes signaled the start of a multi-year slump in Bitcoin's price and it touched a low of $315 at the beginning of 2015.

Bitcoin price


The fifth price bubble occurred in 2017. The cryptocurrency was hovering around the $1,000 price range at the beginning of that year. After a period of brief decline in the first two months, the price charted a remarkable ascent from $975.70 on March 25 to $20,089 on December 17.
The 2017 hot streak also helped place Bitcoin firmly in the mainstream spotlight. Governments and economists took notice and began developing digital currencies to compete with Bitcoin. Analysts debated its value as an asset even as a slew of so-called experts and investors made extreme price forecasts.
As in the past, Bitcoin's price moved sideways for the next two years. In between, there were signs of life. For example, there was a resurgence in price and trading volume in June 2019 and the price surpassed $10,000, rekindling hopes of another rally. But it fell to $7,112.73 by December of the same year.
It was not until 2020, when the economy shut down due to the pandemic, that Bitcoin's price burst into activity once again. The cryptocurrency started the year at $7,200. The pandemic shutdown, and subsequent government policy, fed into investors' fears about the global economy and accelerated Bitcoin's rise. At close on November 23, Bitcoin was trading for $18,353.
The pandemic crushed much of the stock market in March but the subsequent stimulus checks of up to $1,200 may have had a direct effect on the markets. Upon the release of those checks the entire stock market, including cryptocurrency, saw a huge rebound from March lows and even continued past their previous all-time-highs.
These checks further amplified concerns over inflation and a potentially weakened purchasing power of the U.S. dollar. Money printing by governments and central banks helped to bolster the narrative of Bitcoin as a store of value as its supply is capped at 21 million. This narrative began to draw interest among institutions instead of just retail investors, who were largely responsible for the run up in price in 2017.
Continued institutional interest in the cryptocurrency further propelled its price upwards and Bitcoin's price reached just under $24,000 in December 2020, an increase of 224% from the start of 2020. It took less than a month for Bitcoin to smash its previous price record and surpass $40,000 in January 2021. At its new peak, the cryptocurrency was changing hands at $41,528 on Jan 8, 2021. Three days later, however, it was at $30,525.39.
 
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