Bitcoin price has been on a roller coaster ride since it first debuted in January 2009, but the long-term trajectory has been higher – “up and to the right”, as they say. bitcoin ushered in the age of cryptocurrencies, but it was quite some time before the public sat up and took notice.
Still, in just over a decade, it seems that cryptocurrencies, and bitcoin in particular, have become the most exciting trading opportunity in a long time. bitcoin trading has created millionaires, although given the persistent rise since its debut, many traders would have done well holding out, or holding out, for the ride, as many long-term bullish owners have.
Reading: Bitcoin lowest price 2020
Despite the long-term rise, bitcoin has been plagued by periods where it has fallen precipitously. the most recent has been since November 2021, when the prospect of rising interest rates and reduced liquidity in financial markets have pushed the price of bitcoin much lower.
Bitcoin was unleashed in the months following the global financial crisis that destroyed economies. It was created by a mysterious individual or group known as the satoshi nakamoto, and early proponents touted the currency’s promise to move monetary policy out of the hands of governments and central banks and into an autonomously managed system.
Bitcoin has a maximum of 21 million coins that can be created. In the face of this fixed supply, an ever-increasing demand can cause the cryptocurrency to skyrocket. Given this dynamic, speculators have rushed into the space to take advantage of the anticipated price appreciation.
Bitcoin price is notoriously sentiment driven. When the market shifts into its “greed” phase, bitcoin soars amid utopian promises and speculators write off the risks of a non-cash-generating asset. In the “fear” phase, the bitcoin price seems to find no traction as sellers push its price lower amid bad news or general market malaise.
Amid all this speculation, however, it’s important to remember that bitcoin is difficult to use for everyday purchases. major companies that introduced bitcoin payment methods have quietly withdrawn those initiatives. now the market has rewritten the narrative of bitcoin as a medium of exchange to one where it is a store of value, “digital gold”. however, gold has a few thousand years of history as a store of value, compared to just over a dozen for bitcoin.
Here’s how the bitcoin price has risen and fallen over time, as well as some of the trends driving those movements.
bitcoin prices over time:
- January 2009 – July 2013: bitcoin begins
- August 2013 – December 2017: bitcoin attracts the public
- January 2018 – December 2020: bitcoin recovers and soars
- January 2021 – June 2022: bitcoin affected by regulations and rising rates
- bitcoin returns for the year
January 2009 – July 2013: bitcoin is created and attracts technologists
the new liberty standard exchange recorded the first exchange of bitcoin for dollars in late 2009. bitcointalk forum users exchanged 5050 bitcoins for $5.02 via paypal, making the first price mediated via from an exchange was a bargain price of $0.00099 per bitcoin. in other words, the price was about a tenth of a penny.
Although bitcoin was officially launched on January 3, 2009, it’s hard to find a standard price before mid-2010. That’s because there were no exchanges in the same way as there are today. however, data was available beginning in July 2010 and continues to the present.
It was in 2010 when the most expensive pizzas of all time were bought. a bitcoin owner offered 10,000 bitcoins for two pizzas, an offer that lives on in bitcoin lore. It is considered the first time someone has used virtual currency to buy something in the real world.
According to historical data from investing.com, the price of bitcoin never broke above $0.40 per bitcoin in 2010, but managed to reach that level in early 2011. Then, in February, it crossed $1. just a few months later, in May, it briefly topped $8 – an impressive 8 bags in just a few months!
By June 2011, the price of bitcoin had reached almost $30, a seemingly unimaginable increase from just a few months earlier. and that’s where he topped the year. bitcoin spent the rest of 2011 shrinking to as little as $2, before ending the year at $4.70. after the bursting of this bubble and a drop of more than 90 percent from its all-time high, it might have seemed like the bitcoin craze was over.
Bitcoin started in 2012 and spent much of the year consolidating, slowly strengthening throughout the year. In November 2012, Bitcoin went through its first “halving,” a change in the reward structure for miners, where they receive half as many Bitcoins for mining blocks on the blockchain. As 2012 drew to a close, bitcoin ended at $13.50, just below the highs for the year.
That consolidation set bitcoin up for a strong run in 2013, when it began to attract more attention outside of a niche audience of techies and hobbyists. The world’s first Bitcoin ATM was installed in Vancouver, allowing buyers to exchange fiat money for cryptocurrencies. by the end of January, the price of bitcoin had already risen above $20. momentum built from there, as interest spread.
By early March, bitcoin had already doubled again, reaching over $40. a couple of weeks later it was over $50 and days later it was over $60. it went up to $70 the next day after that. by early april 2013, bitcoin had surpassed $100 impressively. then eight days later it skyrocketed to $230.
From there, it only took a week for bitcoin to go back to $68, when the bottom fell out. But then a week later, it had doubled again and was trading north of $150. After strong trading action in April and May, bitcoin spent June and July settling down. surely this was the peak of the bitcoin volatility craze.
August 2013 – December 2017: bitcoin breaks into popular consciousness
After months of consolidation since its rise earlier in the year, bitcoin hit new heights in November 2013. Priced at $213 at the start of the month, bitcoin doubled to nearly $435 just 12 days later. by the end of the month, it had nearly tripled from there, to over $1,200, before ending the year at $805, a true downdraft, but still up from $541 a couple of weeks earlier. at the end of the year, the people’s bank of china banned financial institutions from using bitcoins.
In 2014, bitcoin maintained its characteristic volatility. After reaching $1,000 in early January, bitcoin bottomed out at $111.60 on February 2. 21 – a decrease of close to 90 percent! behind the turbulence was trouble at mt. gox, one of the first crypto exchanges. the exchange stopped withdrawals and later filed for bankruptcy after losing 744,400 bitcoins of user funds.
then just five days later, bitcoin posted a price of $593.10, more than 5 exchanges in days! bitcoin spent the rest of the year gradually declining and closed 2014 at around $318.
The year 2015 started with bitcoin crashing, but most of the year was a slow uptrend, unusual for bitcoin, ending the year at $430. in november, bitcoin’s official symbol b was adopted.
The first half of 2016 continued with the same volatility and relatively subdued price consolidation. but by the end of may the price was rising and by the middle of june bitcoin was reaching $700. however it didn’t last long and bitcoin was back at $600 until november 2016. it reached a high of $700 again and then rapidly $800 and $900. By the end of the year, bitcoin was flirting with $1,000, a level it surpassed in early 2017, a watershed year for bitcoin in terms of national consciousness.
The year 2017 started off rather slowly, with bitcoin hovering between $1,000 and $1,200. but at the end of April, the digital currency was clearly moving higher. At the end of May, bitcoin was at $2,300, but despite a move higher, it was back below $2,000 in mid-July. the decline did not last. by mid-August, bitcoin had surpassed $4,000 and then much higher. retail traders suddenly took notice of cryptocurrency and were increasing volumes and prices.
In September, bitcoin consolidated around $4,000 before rising sharply to $5,000 and then $6,000 in mid-October. the $7,000 price was breached on November 1. 2, and then bitcoin spent the rest of the year melting: a couple of weeks later, bitcoin topped $8,000, then $10,000, rose to $13,000 days later, eclipsed $16,000, and by mid-December topped the $19,000.
In December, bitcoin futures began trading on the chicago board options exchange, helping to generate more interest and dollars in the cryptocurrency.
It was a dangerously fast rise for bitcoin becoming self-sufficient. As the news spread, more people rushed to buy, making the price seemingly higher and higher. but bitcoin ended the year at its highest ever, ending the big year of 2017 at $13,850.
January 2018 – December 2020: bitcoin recovers and shoots up even more
After the big crash of 2017, bitcoin spent most of 2018 in a downtrend, falling throughout the year, after briefly rising at the start of the year. at the end of the first quarter, bitcoin was down nearly 50 percent from where the year had started. it spent much of the year bouncing between $6,000 and $8,000 before closing 2018 at $3,709, down 73% on the year.
The year 2019 started with more of the same, as bitcoin looked for direction. it tried to break above $4,000 for the first couple of months, but finally hit it in April and then went up to $5,000. May came and bitcoin hit $6,000, then $7,000, then $8,000 before settling back down in early June. that month, bitcoin quickly shot up to $13,000 before making a comeback.
In September, bitcoin was back solidly below $10,000 and continued to look for direction and fell through the end of the year, ending 2019 just below $7,200.
but with the calendar change to 2020, bitcoin rallied, surging over the next six weeks to over $10,000. Amid stock market declines during the initial covid pandemic wave, bitcoin faltered, falling to $8,000. then, during the drawdown, it crashed on March 12, 2020: from $7,935 to $4,826 in a single day, a decrease of more than 39 percent!
In early April, it topped $7,000 again, then $8,000, and finally started reaching $10,000 in May. after messing around for a couple of months, it finally grew to over $11,000 in July and $12,000 in August. it settled for the next two months, until October, when it climbed back above $13,000 and finally jumped to nearly $20,000 in November 2020, when financial markets rallied on Fed liquidity and the prospect of a vaccine against the covid.
bitcoin rose the most during December 2020 and closed the year at $28,949.
January 2021 – June 2022: bitcoin is under pressure
After what can only be described as an exciting end to 2020 for bitcoin, the digital currency started 2021 strong. The cryptocurrency rallied to start the year, reaching a high of $64,000 in mid-April, following a strong first quarter. Promises of seemingly endless liquidity from the Federal Reserve gave markets, both crypto and stocks, unbridled optimism.
After this auspicious start to the year, it seemed like there was only one place to go: down. In May, China warned cryptocurrency buyers that it was going to put pressure on the industry and the price of bitcoin began to fall. the country also announced that it would ban financial institutions and payment platforms from transacting in cryptocurrencies.
This news helped send bitcoin into a tailspin, where it quickly lost more than 50 percent of its value in just a few months.
Later in September, China announced that all cryptocurrency transactions were illegal and even foreign websites offering such services to Chinese merchants were banned. the market ignored the news, and by October the coin was back above $60,000 and on track for a new all-time high at $68,789 on November 1. 10, 2021.
In late 2021, the Federal Reserve announced that it would begin to gradually wind down its bond purchases, slowly draining liquidity from financial markets. With inflation raging at multi-decade highs, the central bank wanted to rein in rising prices. The 10-year Treasury rate began to rise as investors began to price in the possibility of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates in the near future.
The prospect of less liquidity in the market caused risky assets such as high-growth stocks to spiral out of control, followed by cryptocurrencies and bitcoin, beginning in early November.
That malaise continued into 2022, as rising inflation and the central bank’s move to raise rates to prevent it scared investors away from risky assets. bitcoin continued the rollercoaster ride, wiping out significant gains in the process.