Bitcoin Price History

Updated by Giuseppe Faraone verified symbol on July 12, 2022

Everyone knows that Bitcoin is far from stable in terms of its value, with the coin demonstrating a lot of volatility over the course of its lifetime. Even though it was the first cryptocurrency on the market and therefore the most well-established to date, it has been, and continues to be, a rocky road. Here we take a look back at Bitcoin's price history, from its humble beginnings in 2009 through its various peaks and crashes to its current value, and discuss what influences these ups and downs.

The early days of the bitcoin currency

2009 - 2016: Early Years

When Bitcoin was first launched in 2009 by the individual or entity known as Satoshi Nakamoto, each BTC was worth $0, of course, since it was very new on the scene and its potential had yet to be realised.

In May of 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz was the first person in the world to actually buy something using Bitcoin, famously, two pizzas for 10,000 coins, which by today's prices would be the equivalent of around $300 million! At this point, 1 BTC was only worth about 1 cent. By July, the price had risen a little to around $0.09 per 1 BTC.

A critical moment was reached less than a year later, in April 2011, when the value of 1 BTC reached $1, ie. parity with the US dollar, for the first time. Just a couple of months later, in early June of 2011, Bitcoin's price had skyrocketed almost 3,000% to $29.60. Following a crypto crash later that year, 1 BTC fell again to around $2 by November.

Bitcoin managed to rally a little over the course of 2012, finishing the year at around the $13 mark.

2013 proved productive for the coin, with its price inflating from around $13 at the start of the year to $230 by April, though it had dropped a significant amount to $68 by July. By October, the coin had recovered somewhat to around double before spiking to its highest value up to that point of just over $1,200 by late November, though its price halved just a few days later.

2014 and 2015 saw Bitcoin prices slowly slump to around the $300 mark, but they climbed again through 2016 to finish the year at $900 per BTC.

2017 - 2020: Ups and Downs

The start of 2017 saw a little more growth, with Bitcoin's price sitting at around $1,000 before it leapt to $2,000 by the end of May. A series of skyrockets resulted in the coin breaking records multiple times during the rest of 2017, hitting an all-time high of nearly $20,000 by mid-December. However, what went up came crashing down, with a price drop of around a third of its value hitting Bitcoin in just 24 hours.

2018 saw a series of ups and downs, but mostly downs, bringing the price back to around the $5,000 per coin mark. By December of that year, the price had fallen again to $3,000. 2019 saw a similar trend of volatility, with the price peaking at around $12,000 in July, only to fall again to about $7,000 in December.

2020 changed everything with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. As investors started to fear the effects of the pandemic on global economies, Bitcoin saw its greatest rise in value up to that point, starting the year at around $7,000 and finishing at a shade over $27,000 by the end of December.

2021 - Present: All-Time Highs

The first quarter of 2021 saw incredible growth for the cryptocurrency, with prices soaring to over $41,000 in early January, breaking through to $44,000 in early February following Elon Musk's announcement that Tesla would invest in and accept Bitcoin, and further rising to $50,000 in mid-February. The news that Coinbase was about to launch on the public stock market sent Bitcoin soaring again to new highs of just over $63,000 in mid-April.

In May 2021, following news that Tesla would sell its Bitcoin and that the Chinese government was to impose strict regulations, Bitcoin tanked, dropping 50% of its value in 2 weeks, bottoming out at just under $30,000 by the end of July. By the first week of September, Bitcoin had regained a lot of ground to reach just over $52,000 per BTC, but within a couple of weeks, the value had floundered again to around $40,000.

2021 hadn't finished with Bitcoin yet as the crypto surged to its current all-time high of almost $67,000 in October, though it finished the year significantly lower at around $46,000 in the wake of news of a new COVID-19 variant.

Bitcoin managed to hold most of its value in the early part of 2022, recovering from a drop to $35,000 in late January. In May 2022, news of cryptocurrency Luna's blockchain platform Terra being subject to an attack that caused a crash and loss of over 99% of its value hit the entire crypto-coin industry hard. Bitcoin's value fell dramatically from $39,000 to $26,000 in just a week.

Overlook of the current price of btc

Current Price of Bitcoin

Since mid-May 2022, the price of Bitcoin has been hovering around the $30,000 per 1 BTC mark. At the time of writing, 1 BTC equalled approximately $29,100.

Bitcoin's Highest Price

Bitcoin reached its highest price to date of $68,990 in October of 2021.

Bitcoin's Lowest Price

Discounting its formative years, Bitcoin's lowest price after a high was $3,182 in mid-December 2018.

What Affects The Price of Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is well-known as being rather volatile, with its price rising and falling seemingly at the drop of a hat. But what factors have an influence on the price of Bitcoin? Here's a look at seven different factors that have historically or more recently impacted to varying degrees the value of Bitcoin.

Demand

One of the main influences on the price of Bitcoin is the demand for cryptocurrency. Though the coin was originally intended to be used as a form of currency, it soon emerged that its volatility made it unsuitable for that purpose. Once this shortcoming was realised, Bitcoin was remarketed as a form of value storage similar to that of gold (and a fork was created called Bitcoin Cash for those who wanted it to remain as a currency).

The result of this progression was an increased demand for the coin as a way of investing in the future. Whereas a lack of demand will result in coin price tanks, increased demand will push coin values higher.

Supply

As many financial experts know, if a currency is scarce, its value will increase. Scarcity is built into the concept of Bitcoin as a way of ensuring its value holds and ideally increases over time.

Bitcoin has a fixed and limited supply of 21 million coins and that is all there ever will be. At present, around 18 million of those coins are currently in circulation, but as mining releases more coins and we reach the end of that finite supply, the value is expected to increase, assuming favourable conditions in terms of the other variables like a demand.

Perceived Value

The perceived value of Bitcoin can have a sizeable impact on its actual value. As long as people believe it has value, the market will respond accordingly. This value can vary from one person to the next. For example, those holding Bitcoin from the beginning will have seen the price soar dramatically, so they will view BTC as a highly valuable asset. On the other end of the scale, someone who bought coins before a crash will not view them with much worth.

The use of Bitcoin in everyday life, or the potential to do so, also plays a part in this idea of perceived value. Over the years, it's been realised that Bitcoin's volatility makes it too unstable for use as a currency, but it is valuable as an investment opportunity to many, especially those looking to hedge their bets in other markets.

Mining Rate

New Bitcoin is released into circulation by a process known as mining. Bitcoin miners use computer power to discover the hash of new blocks, with a Bitcoin reward given to whoever manages to do so. Initially, this reward was a massive 50 BTC per block (although that wasn't much back then!), but due to a process called halving, this reward reduces over time.

As the name implies, halving sees the BTC reward drop to half its value after every 210,000 blocks, which works out to be roughly every 4 years. The reward has been halved three times since the cryptocurrency's launch back in 2009 and currently sits at 6.25 BTC per block.

The process of halving is another factor that influences the value of Bitcoin in that the rate of release of blocks into circulation is slowed over time, creating additional artificial scarcity and thereby bolstering the price to some degree.

Investor Sentiment

Over time, Bitcoin has gone from a potential alternative currency to a form of value storage similar to gold, with investors acting upon these shifts accordingly. Uptake was slow to start with as many failed to see the currency potential in BTC, hence the low value for the first seven or so years of its life. Once people recognised the potential to profit from the very aspect of BTC that made it unsuitable as a currency, namely, its volatility, Bitcoin became more of an investment option.

Many figures have influenced the price of Bitcoin through speculation too. Elon Musk famously made the headlines with his claims of investing in Bitcoin and even accepting Bitcoin as a payment method for purchases at his company Tesla. In response, the price of Bitcoin skyrocketed. In the same thread, however, speculation can cause Bitcoin prices to tank.

Economic Situations

A number of economic situations have affected the price of Bitcoin over time, perhaps most notably the COVID-19 pandemic. There was a great deal of uncertainty at first as to how BTC would react to such an unprecedented event, but as the financial systems of the world found themselves struggling through lockdowns and reduced economic output, Bitcoin found its feet and surged to new highs.

Similarly, after news broke of El Salvador adopting Bitcoin as legal tender, with the Central African Republic following suit shortly after, Bitcoin enjoyed a boost to its value.

Other Cryptocurrencies

The recent fall of Luna and its blockchain platform Terra resulted in a sharp loss of confidence in cryptocurrencies in general, leading to a drop in the value of Bitcoin, from which it is still trying to recover.

When people started to see the potential of Bitcoin, many other cryptocurrencies began to emerge, with the total reaching some 19,000 to date. These are all Bitcoin competitors, of course, with the success or failure of one having a direct impact on the value of BTC.

What Can You Use Bitcoin For?

Though the original purpose of Bitcoin was to serve as an alternative currency, at present, there aren't many places that accept the cryptocurrency outside of a few select online retailers. These days, Bitcoin's main appeal is as a form of investment, with people buying the coins in the hope that their value will increase over time.

Having said that, there are one or two industries in which cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are actually thriving. One of them is the online gambling industry. A growing number of sports betting sites are accepting deposits in cryptocurrencies, so members can bet on their favourite sporting events.

Online casinos are also accepting cryptocurrencies in ever-increasing numbers. Members of these sites can deposit using their choice of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether, Ripple (XRP), Dogecoin and many others, and even use these coins directly to play a wide range of slots, table games and live dealer games by leading developers from around the world.

Our final opinion on the bitcoin price

Final Words

Bitcoin is the first and longest-running cryptocurrency in the world, but it's been anything but a smooth ride for the coin. Since its launch back in 2009, the price of 1 BTC has fluctuated from next to nothing to the dizzying heights of around $67,000, with peaks and troughs often occurring within days of each other.

It's worth bearing this level of volatility in mind if you plan on buying Bitcoin in the near future and thinking carefully about why you want to do so. Bitcoin's changeable nature means it is less suited as a cryptocurrency and more as a form of value storage for potential long term gains.

Having said that, many are enjoying the benefits of both options by using their coins as a currency to play at crypto casinos for the chance to win even more, with the added investment potential of controlling when to deposit and withdraw when the market is agreeable.

FAQs

Looking for more info about Bitcoin's price history? Check our FAQs.

Will Bitcoin's price ever go up again?

It's difficult to say at this point. History shows that Bitcoin's value is liable to fluctuate wildly, often within a short space of time, so it wouldn't be out of character for the coin to experience a rise in value again. However, remember that no-one can predict such market movements, so use caution if you're planning to invest.

Is Bitcoin a good investment?

That depends on why you want to invest and what kind of return you're looking for. Many speculate that Bitcoin will rise in value over time. From this perspective, Bitcoin may be worth investing in over the long term. Those looking for short term gains are taking a bit of a gamble with Bitcoin. Always do your research first.

Where can you play casino games with Bitcoin?

A growing number of online casinos are accepting various cryptocurrencies as payment and allowing members to play a wide range of games with their coins. For a good place to start, check out our article on The Most Popular Bitcoin Casinos For 2022.

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Giuseppe Faraone
Giuseppe Faraone verified symbol Author
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Based in Valencia, Spain, Giuseppe gave up Milan for sunny shores. New licenses, new casinos, new bonuses, new games - there's always something to write about. Being so close to the action in the gambling industry, he's on top of any new developments the minute they come through the door. Aiming to deliver updates and comprehensive information to you, he does his best to test out and rate what he reviews thoroughly. Giuseppe is also a book writer. In October 2022, he published his first book called The Untold Story of Online Gambling, available on Amazon.
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Reviewed by Julia Attard, Senior Author