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Bitcoin Price History: a complete guide

By Elizabeth Wright

December 18, 2019

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Bitcoin Price history guide
Bitcoin Price history guide

Bitcoin is widely known as the first-ever, the most popular and the most expensive cryptocurrency in the world. It was invented long ago – in 2008 by the anonymous, mysterious developer or a group of developers who called themselves Satoshi Nakamoto. Even though the real name of the BTC creator is still unknown, it does not stop the ‘crypto father’ from firmly making his way to the top.

By mentioning the ‘top’, we are considering not only the technological boom BTC brings with millions of miners and hundreds of Bitcoin-based products all around the globe but also its payment revolution and its astronomic success on the financial market. Just imagine, the lucky ones who came across BTC in the early 10’s now had multiplied their savings by 50,000%, 60,000%, or even more! They simply bought Bitcoin at the right time.

Bitcoin’s price has changed a lot, and even though it is not that stable as the old-school traders wish it to be, BTC is still a great asset to add to your investment portfolio. With millions of active supporters, holders, and miners, the original crypto has all the power behind to show steady growth and development year-by-year.

What does the BTC’s rate depend on? The answer is simple, yet a little complicated for newbies. One should clearly understand that Bitcoin is not a traditional asset as dollars or euro, and it faces quite different obstacles and rivals. BTC goes out of the traditional financial system, and its price can depend both on classical supply and demand as well as on market manipulations, technical hype, new services with crypto acceptance, or, on the contrary, fresh banking bans.

Cryptocurrencies are often linked with the volatility term, for a reason, of course, especially if you will closely look at their price charts over the years. As for Bitcoin, it has gone through a thorny path with dramatic falls to $1 level and unbelievable rises to $20,000, with a lack of supporters at one time and a global crypto boom slightly later. In this article, we are going to rewind the time for a little and dive into each year deeper to closely analyze the story of Bitcoin and mark the highlights for ourselves.

Bitcoin price in 2008

Bitcoin Price in 2008

This year, August 18th, the domain name bitcoin.org was registered, and a few months later, on October 31st, Bitcoin was officially born. There were no crypto exchanges in 2008 nor price comparisons or purchases for BTC, so we could not actually talk about the price rates. Yet it would definitely change in the upcoming years.

2008 Results: from $0 to $0

Bitcoin price in 2009

This year was crucial for the history of Bitcoin, and not just because it was its first fully competitive year of existence. In January 2009, the BTC network was launched, and the first-ever bitcoin client was published to open-source by Satoshi Nakamoto. Early adopters, such as Nick Szabo, Hal Finney, and Wei Dai, downloaded it then and started to mine the digital gold.

It was hard to imagine then how far the ‘gold’ would go, and how much money Bitcoin-2009 supporters would get. This year was also marked by the first transaction made with BTC: Satoshi Nakamoto sent Hal Finney 10 Bitcoins on January 12th, and it was an official start of billions of upcoming operations with BTC.

What was the price of BTC then? There were still no crypto exchanges yet, so it was difficult to calculate Bitcoin’s price relative to anything. The only remarkable reference on this subject in 2009 was the BTC price published towards dollar exchange. It was only 1,309.83 BTC for $1. Also, on October 5th, 2009, the first Bitcoin trades had been launched on the New Liberty Standard stock exchange. Yet, it was not a cryptocurrency exchange, plus traders then hardly believed in the digital money.

2009 Results: from $0 to $0.0007

Bitcoin price in 2010

Bitcoin price in 2010

Everything changed in 2010, on February 6th, when the Bitcoin Market become a historical first cryptocurrency exchange that, of course, traded BTC. Bitcoin had become much more popular, and regular non-tech people started to populate the fast-growing crypto community.

And as evidence of this, you can remember the world’s most popular story about expensive purchases for Bitcoins. Of course, we are talking about pizzas! On May 22nd, Laszlo Hanyecz indirectly bought two Papa John’s pizzas for 10,000 BTC. It was only 25 USD then, but for now… it could have been $80 mln!

The figures are shocking, yet the main point here is that all of that finally took place. Later on, in July, we could get to know famous Bitcoin volatility for the first time with a 10 times growth in just 24 hours. From 0.008 USD to 0.08 USD. 

Also this year, the MtGox cryptocurrency exchange was launched by Jed McCaleb, who would later become one of the key players of the global Ripple and Stellar projects. The first public miner was released, the first block was generated by a mining pool, and the Bitcoin share capital reached 1 million USD.

2010 Results: from $0.0007 to $0.3

Bitcoin price in 2011

Bitcoin price in 2011

This year was marked as the whole cryptocurrency market dawn, given that other coins and cryptos started to emerge based on BTC open-source code. This, by the way, did not stop or replace Bitcoin on the throne. On the contrary, the whole market growth helped BTC to reach a new audience and attract even more people to the sphere. 

The miners were working hard, and right at the beginning of 2011, 25% of the whole 21 million Bitcoin emission was already issued. Bitcoin community continued to grow, and there were no surprises that this trend brought new records and picks. January 27th, 2011, the most significant monetary transaction in Bitcoin’s history was registered with more than 100 trillion Zimbabwe dollars transferred in BTC.

Another remarkable milestone was the parity that Bitcoin achieved with dollar: February 9th, 2011, 1 BTC was worth 1 USD. That was the first time in the whole Bitcoin history, and that becomes a strong sign to the traditional financial world: something really worthy is coming. Bitcoin also started trading in different fiat pairs, i.e., BTC/PLN, BTC/EUR, BTC/BRL, BTC/GBP.

Bitcoin reached $10 level and then $31, with the total market cap risen to $10 million. First, crypto conferences took place, new apps and magazines were launched (including Bitcoin Magazine by Vitalik Buterin), the industry was confidently flourishing.

2011 Results: from $0.3 to $4.72

Bitcoin price in 2012

Bitcoin price in 2012

This year was crucial in terms of spreading Bitcoin across the globe and implementing it into people’s lives. As BitPay reported, over 1,000 merchants were accepting BTC in 2012, and the list continued to enlarge. I.e., one of the world’s leading website platforms WordPress started accepting Bitcoins in November 2012.

Later this month, the block reward for miners was reduced for the first time in Bitcoin’s history. It was 25 BTC now instead of 50 BTC before since the very launch of the network.

2012 Results: from $4.72 to $13.51

Bitcoin price in 2013

Bitcoin price in 2013

This year, Bitcoin rates passed a $31 level for the first time in the last 601 days. April 1st, BTC reached the $100 level with more than a $1 bln market capitalization (for the first time ever though). 

The alleged owner of one of the most famous darknet markets’ Silk Road’ Ross Ulbricht was arrested in 2013. FBI seized about 26,000 BTC. Also, this year, on October 29th, the first-ever Bitcoin ATM was introduced in Canada.

The next month Bitcoin achieved another significant victory: its stock price for the first time went above $1,000 thanks to the public support of a game-creator company Zynga. Universities, websites, and different companies claimed that they were going to popularize and use BTC for their needs. But, not all organizations and countries shared the happiness: China banned cryptocurrencies on its territory in December, and this, unfortunately, lead to another immediate drop of BTC values. 

2013 Results: from $13.51 to $751

Bitcoin Price 2013

Bitcoin price in 2014

Bitcoin price in 2014

Zynga used Bitcoins as an in-product currency for seven of its apps. Restaurants, cafes, and even Las Vegas casinos, international newspapers and hotels started to accept Bitcoins as payment method.

Also, in this year, one of the biggest crypto steals had happened with more than 744,000 BTC stolen at once. Several big crypto exchanges were having problems while operating Bitcoins, and this lead to the historical 30% decrease of BTC price – back to the $600 level.

Later on, Microsoft started to accept Bitcoins for purchasing Xbox games and Windows software. A few songs about BTC were released. 

2014 Results: from $751 to $319

Bitcoin price in 2015

Bitcoin price in 2015

At the beginning of the year, the Bitcoin price was somewhere on a $262 mark. As it was calculated, compared to 2012 with the 1,000 merchants using BTC, in 2015, the number had grown up to 160,000!

At the end of the year, the UK’s high street bank Barclays officially announced accepting Bitcoin as a payment method.

2015 Results: from $319 to $430

Bitcoin price in 2016

Bitcoin price in 2016

Bitcoin’s commerce is driven by legitimate enterprises such as Uber Argentina, which has switched to Bitcoin after the country’s government blocked credit card usage in Uber. Steam started to accept BTC, the Swiss railway operator SBB upgraded ticket machines for Bitcoin usage and so on and forth.

The number of Bitcoin ATMs reached 771 worldwide. The king had been preparing for the most significant time of its history…

2016 Results: from $430 to $968

Bitcoin price in 2017

Bitcoin price in 2017

Most experts agree that this year is one of the most successful in the BTC’s road to the top. Number of transactions, number of traders, number of companies accepting Bitcoins, number of countries that favor BTC, number of banks that start to work with crypto – all of these aspects are remarkable and already say a lot about the 2017 year for Bitcoin.

Right at the beginning of the year, BTC had broken through the $1,000 level for the first time in the last 3 years. Thanks to the massive media coverage, Bitcoin not only reached a significant exchange rate but also attracted newbies and created a real perspective to grow even further and climb even higher.

In April, Japan officially marked Bitcoin as an official payment method on the country’s territory. Later this year, Bitcoin split into Bitcoin & Bitcoin Cash.

June 12th, the exchange rate reached $3,000 for the first time.

September 1st, the BTC price exceeds 5,000 USD, and later on, at the end of November, Bitcoin reached a $10,000 level. 

Bitcoin futures enter the market and immediately add themselves to the necessary investment tools, causing delays and triggering two volatile trading stops aimed to calm the market. 

Finally, on December 18th, Bitcoin reaches its current record height with about $20,000 for 1 BTC, but not reaching the 20k level as it is.

2017 Results: from $968 to $13,860

Bitcoin price in 2018

Bitcoin price in 2018

As it often happens, there is a disappointment after euphoria. Just in one year, Bitcoin lost about $16,000 of its exchange rate at about $4,000 level at the end of the year. Not only speculations with the price played their part but also the long list of occasions that knocked out BTC in just 16 days. 

Among them was a Facebook ban on any cryptocurrency advertisement, South Korean strict regulation and investigation against Bitcoin and its holders, as well as the ban of anonymous platforms for BTC trading. 

Following Facebook, Google and Twitter had also banned any sort of crypto ads making it almost unreal to properly promote blockchain-related products on the web.

In December, Bitcoin had fallen to the $3,242 mark, which meant an absolute annual minimum for the crypto father. 

2018 Results: from $13,860 to $3,740

Bitcoin price in 2019

Bitcoin price in 2019

After such a painful drop, Bitcoin started to recover and regain what had been lost. The comeback began in Spring when the exchange rates reached a $5,000 level. 

There were reasons for such positive changes though with huge players coming back to the market and few state governments publicly supporting cryptos in the time of US sanctions. A few months later, BTC reached an unbelievable $12,500 mark but steadily lost its positions by now. At the moment, Bitcoin trades somewhere on a $7,000 level. 

2019 Results: from $13,860 to …?

Bitcoin price in 2020

What is going to happen next? There are different thoughts and bets on that question: some believe that BTC will never reach previous heights, some, like John McAfee or Tim Draper, are quite concerned that Bitcoin’s better times are yet to come.

If you are still thinking of BTC investment, you should move all the problems aside, at least for a few hours, and closely analyze the latest news and opinions in the crypto sphere. And just to help you with that, here are some new predictions by the industry’s very well-known people.

So, recently Tim Draper has confirmed his earlier predictions, saying he is not going to take his words back. He feels quite confident about BTC’s future and still hold on the $250,000 forecast by 2022-2023. And the reason for that optimism is OpenNode and Lightning network that are believed to make small operations with BTC much faster.

As for other remarkable predictions, mentioned above, John McAfee still believe Bitcoin will be trading on the $1 mln level for 1 BTC in few coming years, and the Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht recently predicted Bitcoin to reach six digits rate, but the date of that occasion is yet unknown…

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