Bitcoin (BTC) Price
Bitcoin Price: Live BTC/USD Charts, History Analysis Updates and Real-Time Coin Market Value Data
Welcome to the ultimate Bitcoin Price overview. Everything on price of bitcoin is here.
Knowing the value of bitcoin is atop all crypto asset investor's list who want to be in the know and on the go no matter what your level of exposure or risk is of being a ₿itcoiner.
The best formula to follow our $BTC review is understanding four fundamental features:
- Live Bitcoin Price: BTC coin market cap data, daily trading volume and real-time change
- Latest $BTC Price News: today's Bitcoin to USD chart analysis updates and forecasts
- Bitcoin Price History: most-detailed all-time historical events (Jan 2009 – May 2019)
- The Truth About Bitcoin: the fight for the future of finance and community evaluations
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Let’s Start From the Very Beginning of Bitcoin Shall We:
Many of our regular readers are probably well aware of by now, on December 19, 2017 the price of bitcoin (BTC) skyrocketed to an astonishing amount near $20,000 USD ($19,831 per Coinbase) and had a best-ever $327 billion market cap on December 16, 2017.
But, for starters, as a beginning perspective shift, let's press the rewind button before we can have a look at the crystall ball of tomorrow. While today's current price is down 70-90% from all time highs (fourth time achieving this recoiling clawback benchmark), when Bitcoin first came into existence, the currency’s value was not affiliated to any other commodity, security or property. However, as early users and miners started to explore this decentralized blockchain-based cryptocurrency technology with no third party middleman, they started to see the immense financial potential of this digital asset and has yet to have a hiccup since.
From the very first electronic cash payment of Satoshi Nakamoto to Hal Finney, to the first BTC transaction to gain widespread notoriety of a couple of pizzas from Laszlo Hanyecz, bitcoin has fought the war on money for the last ten years and has never looked better.
Now, many moons later, while most of the futuristic bitcoin price predictions are hard to grasp and fathom coming to fruition, aside from providing daily bitcoin price news and analysis, we wanted to map out the best $BTC price history timeline so anyone can understand the entire past performance as well as possibly obtaining a glimpse into the future. Everyone here knows the bear market of 2018 saw this promising sector come back down to earth – with most premier cryptoassets losing over 70%-90%+ of their value within a span of 10-14 months – but over the course 2019 $BTC has been up nearly 30% and has once again been showing signs of an upward financial push towards becoming the world's programmable money.
It now remains to be seen what the future has in store for this ever-evolving domain. And that is why we created this bitcoin pricing masterpiece to give you live bitcoin chart updates, daily community analysis and the most-thorough historical timeline updates.
Once you have thumbed through today's top bitcoin news outlook and memorized the most memorable moments in BTC's 10 year history, make sure to read the a grand finale address all arguments made in, about or of bitcoin. The ‘Truth About Bitcoin: Dispelling Arguments About BTC's Future' attempts to portray and paint a picture perfect path towards global awareness, adoption and ultimately universal use of this unique crypto.
Bitcoin (BTC) Price History 2009-2019: Ultimate Guide
Historical $BTC Pricing Timeline and News Event Recap
Get ready to witness the most detailed bitcoin price timeline of all historical events known.
Bitcoin Hits 5 Month High, April 23, 2019: $5,599
Bitcoin continued rising to end the month of April, reaching a high of $5,598 on April 23. It was the first time bitcoin had risen above $5,500 since November 2018, marking a five month high for bitcoin.
Bitcoin Surges Above $5,000, April 10, 2019: $5,412
At the beginning of April, bitcoin began an unexpected surge, rising above $4,200 and then smashing through $5,000 in a 48 hour period. After beginning the month at $4,152, the price of bitcoin was sitting at $5,412 by April 10.
Bitcoin Ends March Above $4,000, March 31, 2019: $4,152
Bitcoin went on a hot streak throughout March after a sluggish start to the year, ending the month of March at a price just above $4,100.
Bitcoin Rises 10% Month Over Month, February 28, 2019: $3,867
Bitcoin started February at a price below $3,500, then ended the month over 10% higher, closing at around $3,867 to end the month.
CBOE Withdraws, Resubmits ETF Proposal, Jan 31, 2019: $3,461
CBOE withdrew its proposal to launch a bitcoin ETF in partnership with VanEck and SolidX after fears that the U.S. government shutdown would cause the ETF to be canceled anyway. By January 31, CBOE had resubmitted the bitcoin ETF proposal. Some still believe the VanEck/SolidX bitcoin ETF has the best chance of being the first bitcoin ETF approved by the SEC.
Bitcoin Begins 2019 Below $4,000, January 1, 2019: $3,773
Bitcoin began 2019 at a price of just $3,773 and a total market cap of $66 billion. By the end of January, the price of bitcoin had dropped as low as $3,468.
Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Plummets, December 3, 2018: $3,469
Over the last few years, bitcoin’s mining difficulty had steadily increased roughly every two weeks. In early December, however, the mining difficulty of bitcoin dropped for the second time in its history, falling 15% to accommodate for lower prices and miner support.
Bitcoin Cash Hard Forks Into ABC and SV, Nov 15, 2017: $4,275
After nasty disagreements among developers, Bitcoin Cash hard forked into Bitcoin Cash ABC and Bitcoin Cash SV. The two sides engaged in a hashwar, with Bitcoin Cash ABC coming out on top. Prices of both tokens fluctuated wildly during this period, and even BTC, although technically unrelated to the hard fork, suffered, with the price dropping to $4,275.
Bitcoin Whitepaper Turns 10, October 31, 2017: $6,415
The bitcoin commugoldmanelebrated the 10th anniversary of the release of the bitcoin whitepaper. The price of bitcoin grew steadily in the days leading up to the 10th anniversary of the release, gaining around 5% over the week.
Fidelity Opens Institutional Crypto Trading, Oct 15, 2017: $6,497
After weeks of bad news for bitcoin, Fidelity delivered some much-needed optimism by announcing Fidelity Digital Assets, an enterprise-grade custody solution for institutional investors interested in investing in crypto. The price of bitcoin rose sharply.
Zaif Exchange Hacked for $60 Million, September 18, 2017: $6,539
Japan-based crypto exchange Zaif lost about $60 million of crypto in a hack, causing bitcoin prices to plunge to the lower $6,000 range.
Goldman Sachs Drops Bitcoin Trading Desk, Sept 5, 2018: $6,516
After exploring the launch of a bitcoin trading platform all year, Goldman Sachs dropped plans to launch a trading desk. Some blamed the prolonged bear market. Bitcoin’s price dropped further.
SEC Delays Decision on Bitcoin ETFs, August 7, 2018: $6,366
In a surprise decision, the SEC announced that it was delaying its decision on several major bitcoin ETFs that had been making their way through the regulatory system all summer. The price of bitcoin plummeted on the news, with investors worried a bitcoin ETF might never be approved.
ICE Announces Launch of Bakkt, August 3, 2018: $6,337
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and other major exchanges, announced the launch of a crypto startup called Bakkt. Supported by Microsoft, Starbucks, and other major American corporate investors, Bakkt was launched with the goal of attracting institutional investors to bitcoin.
SEC Rejects Winklevoss Twins Bitcoin ETF Again, July 26, 2018: $7,275
The United States SEC rejected an ETF proposal from the Winklevoss twins yet again, claiming that markets were still not mature enough to support an exchange traded fund. The SEC was particularly concerned about price manipulation. After a week of positive momentum, bitcoin’s price fell once again.
Blackrock Explores Crypto and Bitcoin Fund, July 16, 2018: $8,227
News broke online that Blackrock, the world’s largest investment fund manager, had setup a working group to explore a crypto or bitcoin fund. The CEO of Blackrock later confirmed that report in an interview with Reuters. Although Blackrock has not yet launched any type of crypto fund, the price of bitcoin rose substantially on the news.
Facebook Lifts Ban on Crypto Ads, June 26, 2018: $6,656
Facebook decided to reverse its ban on cryptocurrency advertisements originally implemented in January. The price of bitcoin rose on the news, and some believed the bitcoin bear market was over.
Bithumb Hacked, June 20, 2018: $5,928
South Korean exchange Bithumb was hacked, with hackers seizing more than $31 million worth of crypto. The price of bitcoin plummeted on the news, making Q2 2018 even worse for bitcoin investors.
CFTC Subpoenas Four Crypto Exchanges, June 11, 2018: $6,709
The U.S. Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) sent subpoenas to four cryptocurrency exchanges, including Bitstamp, Kraken, ItBit, and Coinbase, demanding answers about market manipulation. Eventually, it was revealed that the vast majority of crypto exchanges – even major, regulated exchanges like Coinbase – were engaging in wash trading and other manipulative tactics.
US DOJ $BTC Manipulation Criminal Probe, May 24, 2018: $7,609
The United States Justice Department opened a criminal probe into whether or not exchanges were manipulating the price of cryptocurrencies using tactics like spoofing, pump and dump schemes, and wash orders.
Prosecutors Raid UpBit, May 11, 2018: $8,372
UpBit, the largest crypto exchange in South Korea, was raided due to suspicions of fraud. The price of bitcoin fell 5.5% to $8,511 on the news, then fell further to $8,372 by the end of the week.
Goldman Sachs Explores Bitcoin Trading, May 2, 2018: $8,729
The New York Times reported that financial giant Goldman Sachs was preparing to launch its own bitcoin trading platform, allowing Goldman Sachs clients to trade bitcoin from within their existing investment accounts.
Twitter Bans Crypto Ads, March 26, 2018: $7,127
Following in the footsteps of Facebook and Google, Twitter announced it was banning all crypto and ICO advertisements until it could clarify its policies.
Google Bans Crypto Ads, March 14, 2018: $8,570
Google followed Facebook by banning crypto and ICO advertisements. Google also released new crypto-specific terms under its ‘bad advertisements’ policy.
SEC Requires Crypto Exchanges to Register, March 7, 2018: $8,344
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reiterated that cryptocurrency exchanges are required to register with the agency if they wish to do business in the United States.
Facebook Bans Crypto Ads, January 30, 2018: $8,211
Facebook banned users from advertising crypto companies and ICOs on the platform. Facebook implemented the ban after large-scale complaints of scams, ICO fraud, and other malicious activities.
Coincheck Halts Activities After Largest Bitcoin Hack in History, Jan 26, 2018: $8,775
Coincheck, one of the largest exchanges in Japan, halted all withdrawals after experiencing the largest hack in crypto history. Attackers disappeared with $123 million of XRP and 500 million NEM. The total amount lost was over $600 million. There has never been a larger hack in the history of crypto.
80% of Total Bitcoin Supply Mined, January 13, 2018: $8,776
Less than ten years after the bitcoin Genesis Block was mined, approximately 80% of the total bitcoin supply has been mined.
Prices Plummet After Regulatory Action in Korea, Jan 8, 2018: $10,685
Coinmarketcap suddenly removed price information from South Korean crypto exchanges overnight, causing a sudden drop in prices across the board as investors panicked.
Silicon Valley VC Peter Thiel Buys Bitcoin, January 2, 2018: $13,870
Silicon Valley venture capital investor Peter Thiel reportedly bought millions of dollars of bitcoin in January 2018, according to The Wall Street Journal. The total bitcoin holdings of Peter Thiel’s Founder Fund were reportedly worth hundreds of millions of dollars at this time and .
South Korea Proposes Exchange Closes, Dec 28, 2017: $17,163.38
After months of positive momentum for bitcoin, South Korean financial authorities dampened the enthusiasm by suggesting new financial regulations for the country’s crypto exchanges. Regulators were worried that “cryptocurrency speculation has been irrationally overheated in Korea”.
Bitcoin Hits All Time High, December 18, 2017: $19,783
The price of bitcoin hits its all time high at a mark of $19,783, a record that has not been surpassed to this day.
CBOE Launches Bitcoin Futures Contracts, December 11, 2017: $17,010.53
The launch of bitcoin futures contracts caused the price of the world’s largest cryptocurrency to surge to an all time high in mid-December. The price surge was so rapid that it triggered two temporary trading halts designed to calm futures markets. Although CBOE announced the launch of bitcoin futures contracts trading after its competitor, CME, CBOE was the first to launch trading.
SegWit2x Proposal Cancelled, November 8, 2017: $7,844
BTC had originally scheduled an upgrade on November 16 called SegWit2x. However, after developers dropped support for the proposal, SegWit2x was canceled.
CME Announces Launch of BTC Futures, October 31, 2017: $7,255
Chicago Mercantile Exchange, or CME, announced intentions to launch bitcoin futures by the end of 2017. It was one of the first major signs of mainstream financial institutions becoming interested in bitcoin as a legitimate investment tool. In response to the news, bitcoin surged to an all time high of $6,601 and hit a market cap of $110 billion. CME’s competitor, Chicago Board of Exchange (CBOE) announced the launch of bitcoin futures soon afterward.
Bitcoin Breaks $5,000 for the First Time, October 13, 2017: $5,943
After starting the year at a price of just $966, bitcoin surged to an all-time high of $5,243, breaking through the price of $5,000 for the first time.
Chinese Bitcoin Exchanges Shut Down, September 15, 2017: $3,714
Chinese authorities ordered all Chinese-based crypto exchanges to shut down immediately, creating panic across the industry and causing the price of bitcoin to plummet.
JP Morgan Chase CEO Calls Bitcoin a Fraud, Sept 12, 2017: $3807
JP Morgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon said that he would fire any employee for being “stupid enough to buy bitcoin”. He also called bitcoin a “fraud” and claimed it would not “end well” for anyone invested in the currency. The price of bitcoin hardly reacted to the news, with most investors shrugging off the criticism.
China Bans ICOs, September 3, 2017: $4,224
As initial coin offerings (ICOs) surged in popularity throughout 2017, China took a hard approach to the new fundraising method. The country’s regulators eventually issued a notice banning Chinese companies from raising money through token sales, citing fears of scams and frauds.
Bitcoin Splits Into BTC / BCH in Hard Fork, August 1, 2017: $3,384
After rising throughout the first half of 2017, bitcoin experienced a major challenge in mid-summer over the ongoing bitcoin scaling debate. The two sides eventually agreed to split, forming bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH), with each currency moving forward under different scaling proposals./Legal Currency, April 1, 2017: $1,215.69
Japan recognized bitcoin as a legal payment method after months of debate in the country’s legislature. Under Japan’s new regulatory scheme, the country’s bitcoin exchanges would be required to operate in a similar way to banks, implementing anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) rules.
SEC Denies Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF, March 10, 2017: $1,038
The Securities and Exchange Commission denied the bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF) application proposed by the Winklevoss twins, claiming bitcoin price markets weren’t mature or stable enough to handle an ETF.
Bitcoin at $1,000 for First Time in 3 Years, January 3rd, 2017: $807
After rallying for most of 2016, bitcoin breached a price of $1,000 for the first time in three years.
Trump Causes Stock Market Fall, Bitcoin Rises, Nov 9, 2016: $749
In a shocking political turn of events, Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. The news sent shockwaves across global markets. U.S. markets dropped 1%, Japan’s Nikkei dropped 5.4%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 2.1%. Bitcoin, meanwhile, did the opposite of the stock market plummet and rose 5% against broader market movements. Traders and institutions began to see the value of bitcoin as a hedge against global market movements.
Bitfinex Loses $72 Million in Hack, August 2, 2019: $591
Crypto exchange giant Bitfinex announced it had lost 119,756 of customers’ bitcoins in a security breach, worth roughly $72 million at the time. The price of bitcoin plunged 20% to $480 after the hack was revealed. The hack created drama in the bitcoin community as well when the price of bitcoin dropped before the Bitfinex hack was publicly revealed, indicating that certain bitcoin holders had inside information about the hack.
Bitcoin’s Second Halving Date, July 9, 2016: $674
For the second time in the coin’s history, bitcoin’s block reward was cut in half from 25 BTC to 12.5 BTC per block.
Craig Wright Admits to Being Satoshi Nakamoto, May 2, 2016: $454
In a blog post, Craig Wright announced that he was bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. As proof, Wright uploaded a private key signing purportedly showing he had control over Satoshi’s original bitcoins mined in 2009 and 2010. The proof was debunked by the bitcoin community that same day. Wright’s claim continues to be debated to this day.
Steam Accepts Bitcoin Payments, April 27, 2016: $461
Major PC gaming platform Steam announced that it would accept bitcoin as payment for video games and other digital content. Steam creator Valve announced it would use Bitpay as its bitcoin payment processor.
First Decentralized Marketplace, OpenBazaar, April 4, 2016: $426
Decentralized marketplace OpenBazaar launched with the goal of creating an open p2p market free of middlemen, fees, or trade restrictions. The company later revealed it had received $1 million in funding from major venture capital firms like Union Square Ventures and Andreessen-Horowitz.
SegWit Proposed by Bitcoin Miners / Developers, Feb 21, 2016: $434
Members of the bitcoin community met in Hong Kong to discuss the future goals of bitcoin. One scaling proposal, Segregated Witness or SegWit, was proposed during the meeting as a way to solve bitcoin transaction congestion. By the end of the meeting, the group had agreed to scale bitcoin into an international payment system.
Wired ID's Craig Wright as Satoshi Nakamoto, Dec 8, 2015: $461
Wired published an article claiming that Australian businessman Dr. Craig S. Wright was either Satoshi Nakamoto or a “brilliant hoaxer”. Wired writer and security researcher Gwern Branwen cited emails, deleted blog posts, and leaked court documents to prove that Wright was Satoshi. Wright would later privately provide proof to a small group of researchers that he was Satoshi, although that proof was disputed by the bitcoin community.
Bitcoin Symbol Accepted Into Unicode, November 3, 2015: $334
As a sign of bitcoin’s growing influence, the Unicode Technical Committee accepted the bitcoin symbol into the Unicode Standard, giving it the slot U+20BF SIGN.
Bitcoin Lands on The Economist Front Page, Oct 31, 2015: $366.67
Bitcoin appeared on the front page of The Economist as part of an article titled, “The Trust Machine”. The article discussed economic liberalism, the utility of blockchain technology, and the possibility of national banks releasing their own cryptocurrencies in response to bitcoin.
EEU Declares No VAT on Bitcoin Trades, October 22, 2015: $318.43
The European Court of Justice ruled that bitcoin and virtual currencies are not subject to value-added-tax (VAT) in the European Union. The EU ruling meant bitcoin would be treated more like a currency than a commodity or property – contrary to the position of US regulators.
Winklevoss Twins Open Gemini Exchange in NY, October 8, 2015: $268
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, best-known as the twin brothers involved with Facebook’s early development, released their own US-based and US-regulated bitcoin exchange. At launch, Gemini was licensed to operate in 26 states and, due to a partnership with a New York bank, customers’ deposits were secured by FDIC insurance – just like a normal bank account.
CFTC Declares Bitcoin a Commodity, September 18, 2015: $238.15
The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced it had filed and settled charges against a bitcoin exchange that allowed users to trade options contracts. As a result of the settlement, the CFTC officially found that “bitcoin and other virtual currencies are properly defined as commodities.”
NY Creates BitLicense for Crypto Exchanges, June 3, 2015: $232.05
New York became one of the most forward-thinking states in terms of crypto regulation by unveiling its ‘BitLicense’ regulatory scheme. Any crypto exchanges doing business in New York would be required to obtain a BitLicense from the New York Department of Financial Services. Exchanges were required a $5,000 application fee, fingerprint employees for the FBI, and obtain written approval for all new business activities. Many less-transparent exchanges ceased operating in New York after the BitLicense was unveiled.
Coinbase Launches Legal U.S. Bitcoin Trading Platform, January 26, 2015: $222.85
Venture capital-backed bitcoin payment processor Coinbase announced the launch of its own bitcoin trading platform after working for months to obtain regulation from state and federal financial regulators. At launch, Coinbase was able to legally accept bitcoin trades from customers in 25 different U.S. states.
$5.2 Million Lost in Bitstamp Hack, January 4, 2015: $198.59
One of the worst bear markets in modern bitcoin history got even worse when unknown hackers stole 18,866 bitcoins from a Bitstamp hot wallet. The hackers disappeared with $5.2 million worth of bitcoin after using social engineering tactics against Bitstamp’s system administrator. Bitstamp shut down its exchange for eight days before re-opening. Although the loss was significant, Bitstamp’s cold storage remained untouched, no customer balances were affected, and the loss was “a small fraction” of Bitstamp’s total reserves. Bitstamp remains active to this day.
Microsoft Begins Accepting Bitcoin, December 11, 2014: $324.87
Microsoft began accepting bitcoin from U.S. customers in exchange for apps, games, and other digital content on the Windows and Xbox online stores. Microsoft partnered with Bitpay as its bitcoin payment provider.
BearWhale Bitcoin Transaction is Filled by Bitcoin Exchange, October 6, 2014: $387.40
Bitcoin markets were rocked by one of the largest ‘sell’ orders in bitcoin history when an unknown trader placed nearly 30,000 BTC for sale on Bitstamp at a limit price of $300. The $9 million order was labeled ‘BearWhale’ by the bitcoin community. The order was filled, although the price of bitcoin sunk significantly
Dell Begins Accepting Bitcoin, July 18, 2014: $528.88
Computer giant Dell announced that it was accepting bitcoin for U.S. customers. With an annual revenue of $56 billion, Dell became the largest company in history to accept bitcoin. Dell made the decision after a number of other computer hardware companies, including Overstock, TigerDirect, and Newegg, launched bitcoin payments earlier in 2014.
U.S. Government Sells 30,000 BTC at Auction, June 27, 2014: $628.50
The United States Marshals Service sold 30,000 bitcoins that had originally been seized during the October 2013 raid of darknet marketplace Silk Road. Bitcoins were auctioned off to the highest bidder. A single bidder, billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper, famously purchased the vast majority of these bitcoins and remains one of the world’s biggest bitcoin holders to this day.
GHash.io Mining Pool Gains 51% Majority Control of Network, June 13, 2014: $592.28
Mining pool GHash.io gained majority control of the bitcoin network’s hashing power, giving them the theoretical ability to launch a 51% attack on the network and temporarily reverse bitcoin transactions. The pool issued a statement that it would never participate in a 51% attack, and that they would try to limit the pool’s hashpower to 39.99% moving forward.
People’s Bank of China Shuts Down Exchange Bank Accounts, April 10, 2014: $501.70
April 15 was the deadline for Chinese financial institutions to cease all dealings with bitcoin and bitcoin exchanges. Multiple Chinese exchanges had their bank accounts shut down on this day, with many exchanges switching to offshore banking solutions of dubious legality.
IRS Announces Bitcoin Will Be Taxed Like Property, March 26, 2014: $453.05
The United States Internal Revenue Service, the nation’s central tax authority, declared that bitcoin would be taxed as property. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies would not be taxed like currencies, but as property, making them subject to capital gains tax and other restrictions.
Newsweek Article Identifies Dorian Nakamoto as Bitcoin Creator, March 6, 2014: $631.25
Media outlet Newsweek published an article identifying a man named Dorian Nakamoto as the creator of bitcoin. Journalist Leah McGrath Goodman stated that Dorian Nakamoto, a retired computer engineer living in California, was the same Satoshi Nakamoto who had created bitcoin. Dorian denied any involvement, and further investigation found that Dorian had no apparent connection to the bitcoin project. The crypto community would later raise $23,000 for Dorian Nakamoto.
Mt. Gox Suddenly Shuts Down, February 24, 2014: $662
Mt. Gox had halted withdrawals after the DDoS attacks on February 7. Then, a few weeks later, Mt. Gox suddenly closed its doors. Later, it was revealed that Mt. Gox shut down when it discovered 744,000 bitcoins were missing from its cold storage. The world’s largest bitcoin exchange was bankrupt. The price of bitcoin plummeted as many investors lost everything.
Mt. Gox and Other Major Exchanges Hit By DDoS Attacks, February 7, 2014: $626
Some of the world’s biggest bitcoin exchanges, including Mt. Gox, Bitstamp, BTC-E, and others, were hit by distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, causing multiple exchanges to shut down for several days.
Chinese Govt Bans Financial Institutions from Using Bitcoin, December 5, 2013: $839
After witnessing surging popularity in China, the government and People’s Bank of China decided to take action, banning bitcoin’s use as a currency and prohibiting financial institutions from using bitcoin.
Price of Bitcoin Peaks at $1,242 on Mt. Gox, November 29, 2013: $921
Growing investment from China continued to drive prices higher, causing bitcoin to reach a new all time high on November 29th. Chinese citizens flocked to the currency as a safe haven from the rapidly-inflating Chinese Yuan (RMB).
China Allows Citizens to Legally Trade Bitcoin, November 20, 2013: $1,075
The People’s Bank of China released a statement that citizens are “free to participate in the bitcoin market”, opening the door for Chinese citizens to buy and sell bitcoin en masse. The news caused the price and trading volume of bitcoin to surge to new heights.
US Senate Holds Hearing on Bitcoin, November 18, 2013: $1,072
Following the arrest of Ross Ulbricht, the U.S. Senate held a talk named “Beyond Silk Road” that explored the “potential risks, threats, and promises” of virtual currencies. While some panelists and senators saw bitcoin as a risky tool, others believed it had innovative potential.
Dread Pirate Roberts Arrested, October 1, 2013: $135.12
The FBI followed a trail of clues to arrest Ross Ulbricht, owner of darknet marketplace Silk Road. The marketplace had become a notorious place to buy and sell guns, drugs, and other illegal goods in exchange for bitcoin. Ulbricht was charged with narcotics trafficking, computer hacking, money laundering, and engaging in a criminal enterprise. Over 170,000 BTC were seized during the arrest. Ulbricht was later sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Tradehill Ceases Operations, August 30, 2013: $126.94
Business-to-business exchange platform Tradehill ceased operations and returned funds to clients after the company’s financial partner, Archive Federal Credit Union, decided it did not want to deal with the regulatory issues of bitcoin.
DHS Issues Warrant Against Mt. Gox, May 14, 2013: $126.94
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seized approximately $3 million from a Wells Fargo bank account belonging to Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles. A DHS investigation found Karpeles was illegally transmitting money against the terms of the account. Users began worrying about the future legal status of bitcoin.
Increased Trading Volume Breaks Mt. Gox, April 10, 2013: $122.9
Mt. Gox’s trading volume surged in what was originally thought to be a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. Instead, it was a surge of Mt. Gox users wanting to trade money on the exchange – including many users fleeing Cyprus’s financial system. Mt. Gox briefly shutdown under the pressure, causing panic in the bitcoin community.
Cyprus Bailout Causes Surge in Bitcoin Price, March 25, 2013: $131.07
Cyprus received a €10 billion bailout to rectify the country’s falling economy. The bailout came with a caveat that accounts with over €100,000 would face fees and restrictions. The new restrictions caused the price of bitcoin to rise from $80 to over $260 in a matter of weeks as wealthy Cypriots and foreign nationals with Cypriot money fled to the ‘safe haven’ of bitcoin.
Bitcoin 0.8 Causes Brief Hard Fork Drama, March 11, 2013: $68.89
In a rough week for bitcoin, the price plummeted after transaction problems caused a brief hard fork. Mt. Gox temporarily suspended operations, while bitcoin’s developers executed a “swift and coordinated response” to resolve the issue within hours. An updated version of bitcoin, version 0.8.1, was released shortly thereafter to ensure the problem never occurred again.
First Ever Bitcoin Halving Day, November 28, 2012: $13.43
Satoshi Nakamoto designed bitcoin’s original code with a ‘halving scheme’, where the number of coins distributed with each block reward are cut in half every four years. The first ‘bitcoin halving day’ took place on November 28, dropping the reward from 50 BTC per block to 25 BTC per block.
WordPress Begins Accepting Bitcoin, November 15, 2012: $12.46
In a press release, content management platform WordPress announced it would start accepting bitcoin due to financial restrictions from companies like PayPal and Visa. WordPress criticized PayPal and credit card companies for blocking transactions from 60 countries worldwide, including Haiti, Ethiopia, and Kenya. “Our goal is to enable people, not block them,” wrote WordPress in the statement.
Bitcoins Savings & Trust Halts Payments, August 17, 2012: $11.18
Fraudster Trendon T. Shavers was charged by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for defrauding investors in a bitcoin investment scheme. Shavers accepted deposits of 50 BTC from BitcoinTalk forum users, then paid out interest weekly. On August 17, Shavers suddenly halted the operation, disappearing with between 86,000 and 500,000 bitcoins from investors.
Linode Hacked for Over 46,000 Bitcoins, March 1, 2012: $4.89
An anonymous hacker breached the servers of web host Linode and accessed wallets containing large amounts of bitcoin. The hacker stole over $228,000 worth of bitcoin from Linode’s customers. Notable victims of this hack included bitcoin’s lead developer, Gavin Andresen, bitcoin exchange Bitcoinica, and mining pool operator Marek ‘Slush’ Palatinus.
Paxum and Tradehill Drop Bitcoin and BTC-E Bug Disclosed, February 11, 2012: $4.31
It was a rough week for bitcoin. On February 11, online payment processor Paxum decided to cease all cryptocurrency transaction processing over legal concerns. Two days later, money transmitter TradeHill closed its operations and began selling its bitcoin to refund customers and creditors. The next day, BitcoinTalk forum user Patrick ‘phantomcircuit’ Strateman, disclosed a devastating security bug on bitcoin exchange BTC-E.
“The Good Wife” Airs “Bitcoin for Dummies” TV Episode, December 19, 2011: $4.22
Investors expected the bitcoin-themed TV episode to push bitcoin to new heights. 9.45 million viewers tuned in to the episode, which featured a manhunt for the creator of bitcoin. Unfortunately for hodlers, few viewers bought into the hype and the price remained stagnant.
Mt. Gox Hacked for First Time, June 19, 2011: $17.77
An auditor working for Mt. Gox hacked the exchange by downloading a copy of the user database containing insecure hashed passwords. Using admin-level privileges, the auditor placed a huge number of sell orders on the exchange, causing the price to plummet to just $0.01 per bitcoin. Mt. Gox spotted the issue, then halted trading for seven days while they reversed the trades and secured their systems. Over 4,019 bitcoins were stolen from 600 compromised wallets.
Gawker Publishes Article About Silk Road, June 1, 2011: $16.88
Gawker writer Adrian Chen published an article called, “The Underground Website Where You Can Buy Any Drug Imaginable.” The controversial article described how you could purchase drugs, assassins, and virtually anything on Silk Road in exchange for bitcoin. The heavily-trafficked article caused the price of bitcoin to surge from $9.21 to $17.61. Within a week of publication, bitcoin peaked at a price of $31.
Three New Bitcoin Exchanges Open to Accept Fiat Currencies, March 27, 2011: $0.72
In March, an exchange called Britcoin was launched, allowing users to trade bitcoin directly with the British Pound (GBP) for the first time. Soon after, a Brazil-based exchange followed suit, launching a service for Brazilian Real (BRL) and USD trading with bitcoin. On April 5, Bitmarket.eu launched, allowing users to trade bitcoin with the Euro (EUR) for the first time. These three exchanges opened the floodgates for millions of new bitcoin users.
Bitcoin Price Hits Parity with the US Dollar, February 9, 2011: $1
At just two years old, Bitcoin was worth the same amount as the US Dollar on the Mt. Gox Exchange, officially achieving parity with the world’s largest fiat currency for the first time in history. As news of USD parity hit various media outlets, the price rose even further as the public jumped on board.
Bitcoin Protocol Bug Causes Hard Fork, August 15, 2010: $0.07
Due to a computer number processing error, an anonymous person created a fraudulent bitcoin transaction that generated trillions of bitcoins – almost 99 thousand more than what can exist in the system. The oddity was quickly spotted by bitcoin developers and a fix was made within hours.
Mt. Gox Opens for Business, July 18, 2010: $0.06
Mt. Gox was launched on July 18 by programmer Jed McCaleb, previously known for creating the p2p network eDonkey in 2000. The infrastructure for the bitcoin exchange was based on McCaleb’s previous, failed project for a Magic: The Gathering Online card exchange platform (MTGOX). Within 3 years, Mt. Gox would grow to become the largest bitcoin exchange on the internet. McCaleb sold the exchange to Mark Karpeles on March 6, 2011.
Bitcoin Featured in Slashdot Article, July 11, 2010: $0.08
The release of bitcoin 0.3 was featured on the website Slashdot.org, a popular news and technology website. The tech-savvy readers became interested in bitcoin, driving up the price of bitcoin 10x from $0.008 to $0.08 in just five days.
Two Pizzas Are First Material Item Purchased Using Bitcoin, May 22, 2010: $0.0025
A Bitcointalk forum user named Laszlo paid 10,000 BTC in exchange for two pizzas worth approximately $25. The pizzas were ordered and paid for by another Bitcointalk forum user, Jercos. It’s the first known trade of bitcoin for a real, material item.
The First Bitcoin-to-Fiat Exchange Occurs, October 12, 2009: $0.001
Using PayPal, New Liberty Standard purchased 5,050 BTC from a user named Sirius for $5.02 USD, which equates to an exchange rate of roughly $0.001 per BTC. It’s the first known trade involving bitcoin and fiat currency.
New Liberty Standard Publishes First Bitcoin Exchange Rate, October 5, 2009: $0.0008
New Liberty Standard launched a bitcoin exchange service with an initial exchange rate of 1,309.03 BTC to 1 USD, or about $0.0008 per 1 BTC. New Liberty Standard calculated this exchange rate based on the cost of electricity consumed by a computer to mine a single bitcoin at the time.
First Bitcoin Transaction from Satoshi to Hal Finney, January 12, 2009: $0
The first bitcoin transaction in history took place on January 12 when Satoshi Nakamoto transferred 10 bitcoins to developer and cryptography activist Hal Finney. Hal Finney famously tweeted about the interaction, and also later joked that he never paid Satoshi back.
Genesis Block Established, January 3, 2009: $0
The first bitcoin block, the Genesis Block, was mined by Satoshi Nakamoto, officially launching the bitcoin blockchain.
Truth About Bitcoin: A Legitimate Future Against All Odds and Arguments About Its Value
With big names of industry having wildly different opinions about the validity and futures of Bitcoin, it can be hard to know what to believe and trust.
Warren Buffet has called Bitcoin “a delusion,” while younger entrepreneur Elon Musk calls it “Brilliant” (an effect it appears to be having on a lot of the younger entrepreneurs).
January 3rd, 2019 was the 10 year anniversary of Bitcoin. Now that it’s been around for a decade, where does it stand? Will the price go up or down? Maybe neither? Does Bitcoin have a future?
As Blockchain makes new advances, could this lead to mass adoption of the tech? Can Bitcoin remain the king of cryptocurrencies?
The best way to tackle futures of Bitcoin is to take apart the arguments, one by one.
Bitcoin is a Waste of Energy
According to the reporting of The Guardian, Bitcoin:
“uses as much CO2 a year as 1 million transatlantic flights. In November, the power consumed by the entire bitcoin network was estimated to be higher than that of the Republic of Ireland. It’s on pace to use just over 42TWh of electricity in a year, placing it ahead of New Zealand and Hungary and just behind Peru.”
While ending with: “We need to take it seriously as a climate threat.”
This is true. Even China has gone so far as to threaten banning bitcoin to offset negative environment effects (April 2019).
The comparison to the 1 million transatlantic flights is completely correct, with flights serving a utilitarian purpose that we of course won’t try to stop any time soon. However, the comparison disregards that huge amount of added pollution that large airliners create by using oil as their fuel source- something a digital token of course doesn’t deal with.
Mining is the true energy monster of Bitcoin’s Blockchain tech. Mining is necessary to secure pieces of bitcoin. It keeps your coin valuable, helps prevent your digital wallet from being hacked, and makes it a safer all around digital asset. The truth is, bitcoin mining also serves a purpose for the user and for the asset itself. It is vital to the purpose and value of Bitcoin.
Fiat moneys (USD, the pound, Euro, Yen etc) also have a system of operations and security that uses considerable energies to maintain- the banking system. The comparison they made overlooks the realities of modern tradition banking and just how much electricity it uses.
Kelly-Pitou, technology researcher at the University of Pittsburgh, had this to say:
“…banking alone consumes an estimated 100 terawatts. This is a little bit more than three times the energy Bitcoin mining consumes.”
Banks have online and physical branches, offices, and ATMs- all of which consume energy. The big difference between the two is banks are centralized to a limited amount of locations and bitcoin mining is decentralized, relying on small computer arrays.
What’s more is it generalizes power usage while disregarding the country to country difference of energy consumption. For example, Iceland relies on nearly 100 percent renewable energies and is a hub for bitcoin mining- making it not a threat to environmental concerns. China, on the other hand, still relies heavily on fossil fuels (despite trying to lead green energy innovation because of high amounts of population in their country) for electricity. Bitcoin being mined heavily in China would be a massive environmental concern. To get even more in the weeds, Bitcoin mining companies are responsible for most of the mining and they actually flock to places where they can get energy cheap, including places with a surplus of energy that cannot be saved or otherwise sold and that INCLUDES China which always produces a massive surplus (there is something to be said about the energy consumption of a small percentage of small computer networks or single ones in a population base that’s big the way China’s is, however).
Its effects on consumption relating to environment should be looked at based on region and not be painted with a wide sweeping brush when it can’t possibly all fall under the same umbrella.
The Bubble Market: Bitcoin Obituaries
Charlie Munger has said “Bitcoin is worthless, artificial gold.” and the media has repeatedly likened it to the tulip mania. For 10 years, bitcoin has been portrayed by big media names as a bubble about to pop for good and have pronounced bitcoin dead more than 30 times.
Every system improvement to Bitcoin has been decried and denounced, every burst bubble has been ‘the end,’ every increase in price won’t last, and no matter how many times it bounces back- it’s still not taken seriously.
Now it’s been a decade, is it still fair to call it a bubble? Or is there more stable mechanisms behind the price? People love to ask and know ‘will bitcoin ever die‘?
To start with, all new markets start volatile. Every new technology and asset class has experienced a similar rise and fall cycle. Take the internet for example, the dotcom era saw company shares rise by 1000% like it was normal before it all came tumbling down. Yet we are still using the internet more than ever. Such a useful new technology is hard to overlook just because it suffers a bust.
The argument is: that is what digital assets and the Blockchain tech they are responsible for will be.
Stocks also experienced similar boom and bust cycles in their early days. The first were invented in the 1500s and they were rough. There was no regulation, volatile price changes, scams, and they were sold at coffee shops instead of stock exchanges. Bitcoin has seen volatility, massive price changes, scams, and before exchanges started popping up, there was a peer-to-peer marketplace on localbitcoins.com.
After the 2008 financial crisis, we all became aware that real estate was not the safe investment the majority thought it was (according to Business Insider- “Between 2006 and 2014, nearly 10 million homeowners in America saw foreclosure sale of their own homes,” with then of thousands becoming entirely homeless as a result).
Stocks have existed more than 400 years, dotcom companies for more than 40, and Bitcoin for only 10 (with a majority of the cryptocurrency market being even younger). It's extraordinarily volatile right now but that could be because it’s young. It’s entirely possible that it will settle.
It starts as a volatile novelty and it slowly becomes more and more a part of our daily lives.
Wealthy Market Manipulations
The Independent September 2018: “Bitcoin price Crash. ‘ Manipulative Whales’ cause Cryptocurrency Market Meltdown!”
While this was mostly sensationalism meant to scare people and ultimately hurt the futures of Bitcoin, it is partially true. Even today, 85% of coin is only in 1% of digital wallets.
However, it is important to do your own research and understand things for yourself instead of solely listening to sensationalist journalism. If someone did, the first thing you would see is that a majority of them are not actually owned by ‘whales’ but by exchanges.
On top of this, many wallets used to hold most of the Bitcoin by ‘whales’ are cold wallets- wallets that hold the digital currency disconnected from any servers. Major exchanges like Coinbase, Binance, Kraken, and others do this.
Chainalysis, a company specializing in analysing Bitcoin Blockchain, found:
“the actual threat that all whales pose to cryptocurrency economy is relatively low. If they sold off their entire holdings, it would be effectively a $3.9 billion sale at current prices. That’s not even 10% of the current total market capitalization of Bitcoin.”
The reason singular large whales cannot manipulate prices as significantly as you would assume is because the cold wallets held by exchanges diminish their impact.
Bitcoin Is Slow
It’s true, unequivocally. Processing Bitcoin takes an average of 10 minutes while big name card payments like Visa and MasterCard work in seconds.
For now, Bitcoin cannot be a reliable, widely used for of payment. For now.
Remember internet in the late 80s? It had an Ethernet hook up, took up phone lines, and took close to 10 minutes to load. Bitcoin has only been around as a company for 10 years, give it some time. It may not be able to handle quick transactions now but the technology is still learning and it can easily get there.
Think about how far the internet has come since then, even after the dotcom crash.
Criminal Activity and Phishing
According to Forbes, there are scams where hackers email their victims requesting BTC payments by blackmailing them with sensitive information. Bitcoin was used on the Silk Road in the dark web, it’s been a prime way for phishers to get money, and what’s worse is it’s nearly impossible to track.
But the truth? Cash is still the king of the game.
Illegal activity and cash (or coin if you’re going back in the past) has always been the king. If you want to get something done, nothing moves mountains like laying down cash.
Lilita Infante, Special Agent for the DEA, went on record to talk about the realities of BTC transactions for illegal things, saying “illegal activity has shrunk to about 10 percent.” She is a part of a 10 person Cyber Investigate Task Force team whose focus is crypto-related illegal activity on the dark web and works in conjunction with the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
It not only is at just 10% but the number is actually falling. Sciencemag wrote a full report on how governments are developing techniques for tracking criminal activity in the Blockchain and learning how to trace bitcoin payments back to the criminal that made them. BTC was a popular form of payment for a few years because it was anonymous, there were no regulations or protections, and no one knew how to tackle such a new technology yet. All of those things are no longer true or changing.
Using Bitcoin Is Not Easy
While it is possible to pay for things with Bitcoin, with some regions and countries being more readily available for the option, it is still quite difficult.
On the one hand, a journalist from Business Insider spent a day trying to do just that and failed abysmally. On the other hand, a book was written by someone who spent a year traveling and living off of 1 bitcoin, using pieces of it as payment called “Stolen Wallets.”
New payment adoptions take time. Credit cards took almost 20 years for mass adoption and they’ve been a daily part of our lives for decades now. As Bitcoin becomes more popular, it will become easier to use.
Will Bitcoin Be A Real Currency
There are significant limitations to Bitcoin and hurdles that would have to be overcome before it could be a daily use payment. Some may not ever happen.
That same journalist from Business Insider tried to accomplish the same goal using a gold bar. We all know there is great value in gold but trying to pay for anything with it was found to be impossible (at least they were able to find 2 places that took BTC as payment).
Gold is currently considered a ‘store value’- an “asset that can be saved, retrieved, and exchanged at a later time, and be predictably useful when retrieved.” Bitcoin has been able to be saved, retrieved, and exchanged for 10 years now, and despite the bubble and bust market it suffers from, the price keeps going up when you look at long term maps of value between its start and now.
Bitcoin could become the digital version of Gold.
It’s Hard To Use: But is Bitcoin Really That Difficult?
Brand new technologies are often not user friendly because they are so new. Remember all the steps it took to make an email decades ago? It required plugging in and unplugging things several times, sending away for a CD to download AOL, and a long amount of time. Bitcoin requires complicated strings of information to be copy and pasted, setting up a wallet, remembering seed phrases, it’s not easy for most of us. Especially as something we are not used to doing.
But what if Bitcoin is like early email.
It’s also entirely possible that its difficulty boosts its value. For example, gold is not easy to own. You have to find a specialty shop to buy investments in it, store it somewhere like a bank vault or personal safe, and keep track of any codes/passwords and keys it may require to access.
The difficulty of Bitcoin may help it retain its value if it never gets easier to use and especially if it becomes a store value like gold.
The Truth About Bitcoin's Price and Future USD Value:
Criticism of Bitcoin is not always justified and it takes your own keen research to see that. There is a lot of assumptions made when guessing where Bitcoin will go and the truth is, no one actually knows.
Not everything makes it through its trial phase of popularity. But Blockchain is one of the most promising technologies of the 21st century and the century only just began. The tech is still in its infancy and although we are finding new adaptions for it in our current way of doing things, it could usher in an entirely new way including with cryptocurrencies.
Like with all things, we must give it time. Maybe Bitcoin won’t remain King of Cryptocurrencies. But it’s been 10 years, 350+ obituaries later, and a massive burst market bubble and it’s still here, rising in value steadily over the mark of time.