Bitcoin price: Roughly 11 years ago, on October 31, 2008, an anonymous individual or a group of individuals, with the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, published the whitepaper for Bitcoin online. In it, bitcoin was described as a peer to peer electronic cash system, based on blockchain technology. Less than three months later, on January 3, 2009, the bitcoin blockchain went live.
It’s been over a decade and the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto still remains a mystery. Bitcoin, however, has exploded into popularity, and most people today have at least heard about it, even if they haven’t directly used it.
Bitcoin’s rise in popularity has been accompanied by an unimaginable rise in its price. Starting from something that had literally no market value, to being priced at $9300 at the time of writing this article, Bitcoin has provided gains never seen before in the history of mankind. This is what makes its historical price trends even more interesting.
A Meteoric Price Trend
As with everything else in the economy, Bitcoin gets its value from the simple economic mechanisms that we all know as demand and supply. The more demand something has, the greater is its price. Bitcoin, when it was first launched, had no price as such because there just wasn’t a market for it yet. Nobody was willing to pay for something that was just a concept.
The first time that Bitcoin got an actual price was on October 12, 2009, when Martti Malmi, a Finnish developer, who is said to have helped Satoshi with Bitcoin’s development, sold 5050 Bitcoins for $5.02. This gave Bitcoin a value of $0.0009. This kickstarted a price trend that will be remembered for generations to come in the future.
On May 22, 2010, the first commercial transaction using Bitcoin occurred when Laszlo Hanyecz bought two Papa John’s pizzas (worth $25) for ₿10,000, making each Bitcoin worth $0.0025. Only 9 months later, in February of 2011, Bitcoin reached parity with the US dollar, meaning that each cost $1. It was perhaps the first astronomical rise in price as it increased 400 times in a matter of 9 months.
In the beginning, Bitcoin was mainly used in black markets and as such, its price increased to a whopping $31.5 in June of 2011, only 4 months after reaching parity with the dollar. But due to the hack of Mt. Gox, the largest exchange at the time, Bitcoin’s price plummeted. In fact, it reached a low of $2.14 in October, a 92.3% drop.
The year 2012 was more of a recovery year for Bitcoin, which typically happens after a parabolic rise followed by a crash. Prices remained mainly around the $5 mark and recovered to $13.3 by year’s end.
In 2013, Bitcoin resumed its hyper price increase, steadily rising throughout the year and finally reaching a high of $1163 in November. Within a month, its price crashed to $510. This was also the year where many governments began to notice Bitcoin and established preliminary regulatory guidelines for it.
The whole of 2014 saw a continuation of the price crash and it was the biggest bear market cycle that Bitcoin had seen. In fact, the price bottomed out only in January of 2015 at around $200, marking a decline of 82.8%. For almost the rest of the year, prices traded in the $200-$300 range. It was only in late November that prices broke the $300 resistance level and ended the year at $434.
Throughout 2016, Bitcoin’s price saw a steady recovery similar to that of 2012. It started at $434 and ended the year at $998. The year 2017 saw the most significant bull market in Bitcoin’s entire history. Starting from $998 at the beginning of the year, it reached a high of $20,052 in December, marking a 20 times increase in the price. Even though Bitcoin had made larger gains in terms of percentage increase before, this rise was particularly impressive because it is much more difficult to keep rising when larger numbers are reached.
After this parabolic rise, a prolonged bear market cycle continued throughout 2018. It was only in December that the prices bottomed out at around $3200, marking a decline of 84% from the highs.
The current year, 2019, is serving to be a recovery year like 2016 and 2012 previously. At the time of writing this article, prices have recovered to $9300 after briefly touching $14000.
Altcoins & Future Bitcoin Prices
The rise of Bitcoin was also accompanied by the entry of several ‘altcoins’ or alternative coins in the market. The most popular of these was Ethereum, which had its own monstrous rise since it was launched in July, 2015. From a few cents to a high of $1400, it was one of the most successful altcoins.
The list of top 20 altcoins seems to get refreshed every few years. Some coins which were at the top are now lurking much lower on the list. Some other altcoins with promising projects for the future have taken their place. Some of the most popular and successful altcoins today are Litecoin, XRP, Binance Coin, Stellar, Monero, Chainlink, EOS and more.
There are more than 3000 other altcoins and together with Bitcoin, they all make up the cryptocurrency market. It is amazing to see this sector rise from nothing in only a matter of a decade.
As for Bitcoin, future price predictions for it are really wild. Many experts and prominent figures all agree that one day, its price will be in the millions. The next high of the next bull market, is expected to take Bitcoin to a price point of $200,000. If this is achieved, the bull market next would have a real chance of taking it to the million-dollar mark. The one reason why this can happen is that today, only a small percentage of people actually own Bitcoin and so, there is a lot of room for growth.