A Timeline of Bitcoin’s Journey to Breaching the $50,000 Mark
Here’s a timeline of Bitcoin’s rise, fall and its journey towards breaching the $50,000 mark.
Bitcoin on Tuesday, 16 February, witnessed an all-time high after the prices of the digital currency soared to $50,000, recording a gain of 66 percent from the start of 2021.
The widely accepted Bitcoin was first introduced in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto, who published the idea of cryptocurrency in a white-paper and laid out principles of a "new electronic cash system that's fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party”.
Since then, the Bitcoin market has been extremely volatile with the prices fluctuating from $0 (in 2009) to $50,000 (in 2021) in over a decade-long period.
According to TechCrunch, the gains in the price of Bitcoin has been tremendous from 2020 to 2021, rising to a 400 percent since 2020.
The value has increased exponentially since a couple of weeks after Tesla, owned by Elon Musk, invested $1.5 billion in the company and announced that it will accept Bitcoin as a mode of transaction for its products.
Several tech companies have also shown tremendous support to the volatile cryptocurrency by allowing their consumers to use Bitcoin as a mode of transaction. But, how did it get from $0 to $50,000.
Here’s a timeline of Bitcoin’s rise, fall and journey towards breaching the $50,000 mark.
Bitcoin was introduced for the first time in 2008. The cryptocurrency used peer-to-peer electronic systems and was originally aimed to be a transparent and decentralised asset which is not regulated by any government.
“The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that’s required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust," Satoshi wrote in a paper. The paper can be accessed at bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf.
On 3 January 2009, Satoshi created 50 Bitcoins using blockchain systems for the first time. However, at this point, there was no recorded value of Bitcoin. He developed the system in such a way that the initial 50 bitcoins would always remain in system. So, these 50 Bitcoins can neither be used or spent.
This year witnessed trading with many globally getting into the Bitcoin trade. Its value climbed from US $0 to $0.0008. In today’s rupees, the price was 5 paise. So, you could buy 1 bitcoin for 5 paise in 2010. However, by the end of 2010, the price rose to US $0.83.
In the year 2011, with the rise in the value of Bitcoin, other forms of cryptocurrencies, such as Litecoin, also started to gain popularity. Bitcoin was now being used for online transactions between individuals. In fact, some global e-commerce providers started using Bitcoin as a mode of transaction for their services.
In this year, the price of Bitcoin started fluctuation between US $10 and US $250. However, this year was remarkable as a new measurement system was introduced called milliBitcoins (mBTC), microBitcoins (uBTC) and Satoshis.
Below is the measurement system of Bitcoins:
1 bitcoin = 1000 mBTC
1 bitcoin = 1,000,000 uBTC
1 bitcoin = 100,000,000 satoshis.
Suddenly, Bitcoin’s price started to increase with more people investing in the cryptocurrency. At the end of 2013, it became a renowned form of digital currency with its value soaring to a new high of US $1,164.
Immediately after the prices soared high in December 2013, there was an instant drop in the prices to US $760 – the first time the Bitcoin market went as low as this.
The cryptocurrency market endured extreme volatility. It dropped to a new low of $315 from $760; a loss of 241 percent was recorded.
The year started with the price of Bitcoin increasing substantially. On 1 January 2016, its price was at US $433. By the end of 2016, the price rose to US $959, marking a 121-percent increase.
Bitcoin was hovering around the price of $1,000 and was increasing at a high rate. This year witnessed remarkable growth in the prices, especially after JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon called bitcoin a ‘fraud’ – a comment which he later took back. The price topped to an all-time high of $20,000 in March.
Government analysts started noticing the upward growth of the cryptocurrency and termed it as a ‘bubble’ which would burst soon.
As predicted by analysts, the price bubble burst, and Bitcoin saw the worst crash to $3,200 in 2018, recording a loss of 625 percent.
Despite the huge drop, Bitcoin’s price stayed above US $3,190. This was the lowest drop in the past three years, from 2016 to 2019. Nevertheless, in mid-June the price again rose to US $10,000, reassuring hopes of a further rally. However, in December 2019, the same price fell to US $7,112.73.
Rallying at US $7,200, the economy completely shut down due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Bitcoin managed to refuel its prices by 23 November when prices rose to US $18,353.
2020 witnessed a 224 percent high, despite the pandemic affecting economies of the countries around the world. In December 2020, the price further rose to US $2,400, setting a new high.
This year has truly been the best year so far for Bitcoin. The price soared to $40,000 in January, and it has continued to rise after Tesla invested $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin.
On 16 February, the price further surged to $50,000, recording an all-time high. However, several analyst have warned people of massive price fluctuations in the future, considering the history of the volatile market.
“I'd like to offer a word of caution: while my long-term outlook is bullish, massive price fluctuations along the way are only to be expected. Bitcoin is still extremely volatile,” Jacob Skaaning of crypto hedge fund ARK36 told Reuters.
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