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The Capital

Bitcoin’s Price History

If You Think It Can’t Go Higher It Probably Can

Bitcoin investors should have felt their stomachs in their throats on Dec. 17, 2017, when BTC hit a high of nearly $20,000. The 2017 crypto-coaster had finally reached its top — and bitcoin was about to drop.

During the 2018 bear market that followed, BTC fell by 84%. Meanwhile, bitcoin maximalists HODL-ed onto their bags for dear life. That’s because they knew something crypto-newbies didn’t:

It’s normal for Bitcoin to experience dramatic price increases followed by terrifying corrections. But in each and every case, bitcoin came back with a vengeance and shot through previous highs (kind of like it might be doing right now).

To prove this assertion, let’s take a look at bitcoin’s price history.

Bitcoin’s Rise and Fall (and Rise Again)

Born on Jan. 3, 2009, bitcoin didn’t experience its first transaction until May 22, 2010, when Laszlo Hanyecz paid 10,000 BTC for two pizzas. By Feb. 9, 2011, the cryptocurrency had risen in value to a price of $1. Several months after that, it skyrocketed to about $32 in June 2011.

Since these milestones, bitcoin’s price has precipitously fallen, and meteorically risen again and again…

June-December 2011 Correction (-94%)

As suddenly as it rose, bitcoin’s price took a dramatic turn for the worse from June to December 2011, following the historic Mt. Gox security breach (when 740,000 bitcoins were stolen from Mt. Gox, the largest bitcoin exchange at the time). The Mt. Gox catastrophe triggered a 94% price drop from the 2011 high of $32 to $2. Major news outlets, such as Forbes, were already printing bitcoin’s obituary, but bitcoin wasn’t dead.

However, by August 2012, bitcoin recovered from the $2 low back to $16 — right before it faced another setback.

August 2012 Correction (-57%)

In August 2012, bitcoin lost 57% of its value in just three days, falling from about $16 to $7.10. Experts blamed the decline on news that an early bitcoin adopter — known as Pirateat40 — was defrauding investors through a Ponzi scheme called Bitcoin Savings & Trust. This was a serious but temporary blow, while bitcoin was still clambering to reach its 2011 high.

Indeed, by April 11, 2013, bitcoin defied logic when it recovered beyond expectation to hit a new high of $266.

The May to August 2013 Correction (-49%)

In 2013, news outlets couldn’t stop talking about bitcoins unprecedented price gains. Investors took notice as well. Bitcoin's price was $214 on May 1, 2013. Then it tumbled to approximately $104. This 49% decline happened after U.S. Homeland Security investigators seized nearly $3 million from an account that the Mt. Gox exchange used for bitcoin-trading customers.

However, Bitcoin recovered quickly and shot past previously highs. By late 2013, it would hold a value of $1,165.

The 2014 to 2015 Correction (-85%)

In October 2013 something like what we saw in October 2017 started happening with bitcoin. It experienced tremendous gains, catapulting to the new high of $1,165 on Nov. 30, 2013. Then, with early December news that China was banning financial institutions from using cryptocurrencies, the price of bitcoin fell again, reaching $170 in January 2015. That was an 85% drop in value!

Never fear, bitcoin returned with the historic 2017 bull market…

The 2018 Correction (-84%)

On Dec. 17, 2017, bitcoin reached a new high of nearly $20,000, representing a 1,300% increase from the beginning of 2017, when it was at approximately $1,000. In late December 2017, bitcoin started to drop again and continued to fall until it reached its most recent low of $3,126 (on Dec. 15, 2018) — a decline of 84%.

2020: Speculating on What’s to Come

Bitcoin has experienced a 10-year history of jaw-dropping gains, along with temporary (albeit stomach-churning) periods of decline. We don’t know why the bear market periods happen, but we do know they’re normal — and more importantly, they don’t last forever.

Since early 2019, bitcoin has come out of the bear den, and its raging bull horns are difficult to ignore. Although it hasn’t reached 2017 high, the price is currently just shy of $10,000 (on Feb. 8, 2020).

Will the crypto-coaster take us higher in 2020 than we’ve ever been to before? I can’t predict the future, but on my end, I’m expecting history to repeat itself.

Please keep in mind that I’m not a financial advisor, and these are my personal opinions. I’m not recommending that you make any investment in bitcoin or cryptocurrency. The crypto-markets are highly volatile and making an investment in cryptocurrency could result in a complete loss.

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Jeremy Hillpot

Jeremy Hillpot

Jeremy’s background in stock fraud litigation and technology provides a unique perspective on tech, investing and related market trends (www.contentcrypto.io).