In 2008, Bitcoin’s pseudonymous inventor Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the world to an entirely new type of asset class. While the first cryptocurrency represented a new world of possibilities filled with improvements to the legacy of the financial system, it also left a lot of people confused about what it even was.
After all, Bitcoin doesn’t represent a company, like stocks; nor is it backed by a physical asset, like gold or oil. So, what exactly determines the price of Bitcoin?
If you’ve ever wondered this, then you’re in the right place. We’ve compiled everything you need in order to get a better understanding of the intricacies of Bitcoin price – and the factors that influence it.
Bitcoin Price History
The price of Bitcoin (BTC) has been on somewhat of a wild ride over the last decade. The cryptocurrency proved to be far more volatile than the stock market, often experiencing swings of 10 or 20%, or even more, in a single day.
At its inception, Bitcoin was worth less than a cent. In fact, in May 2010, someone famously paid 10,000 BTC for two pizzas in the first real-world Bitcoin transaction. Its price eventually broke $1 in February 2011, and was over $10 just a few months later. 2013 was the next historic year for Bitcoin, when its price hit triple digits for the first time and then set a new peak above $1,000 the same year.
The next three years saw Bitcoin price fluctuate in the three digit range until the epic 2017 bull run. In December of 2017, Bitcoin set a new high of almost $20,000, which represented a more than 1,900% increase since the start of the year. This finally caught the world’s attention and Bitcoin entered many people’s consciousness for the first time, being discussed by governments, economists and the man in the street alike.
These prices weren’t sustained for long though, and like previous peaks a crash followed – a month later the price of Bitcoin had dropped by half. This was followed by another 2 year stretch of slow, gradual, downward movement (reaching a low of around $3,000), before 2020 brought in the next period of excitement.
In March 2020, after climbing to a high of around $8,000, the entire crypto market crashed in a dramatic event that became known as Black Thursday. This memorable day saw Bitcoin shed 40% of its value in a matter of hours. This was followed, however, by another bull run and one year on from Black Thursday, Bitcoin set a new all time high of $61,788 after gains of 1,230%.
What could the future hold? No one knows, but looking to the past can sometimes provide insight.
Analyzing Bitcoin’s Price History
Bitcoin’s price history can be analyzed with many of the same techniques as stock market analysis. Technical analysis involves looking at the charts to make sense of previous price movements. With Bitcoin, as with many other tradable assets, large price swings are often accompanied by spikes in trading volume, as a large number of users buy or sell their coins on exchanges.
Fundamental analysis, on the other hand, looks at the finances and activities of a company, as well as the state of the wider market and economy. While there isn’t a company behind Bitcoin, it still has fundamentals that have affected its price. These include the economics of the token – the fact that Bitcoin has a fixed supply is of particular importance as this makes it a scarce asset and potential hedge against fiat inflation. Things such as new governmental regulations and companies accepting Bitcoin are also considered important fundamental events that can impact price.
The overall price trend of Bitcoin tends to follow a boom-and-bust cycle, where a period of growing excitement and adoption leads to a surge in price, before doubt and disillusionment result in a crash.
Analysts have suggested other models for Bitcoin’s long-term price action and a popular one is the Stock-to-Flow model, which uses the scarcity of Bitcoin to quantify its value. This shows previous movements in Bitcoin’s price occurring when there is a change in the growth rate of Bitcoin supply.
Factors Influencing The Price of Bitcoin (BTC)
A myriad of different factors affect the price of Bitcoin. As mentioned before, Bitcoin has a fixed total supply so is not subject to inflation like fiat currencies. This means that it is likely to be a better long-term store of value than, say, USD.
The price of Bitcoin also sometimes moves with or in response to changes in the wider economy. For example, Bitcoin made impressive gains in 2020 while many economies closed down and an unprecedented amount of U.S. dollars were printed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This could be due to people turning to Bitcoin after losing faith in governmental economic policy or even buying Bitcoin with their stimulus packages.
Project developments and news are further drivers of price. For Bitcoin, project developments include forks and updates to the Bitcoin Core. Meanwhile, the news that affects Bitcoin often concerns adoption and regulations – when governments and large merchants accept Bitcoin it can have a positive impact on the price, while banning it can have the opposite effect.
A factor which is unique to Bitcoin (and a very small handful of other cryptocurrencies) is the effect of halving events. This is when the number of Bitcoins awarded to miners for processing transactions is cut in half — and it happens roughly every four years. Unsurprisingly, previous halving events have correlated with a rise in Bitcoin price.
Adoption by investors is another clear contributor to Bitcoin’s value, as the more demand there is for Bitcoin, the higher its price will rise in turn. In 2020 and 2021 there were many headlines about companies such as MicroStrategy, Square and Tesla making large Bitcoin purchases. In fact, as of March 2021, 6.47% of all Bitcoin is held in the treasuries of public and private companies and ETF-like trusts.
In addition to lowering the supply available on the open market, institutional Bitcoin investment could inspire confidence in the cryptocurrency and encourage more retail investment – which is still an important driver of Bitcoin’s price.
Live Bitcoin Value and Market Cap
The live price of Bitcoin varies from moment to moment as it’s dictated by the balance of buyers and sellers on exchanges, which is in constant flux.
Given Bitcoin’s volatility, its live price can change by a large amount in a very short space of time. The market cap of Bitcoin is equal to the price of Bitcoin multiplied by the number of BTC in circulation.
The current price of Bitcoin is EUR. It has changed by EUR in the last 24 hours and BTC has a 24-hour trading volume of EUR. Bitcoin current Kriptomat ranking is , with a market cap of EUR. It has a circulating supply of . Max supply is BTC.
Bitcoin Price FAQ
What was Bitcoin’s lowest price?
The value of Bitcoin was $0.0008 when it launched in 2009, and it remained under $0.01 until 2010.
What was Bitcoin’s highest price?
Bitcoin reached an all time high of $61,788 on 13 March 2021, propelled by the 2020/21 bull run.
How is the price of Bitcoin calculated?
Bitcoin’s price at any given time is decided by the balance of supply and demand on exchanges. When more people are buying Bitcoin than selling it, the price goes up, and when more are selling than buying, the price goes down.
Why is the price of Bitcoin different on different cryptocurrency exchanges?
Bitcoin’s price is based purely on trading as there is no standard global Bitcoin price, so no one knows what it is “supposed” to cost. The trading volume and liquidity is different for each exchange and those differences are what affect the price.
When will the next halving happen?
The most recent halving occurred on 11 May 2020 and the next one is expected to happen in the spring of 2024.
When will the max supply be reached?
The number of Bitcoins minted per block to reward miners will continue to halve roughly every four years until a total of 21 million BTC has been minted. This is expected to happen around 2140.
What will Bitcoin be worth in the future?
Any number of things could affect BTC price in the future, including changes to regulation, the rate of adoption by retail and institutional investors and the rollout of scalability solutions. Future price predictions vary wildly depending on the source. The Stock-to-Flow model suggests that Bitcoin will reach $100,000 in 2021 and $1 million in 2025. Saxo Bank analyst Kay Van-Petersen said in 2017 that BTC price could reach $100,000 by 2027, while Gemini founders the Winklevoss twins believe Bitcoin could be worth $500,000 by 2030, and Venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya predicted it will reach $1 million by 2037.
The price of Bitcoin has been on a wild ride, from being worth practically nothing at its launch in 2009 to reaching the dizzying heights of over $60,000 in 2021. The journey in between wasn’t smooth sailing though, with extreme volatility leading to huge surges and crashes along the way.
A lot of different factors have had an impact on Bitcoin’s trading history, including forks, halving events, the world economy and adoption by retail and institutional investors. Its current valuation is derived from the balance of supply and demand in the markets and constantly changes.
If you want to get started with the most user-friendly trading experience on the market, register with Kriptomat today to begin your journey into the world of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies!