Bitcoin Price Chart (BTC)
Price of Bitcoin
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Money Metals Exchange's interactive Bitcoin (BTC) chart allows you to check the price of bitcoin today or historical bitcoin prices. Hover over the chart to see the spot price for that particular day.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin launched in 2009. It was designed as a decentralized and trustless monetary system. Bitcoin, or BTC for short, allows one person to send tokens to another person via a transfer on the Bitcoin ledger without the need for any third party and without the need for the recipient to trust the sender. The transfer and the existence of the tokens themselves are cryptographically guaranteed.
Bitcoin pushed blockchain technology into the mainstream. Bitcoin transactions are recorded by the network in data packages called blocks. These blocks are confirmed in sequence via a process called mining. Every transaction is published, though personally identifiable info related to the people involved is not part of the record.
It is worth noting that Bitcoin arose during widespread financial uncertainty in 2008 and 2009. The creator sought to build a digital currency which could function independent of banks. It also offered cryptographically provable transactions which don’t require the trust people must place in banks for safeguarding funds and ensuring correct transfers. The idea was to provide greater security, more convenience and much lower cost.
This cryptocurrency has advantages and disadvantages, like any other means of exchange. The finite number of 21 million Bitcoin, each with a unique signature, prevents counterfeiting. Unfortunately, the Bitcoin price fluctuates drastically, and it is not yet widely accepted as a payment method.
Investing in Bitcoin comes with some uncertainty, as with all fledgling technology. However, users are already benefiting from this innovative decentralized monetary system. Potential investors should better understand what this digital currency is, in order to make informed decisions about whether to add Bitcoin to their portfolio.
A Brief History of the Bitcoin Price…
Numerous factors related to supply and demand determine Bitcoin’s price. In its early beginnings as a digital currency in 2010, a user spent 10,000 BTC for the delivery of two pizzas. Bitcoin reached nearly $30 in 2011, then collapsed to just over $5 by the beginning of 2012.
BTC first broke through $1,000 in 2013. Despite Bitcoin price volatility, Microsoft began accepting BTC as payment by 2014. That development helped with normalizing this digital currency for the public.
As awareness grew, Bitcoin price soared to $20,000 with high demand by late 2017. Some credit the launch of Bitcoin futures trading for the price collapse to about $3,000 in 2018. As of this writing, Bitcoin prices have recovered to around $9,000.
Bitcoin is volatile. Prices can easily fluctuate 10% within a single day, and its crashes are legendary. The death of Bitcoin has been wrongly predicted on dozens of occasions.
The published price of Bitcoin can come from one of dozens of exchanges which match buyers with sellers at a given price in a variety of currencies, not just the US dollar.
What Gives Bitcoin Value?
Bitcoin’s value is in the innovation it can bring people around the world. This is particularly true for people in third world countries who are unbanked or whose money cannot be trusted. Bitcoin requires no third party to work. Trusted payments can be made directly from peer to peer without anyone in the middle creating delays or collecting additional fees.
It is uncensorable. This is because the blockchain is managed by computers scattered around the globe with no single point of failure. The bitcoin network and the payments processed there cannot be controlled by banks or the government.
Another benefit of Bitcoin is that it can’t be counterfeited and no one can “print” more. There is value in a digital signature that can’t be replicated or faked.
There is also value in the convenience of this cryptocurrency. BTC can always be exchanged across markets internationally in a few minutes. The value of Bitcoin even extends to its typically low fees, which are much less than wire transfers or money transfers.
The security of a private key protects users from fraud better than other methods of payment. Unlike a credit card, where an account number is presented everywhere, private Bitcoin keys are never shared when making a payment.
There is also value in the privacy that Bitcoin provides. Users are not required to submit personal information in order to transact. Given the pervasive nature of identity theft at major banks and corporations, it is a major advance to keep that info out of massive databases. They have become honeypots for hackers and fraudsters around the world.
For merchants providing goods and services, Bitcoin may be particularly valuable as a payment method. It is impossible for charges to be reversed or disputed. And merchants do not have the fees associated with accepting credit card payment which are generally around 3%.
As you can see, Bitcoin is valuable for a variety or reasons.
What Price Did Bitcoin Start At?
Bitcoin had essentially no value when it began. It was launched in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto, and 10,000 BTC was only enough for two pizzas by 2010. The fact that a merchant was willing to accept Bitcoin, even at just a fraction of a cent per token, proved to be a milestone. Soon after people began exchanging Bitcoin for fiat currencies around the world and price discovery began.
Little is known about the individual or group that invented this digital currency. Since its mysterious beginnings, the Bitcoin price has fluctuated dramatically. Whether the token will continue to grow in value is less a question about whether Bitcoin can succeed and gain acceptance. That question has an answer – yes.
The question now is whether Bitcoin developers can find solutions to the technical problem of scale and win the race against other cryptocurrencies for mass adoption.
The idea of a decentralized, trustless and uncensorable currency is here to stay. The launch of Bitcoin followed the 2008 and 2009 financial crises. It became more clear than ever that it was time for an alternative monetary system. The trust placed in bankers and politicians as stewards of the conventional financial system had been misplaced. They proved themselves more than willing to commit mass fraud and engage in self-dealing.
How Often Does Bitcoin Price Change?
Bitcoin prices have fluctuated wildly since its launch in 2009. While a 1 - 2% upward or downward move in the price of precious metals may be considered significant, Bitcoin prices can easily move 10% in 24 hours. Earlier in its history even larger moves were common.
Today the Bitcoin price fluctuates moment to moment as exchanges around the world make trades. The price is reported at MoneyMetals.com, among other places, at our top menu bar. Like Gold and silver prices, or shares of a public company, the price constantly moves throughout the day. However, unlike other markets, Bitcoin never stops trading. Exchanges are operating 24/7/365.
Over time, Bitcoin price volatility has been declining. As the value gets larger and the pool of potential buyers and sellers increase, there is less opportunity for huge spikes upward or downward.
However, the advent of futures market trading in late 2017 is likely to be a force for increased volatility. Futures contracts offer leverage to traders and greater leverage means greater volatility.
Despite extreme fluctuations, Bitcoin has been enormously profitable for long-term investors who discovered it early. Traders who seek volatility are drawn to Bitcoin.
This cryptocurrency has dramatically outperformed other global assets during its first decade. Many believe it is still the early days for Bitcoin and the price can go much higher in the coming decade. But there are major technological challenges still to be overcome and a variety of other cryptocurrencies vying for adoption. Only time will tell whether the best days for Bitcoin lie ahead.