Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency, without a central bank or single administrator, that can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries. Transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain.
Bitcoin is unique in that there are a finite number of them: 21 million.
Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as mining. They can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services.
As of February 2015, over 100,000 merchants and vendors accepted bitcoin as payment.
According to research produced by Cambridge University in 2017, there are between 2.9 million and 5.
8 million unique users using a cryptocurrency wallet, most of them using bitcoin.
The price of bitcoin has fluctuated wildly since its inception in 2009. Prices started at $0.30 per bitcoin in 2013 and rose to $262 by February 2014 before dropping to $60 by April 2014. In 2016, prices climbed from $400 to $1,000 before halving in value to around $500 by the end of the year.
In 2017, the price of one bitcoin rose from $1,000 to its all-time high of $19,783 on December 17–a 2,185 percent return on investment in less than one year! After that record-setting run higher, prices then fell sharply over the next few months before stabilizing around the $6,000 mark by mid-2018. Bitcoin then surged again in late 2018 to close out the year at around $4,000 per coin.
As you can see from the chart below, Bitcoin’s price has been quite volatile over the years:
Year Price (USD) % Change
2013 $1,150 2680%
2014 $313 -73%
2015 $424 35%
2016 $963 127%
2017 $19,783 2185%
2018 (through December 31) $3,743 -81%
2019 (through June 30) $9,086 143%
2020 (through September 5) $10,856 19%
2021 (through March 1) $58,332 471%
2022 (projected) $332,316 471%
Bitcoin’s price is often measured against gold because it is also seen as a store of value–one that is not subject to the whims of central banks or governments. While gold remains far more popular than bitcoin with investors looking for a safe haven asset during times of economic or geopolitical turmoil (as we’ve seen over the past few months), it’s worth noting that the total value of all bitcoins in circulation exceeds the value of all above-ground gold ($7 trillion).
So while gold is often thought of as being more valuable than bitcoin, that may not actually be true in terms of market capitalization. .
Investors who believe in Bitcoin’s long-term potential believe that its price will continue to rise as more people adopt it and use it as a store of value or means of payment. Those who think that Bitcoin is nothing more than a fad or bubble believe that its price will eventually crash back down to zero once investors realize that it doesn’t have any real intrinsic value.
No one knows for sure where Bitcoin’s price will go in the future–but given its track record over the past decade or so, it seems like anything is possible!
The predicted value of Bitcoin in 2025 is USD 332,316.