Bitcoin 101

Events that have shaped Bitcoin price over the years

Since launch in 2009, Bitcoin Price has gone from only a few cents to thousands of dollars. What started as an obscure technology that only a few knew about has gone on to gain mass recognition. At the peak of crypto fever in December 2017, the price of one BTC rose to $20,000. Below we will take a look at different events that have shaped the cost of the top crypto coin over the years. As we will see, its price is highly volatile due to the lack of regulatory oversight and many other factors.

Bitcoin price

The beginning of Bitcoin

The first genesis block was established on January 3, 2009. On October 5 of the same year, the New Liberty Standard opened a service to buy and sell Bitcoin. The Bitcoin price at the time was 1,309.03 to one USD. The rate comes from the cost of electricity that a computer uses to mine the coin.

October 12, 2009, saw the first BTC to fiat exchange occur. New Liberty Standard uses PayPal to buy 5,050 bitcoins from Sirus for $5.02.

Two pizza’s for 10,000 BTC

Bitcoin price

May 22, 2010, saw bitcoin used to purchase a tangible item for the first time. Laszlo Hanyecz, an early adopter and BitcoinTalk user paid 10,000 BTC for two pizzas that are delivered to his house. The pizzas are valued at $25, and this assigns a realistic valuation on Bitcoin price at about $0.0025 per coin.

The first Bitcoin exchange opens up

Bitcoin price

On July 18, 2010, a programmer by the name Jed McCaleb announced the launch of Mt. Gox -a full-time bitcoin exchange. The exchange rapidly gains popularity and McCaleb unable to keep up with the demands of the business decides to sell the platform to Mark Karpeles on March 6, 2011. Bitcoin price at the time is $0.06.

On February 9, 2011, after just turning two years old, Bitcoin price achieved parity with the USD. One BTC trades at $1 on Mt. Gox.

The next two months see three new exchanges that support more fiat currencies open. On March 27, 2011, Britcoin launched the first exchange that supports GBP. On March 31, Britcoin Brazil opens up supporting Brazilian Reals (BRL) and USD. Also, on April 5, starts to support euros and other currencies. These moves help simplify BTC ownership and trading hence expanding the market tremendously.

The first halving of bitcoin

November 28, 2012, sees the first Bitcoin halving day in line with the original design. The amount of Bitcoins rewarded to miners reduces by half from 50 to 25. The halving is designed to occur after every four years, reducing the number of Bitcoins generated until the reward reaches zero in 2140. Bitcoin price at the time is $13.43.

US Senate hearing pushes Bitcoin past $1,000

On November 18, 2013, the US Senate held a panel discussion titled “Beyond Silk Road: Potential Risks, Threats, and Promises of Virtual Currencies.” Many of the senators and panelist agree that Bitcoin holds great promise. At the start of the hearing, Bitcoin was trading at $685.75. Ten days later, buoyed by the positive reviews Bitcoin price sells at $1,072.

November 29, 2013, saw Bitcoin price peak at $1,242 on Mt. Gox after increased investment from China. The Chinese citizens were embracing the freedom provided by Bitcoin as they sought an alternative to the state’s inflating currency.

However, December 5, 2013, saw the Chinese government ban institutions from using crypto. It affects Bitcoin price negatively pushing it to $839.93.

On February 24, 2014, Mt. Gox shuts down after a hacker exploits their poorly-implemented software. A report surfaced that indicated the exchange had lost 744,000 BTC. At this moment Bitcoin price stands at $547.

Bitstamp is hacked

January 4, 2015, saw hackers breach Bitstamp and steal 18,866 bitcoins. This hack hurts Bitcoin price which drops from $275 to $198.59 in ten days.

July 9, 2016, saw the second halving of Bitcoin. The block reward decreased from 25 BTC to 12.5 BTC.

Mass media coverage sees an influx of new users, and on January 3, 2017, Bitcoin manages to cross the $1,000 mark after three years.

Bitcoin price manages to rally to $1201 but soon after experiences a correction to trade at $1,037. It happens after the SEC denies the Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF application on March 10, 2017.

April 1, 2017, sees Japan declare BTC as legal tender and this pushes Bitcoin price to $1,215.

The Bitcoin network splits to BTC and BCH

The controversial split sees the bitcoin network split into Bitcoin core and Bitcoin Cash. This move saw the end of years of debate on how the Bitcoin network should scale. It also sees holders of BTC receive an equal amount in BCH. Bitcoin price rises to $3,383.

September 3, 2017, sees China ban companies based in the country from raising money through ICOs. This move leads to BTC losing over $400 in value in ten days.

Bitcoin breaks $10,000 for the first time

November 28, 2017, saw Bitcoin break the $10,000 mark overcoming a great psychological barrier. Ten days later the coin is trading at $15,455.

The rally continues as CBOE Bitcoin Futures are launched on December 11, 2017, and ten days later Bitcoin price hits $17,010.

One week later on December 18, 2017, BTC manages to hit a peak price of $19,498. From here the price starts to free fall.

In 2018, Increased scrutiny by regulators, allegations of market manipulation, diminishing interest from investors and many other factors have conspired to bring the price of BTC down. The top crypto coin has lost over 70 percent of its value this year and is currently trading at $6,610 on October 9, 2018.


Basil has three years of freelance experience writing on disruptive technologies. He focuses on breaking news and education pieces; helping to spread the gospel of Blockchain. He hopes to have his own blockchain company one day; helping the world through its innovative ledger technology.

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