What is Bitcoin worth today?
On 13 September 2021, a single Bitcoin was valued at US$46,063 (AU$62,687). This represents a decrease of around US$6,000 on the price several weeks before, but it is still significantly higher than the price slump experienced at the end of July and beginning of August 2021, when values dipped as low as US$30,817 (AU$41,939).
This information gives you an indication of the nature of Bitcoin as an investment. The currency is highly volatile, and US$10,000 (AU$13,615) shifts in the space of less than one week are not unheard of. Also, the value of Bitcoin changes daily — just because the dollar value of Bitcoin was over AU$62,000 on 13 September does not mean that the same will be true if you are reading this a year, a month, or even a week down the line.
What was Bitcoin's starting price?
The digital infrastructure behind Bitcoin was developed back in 2008, and the currency was launched in January of 2009. So when Bitcoin started out, it was worth zero dollars! The idea of a cryptocurrency was so revolutionary that it was difficult for potential customers to understand its value drivers.
It was not until several months later that Bitcoin received its first definitive starting price. This occurred when an associate of Satoshi Nakamoto — the mysterious individual or group of individuals credited with bringing Bitcoin to the world — sold off some of the newly developed currency units.
Martti Malmi is a Finnish developer who worked with Satoshi on the Bitcoin project. In October 2009, he sold 5,050 Bitcoins for a total value of US$5.02 (AU$6.04), which translates to US$0.0009 (AU$0.0013) for a single Bitcoin. While this gave Bitcoin an initial value — something that investors could use to relate this new currency to 'real-world' value structures — the BTC currency was not traded on the open market until the following year. At its public launch in July 2010, the value of Bitcoin was reduced to US$0.0008 (AU$0.0011), but it grew quickly to reach US$0.05 (AU$0.069) by 17 July.
As you can see, there has been an astronomical rise in value over the last 12 years of trading. Early adopters of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are among those who have seen the greatest returns on their investment, although many other buyers have seen their wealth grow significantly, too — even those who only began trading in crypto years later.
What is Bitcoin's highest historical price?
As of September 2021, Bitcoin's highest historical price level was reached back in April of the same year. On 13 April 2021, Bitcoin's value was logged at over US$63,503 (AU$83,504). This was only the third day in Bitcoin's history that the US$60,000 (AU$81,730) level was exceeded. Two days before, the value reached US$60,204 (AU$81,986), while a value of US$61,243 (AU$83,440) was posted several weeks before on 13 March.
Since then, the value has dropped significantly to just over half of that level, although it began to climb again in the second half of Q3, 2021.
Bitcoin price history — changes to Bitcoin's value over time
Bitcoin's value began low, and it stayed that way for quite some time. After exceeding US$1 for the first time in 2011, Bitcoin's worth began to fall again and early buyers saw around 25% of their investment value wiped off in only a few weeks. However, rather than being the death knell for Bitcoin, this was just a blip and the value soon began to rise once again. By the beginning of March 2011, the value was back up above US$1, and soon exceeded US$3 (AU$4.09).
Rapid early growth
In June 2011, the value leapt by more than US$10 (AU$13.62) to US$18.46 (AU$25.15), and went above US$20 (AU$27.24) the following week. After this, a period of volatility followed, before the currency reached US$30 (AU$40.86) in February 2013, surging on and on as the year progressed. By May of the same year, investors had seen a single Bitcoin move beyond US$100 (AU$136.20) for the first time, hitting $138 during that month. Over the next few months, the value almost doubled once again, surpassing US$200 (AU$272.40) to reach US$209 (AU$284.70) in October of the same year — and this was just the beginning of Bitcoin's first meteoric rise.
As investors geared up for Christmas that year, they received an early gift from the crypto trading index — Bitcoin was closing in on US$1,000 (AU$1,362) for the first time in its history, eventually topping out at over US$1,047 (AU$1,426.01) and concluding the currency's early growth.
Differing public opinion
What followed was another unsettled period. Bitcoin was now four years old and had already entered the mainstream consciousness in a big way. Public opinion seemed to be divided into two camps — those who still believed in the serious returns that Bitcoin offered to investors and those who felt its volatility and unreliability meant its days were numbered.
Two years after that US$1,000 (AU$1,362) high, the value of Bitcoin had fallen to just over one-fifth of this amount. Many thought that the currency was finished as a viable investment. However, the days of rapid growth were not over.
By 2017, it was clear that something was stirring once again. The currency had almost reclaimed all of the value it lost in the previous two years, reaching more than US$998 (AU$1,359.48) in March of that year. And that's when growth levels shot off the scale.
Once again, investors and traders received an early Christmas present that year. Only this time, it was not in the form of a doubling or tripling of value, but instead stratospheric growth — on 18 December, a single Bitcoin was worth more than US$19,498 (AU$26,560).
More volatility and record gains once again
The volatility soon returned, but this time the swings were wilder than ever before. In 2020, the FCoin exchange became insolvent, casting doubt on the currency, but markets were soon buoyed once again when India's supreme court lifted their ban on Bitcoin trading. Then, the needle shot the other way, and Bitcoin lost half of its value in only two days. The jury was still very much out on Bitcoin's long-term investment potential.
Fast forward less than one year, and Bitcoin was grabbing headlines with stratospheric rises yet again, hitting almost US$40,000 (AU$54,488) in January 2021 before another massive plummet. Further rallies later in the year saw the currency heading into yet more uncharted territories, going beyond US$60,000 (AU$81,730) for the first time. Huge wins and huge losses have characterised Bitcoin's value graph history, and this looks likely to continue through 2021 and beyond.
Future value growth: What will Bitcoin be worth in 5 years?
As we have seen from looking at Bitcoin's growth chart, this is a somewhat volatile currency. However, over the years, growth has generally been positive. Even when the major downturns are factored in, Bitcoin has still experienced huge aggregate gains in its first decade of trading. This means we can probably expect further growth in the future.
Just how much growth we can expect, it's difficult to tell. Some experts anticipate that the value of one BTC will rise to US$100,000 (AU$136,200) by 2022, with even more growth expected across the next five years. Other experts place this projected value at US$250,000 (AU$340,450) or even US$350,000 (AU$476,700) by 2022.
One expert — the founder of the Xapo Bitcoin wallet — said that he expected the value to hit US$1,000,000 (AU$1,362,200) over the next five or six years, an enormous rise in Bitcoin pricing.
These are widely different expectations, but all of them share one thing in common — all of these experts expect to see significant growth in the value of Bitcoin over the coming years, at an even higher rate than we have seen in the past.