Price of Bitcoin has doubled in 2017, and other currencies have jumped even more.
When was Bitcoin worth $1?
When Bitcoin was first introduced in 2009, it was worth $0. A year later, when early adopters began trading in the digital currency, it was valued at the fraction of a cent. In 2011, the cryptocurrency hit the level of $1 for the first time.
The run-up has led to increased interest in lesser-known digital currencies, like Etherium and Ripple. Ethereum, which is backed by large companies working on blockchain projects, has jumped in value from $8.24 at the beginning of the year to $203.30, according to CNBC. Ethereum prices began climbing in March, around the time when Bitcoin investors started “getting jittery” about whether Bitcoin software would be able to handle the increased level of transactions. Looking at the market capitalization for all cryptocurrencies, Techcrunch notes that Bitcoin now makes up just 47 percent of the total market value. Many people on our planet enjoy trust in their money and financial systems. We trust our governments to avoid hyperinflation so our money retains purchasing power. We trust banks to secure our money and not loan it recklessly, and private companies to help us safely use our money for commerce and other financial services. We pay for the privilege of this trust in taxes and fees to financial services companies (a multi-trillion dollar industry). This foundation of trust has been an essential bedrock of our economic progress over the last few centuries.
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Guessing what’s behind the price increase is inevitably speculative. CBS news quotes market watchers who think digital currency value is being pushed up by economic instability in places like Russia, Nigeria, and South Korea. At Fortune, Jeff John Roberts argues that the mainstreaming of Bitcoin means that “investors see it as a new asset class” and are backing hedge funds to acquire it. Regulators in Japan and China have taken steps recently to formalize trading in Bitcoins, which has increased investment from Asia. Blockchains enable more than digital assets—they also enable digital goods and decentralized applications . While these areas are exploding in trading volumes, user interest and developer energy, they are still in their earliest innings. Web3 holds tremendous potential to use blockchains to reshape internet services around principles of user ownership, creator rewards, and community governance (e.g., DAOs). Crypto will transform value on the Internet, and in doing so, the Internet itself. Blockchains will rewrite the way we own, sell, buy, trade, exchange and reward. As software saturates our world, crypto will saturate money—and everything we do with it.
This new asset class is creating a market for financial services, both centralized and decentralized . As with any asset class, owners want to be able to buy, hold, sell, trade, lend, hedge, swap, fractionalize, insure and more. With crypto, they also want to do it freely across borders and time zones, 24/7. This is likely to be expansionary to current financial systems, creating more consumer choice. While arguably a Sisyphean task, we tried to answer these questions in a few pages. We also hope it sheds some light on why Sequoia has conviction that crypto is one of the most important platform shifts of our time.
Bitcoin Price Chart, 2010
Blockchain’s inherent properties—instant value transfer, verifiable scarcity, and user‐ownership—could restructure trillions of market cap across payments, finance, gaming, content, social networks and more. Like all other waves of technology, Sequoia’s mission is to partner with the most daring founders in crypto and help them build something legendary. Sequoia has been investing in crypto since 2017 and backs founders pre-seed and beyond in equity and tokens. According to Coindesk, bitcoins are currently trading for $2,483 per coin. The price is an all-time record, and the remarkable valuation blows earlier price spikes out of the water.
He has worked for Google, NASA, and consulted for governments around the world on data pipelines and data analysis. Disappointed by the lack of clear resources on the impacts of inflation on economic indicators, Ian believes this website serves as a valuable public tool. Sorry, we don’t have information for one of the dates you selected. This calculator is not realtime – try querying data for a previous month. All prices on this page are nominal (i.e., they are not indexed to inflation). However, regulatory frameworks are still being clarified, so founders will need to thoughtfully navigate uncharted waters. Marketwatchpublished one portfolio manager’s “regret” chart, showing that an investment of $1,000 USD in Bitcoin in July 2010 would be worth more than $35 million today. A $1,000 investment in a fund tied to the S&P 500 index would be worth around $2,500.
Bitcoins have more than doubled since the beginning of 2017, when they hovered around $1,000 per coin. While it seems Bitcoin was intended to solve a payments problem, inventions rarely go as their inventors planned. As demand for Bitcoin grew, its price and transaction fees increased, making it more useful for many as an investment vehicle than a payment mechanism . Most interestingly, new inventors built on the concepts of Bitcoin in new ways. Ethereum’s contribution was using a distributed ledger not just for currency but for computation. The price of Bitcoin has been highly volatile over the years, and it hasn’t just moved in one direction. Bitcoins jumped to nearly $1,000 each in late 2013, but then plummeted in value, taking more than three years to rise back to that price point. 2017 is certainly a heady year for Bitcoin fans, but whether the crypto-currency gains widespread acceptance or ends up more like the 17th century Dutch tulip bubble, remains to be seen. Blockchains as decentralized computing platforms captured developers’ imaginations. Their aims are wide‐ranging but can be roughly characterized as trying to bring about better money and a better internet.
Yet, many do not enjoy this level of trust in their financial systems, if they can access them at all. This is true even in some of the most prosperous and populous countries. Recent events, especially the Great Financial Crisis of ‘08-09, eroded trust even in the US. Global monetary stimulus in response to COVID has many questioning again whether their trust is well‐placed. If you are a founder building in crypto/web3, we’d love to meet you. Feel free to email us, ping us at or DM us on Twitter or Telegram. The price of Bitcoin, the most popular digital crytpo-currency, has skyrocketed this year. Read more about Convert ETH here. Ian Webster is an engineer and data expert based in San Mateo, California.