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Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to launch in 2008 by a person with the pseudonym “Satoshi Nakamoto”. The history of the digital currency is that of astronomical rise punctured by occasional dives.
The original cryptocurrency has taken investors on a roller coaster ride. In only thirteen years, the value of the digital currency had spiked then crashed, and then rose again. It may seem like wild speculation but the performance of the digital currency is a projection of the economic principles of market efficiency.
Bitcoin value is not controlled by any central authority, unlike fiat currency. The supply is capped, unlike fiat currency that has led to a large appreciation in value attracting institutional investors.
The Historical Price of Bitcoin
Bitcoin value was basically zero during the initial few months after its launch. Its value was as low as $0.0008 per Bitcoin and you could have bought the entire digital currency in existence for $16,800.
The value of the digital currency crossed $1 for the first time in February 2011. The price had increased to $31 in June but again went back to single digits in June 2011.
“Bitcoin had surprised proponents and critics alike when its value skyrocketed to $1000 in November 2013. But again the value plummeted to $200 in 2014.” according to cryptocurrency consultant Scott Cooper of Florida. It rose tremendously in the next three years, increasing to $10,000 in November 2017. The value peaked at $19,650 in mid-December of the same year. This bubble was led by initial coin offerings (ICOs), with many comparing the digital currency bubble to the internet bubble of the 2000s.
Bitcoin value received a boost during the pandemic in 2020. The price skyrocketed to $50,000 for the first time in February 2021. It had reached a peak price of $64,536 in April of the same year before dropping to $40,000 in June.
Calculating & Comparing the Worth of Bitcoin
Bitcoin value, according to CoinMarketCap, was worth $653 billion on May 30, 2021. To understand the extent of the value of the cryptocurrency, we have to calculate the monetary amount of narrow money that includes precious metals, banknotes, debts, and bank accounts. As of May 2020, the total money value was estimated to be about $35 trillion.
That means Bitcoin is around 1.8 percent of the narrow money value today.
So, how much is a digital currency worth in comparison to gold?
Gold is considered a tangible medium of exchange, according to many experts. To find out the value of gold, we have to look at the figures of the WGC that project that over 197,576 tonnes have been mined from the beginning up till December 2019.
Every year about 2,500 tonnes of gold are mined. So the estimated gold supply by the end of May 2019 is 201,118 tonnes or 7,094,216,921 ounces. The current gold price is $ 1864.3 ounces per, which means that the net gold value is $13.2 trillion.
Bitcoin’s value is about 5.3 percent compared to gold’s value.
Bitcoin is the original and the most popular cryptocurrency. But it is not the only digital currency out there. Other cryptocurrencies include Ethereum, Litecoin, Cardano, Polkadot, Monera, and others. The combined value of the cryptocurrency is about $1.5 trillion. The deal is about 4.3 percent of the money value and 11.3 percent of the gold value.
The value of Bitcoin is only a slight fraction of the importance of traditional investment vehicles. But the share of digital currency is expected to rise as more investors are attracted due to the phenomenal performance of the cryptocurrency.
Investors who have held digital currency for over 5 years or more have been treated to remarkable returns on investment. Some experts predict that due to the supply limit set on digital currency, digital currency may one day replace gold as the hedge against stock exchange and inflation.
Should You Invest in Bitcoin?
Investing in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is a highly speculative activity. You should not invest in digital currency without getting the help of a qualified financial consultant. Always ask the advice of a financial consultant before investing a significant amount in digital currencies.
As mentioned above, Bitcoin’s value is highly volatile. You can sit at piles of wealth in one month, and it can all be wiped out the next. To know whether you should invest in digital currency, you must understand the risks.
Investment in digital currency is not entirely secure. While the underlying blockchain technology is considered hackproof, hackers can steal passwords and the entire digital portfolio of individuals. Digital currencies, including Bitcoin and others, store cash in ‘wallets’ that are hash values stored in a person’s hard drive or online. Hackers can hack into a personal computer or cloud server to steal the digital wallet.
Moreover, digital wallets are not insured, unlike cash deposits in a bank. This means that you can’t back money stolen by hackers.
There is also the risk of cryptocurrency exchanges going bust. For instance, Mt. Gox, a Japanese-based Bitcoin exchange, was closed after hackers targeted it in 2014.
But some exchanges like Coinbase and Gamini go to great lengths to protect the customers’ digital assets. They store most cryptocurrencies in secure offline storage, due to which there is no risk of online attack.
You can also reduce the risk of online attacks by storing digital currency in a hardware cryptocurrency wallet that resembles a USB drive. The device that costs just about $100 can hold your digital currency. The hardware wallet reduces the risk of losing your digital money in case of an attack on your personal computer or online exchanges.
But the most significant risk of Bitcoin investment is the wild swings in values. That is why you should not invest a significant portion of your savings in cryptocurrency. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency is a medium of exchange and speculative investment option. You should treat digital currency appropriately to avoid losing your hard-earned wealth.