Bitcoin Hits New All-Time High – Here Are Ten Other Key Milestones

Bitcoin Hits New All-Time High – Here Are Ten Other Key Milestones

Bitcoin is no stranger to breaking records. Here are ten price milestones from its 15-year history.

On Tuesday, bitcoin put in a new all-time high above $73,000 for the first time in over two years. In previous cycles, it has taken much longer for confidence to return after the bear market. The entry of ETFs has been a game-changer, and many traders are expecting bitcoin to continue its climb to $100,000 and beyond later this year.

Let’s take the opportunity to look back at some of bitcoin’s other achievements along the way...

1. Bitcoin Launches ($0)

Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s anonymous creator, announced his new project by publishing a link to the white paper on the Cryptography Mailing List, an email group for cryptography, security, and tech enthusiasts, on 31 October 2008. It wasn’t the first time someone had tried to solve the problem of peer-to-peer digital cash, and few people thought his idea would work.

When Satoshi launched the Bitcoin Protocol a few weeks later on 3 January 2009, he included a headline from a UK newspaper as a hint about why Bitcoin was necessary: ‘The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks’.

Despite its purpose as digital cash, at this stage, Bitcoin had no value.

2) The First OTC Trade (<$0.001)

That changed nine months later, on 12 October 2009, when Martti Malmi, a Finnish developer who worked closely with Satoshi on the Bitcoin code in the early days of the protocol, organised a trade with another bitcointalk forum user. Because there were no crypto exchanges back then, this was an ‘over the counter’ (OTC) trade, arranged directly between the two of them.

Malmi sold 5,050 BTC, and received $5.02 via PayPal transfer in return. This means the agreed price was $0.0099, less than a tenth of a cent. Such OTC deals became more common in the following months, as more users started buying and selling bitcoins this way.

3) The First Bitcoin Pizza Day ($0.0041)

While forum users traded bitcoins among themselves, no one used it to buy anything in the real world until 22 May 2010. Laszlo Hanyecz, a developer, paid 10,000 BTC he had mined to another bitcointalk user, Jeremy Sturdivant, who sent him two Papa John’s pizzas. Since the pizzas were worth around $41, this set the price of bitcoin at the time at about $0.0041, or four tenths of a cent. Today, the same 10,000 BTC would be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. This day has gone down in crypto history as ‘Bitcoin Pizza Day’, and is still celebrated annually in the community.

4) Mt Gox Launches ($0.07)

Organising deals directly with other users wasn’t very efficient. On 18 July 2010, Jed McCaleb launched Mt Gox. It was a site that he had repurposed from a service for trading Magic: The Gathering cards, and it rapidly grew in popularity. A week before Mt Gox opened, tech website Slashdot had published an article about Bitcoin, helping to drive the price up around 10-fold. Now, users had a place to trade properly. Mt Gox became very successful, supporting around 70% of all bitcoin trading volumes. The site required more maintenance than McCaleb had time to spare for it, and he later sold the exchange to Mark Karpeles.

5) Dollar Parity ($1)

Just over six months later, on 9 February 2011, bitcoin hit one dollar in value: an impressive 14x in price since Mt Gox had launched the previous year, and 1,000x since Malmi’s first OTC trade 16 months earlier. Word was starting to get around about Bitcoin, and there was a growing trading scene.

6) The First Bubble ($29.60)

This trading evolved into a speculative frenzy, fuelled by a post on website Gawker about how bitcoin could be used to buy drugs from a site on the dark web. On 9 June 2011, bitcoin topped out at just below $30, and promptly crashed to a low around $2 a short time later.

7) The 2013 Bubble ($1,200)

The 2011 bubble turned out to be a mere blip compared to the next bull market. In September 2013, the FBI raided the Silk Road, a popular dark web drugs marketplace, and arrested its founder, Ross Ulbricht. This only added to the publicity around bitcoin, and a new trading frenzy began. By 29 November 2013, bitcoin was trading above $1,200 on Mt Gox.

When the bubble burst, it took Mt Gox with it. The exchange had repeatedly been hacked and was only able to hide the losses due to the inflated price of bitcoin. The site went offline in February, owing users 850,000 BTC, and beginning a year-long bear market.

8) The 2017 Bull Market ($19,666)

The crypto world slowly recovered. New technologies were launched, including smart contracts platform Ethereum. The Initial Coin Offering boom of 2016 and 2017 powered the next bubble, and growing interest saw the price peak just below $20,000 on 18 December 2017. Again, a long bear market followed the speculative top. By this time, though, Bitcoin was clearly here to stay, with a growing number of institutions and governments taking an interest in the technology and currency.

9) Bitcoin’s Market Cap Hits $1 Trillion ($56,000)

Three years ago, on 19 February 2021, the total value of all mined bitcoins hit ten figures for the first time. Bitcoin’s value had been driven by early institutional adoption, including Microstrategy starting a series of large buys in August 2020.

10) 2021 All-Time High ($69,000)

The top of the last bull market came in on November 10, 2021. Aided by institutional purchases and professional traders using the first bitcoin futures ETF, listed on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the price hit $69k. Another year-long bear market follows, with exchange giant FTX going bankrupt at the low.

What’s Next?

With the launch of spot bitcoin ETFs pioneered by financial powerhouses like BlackRock and Fidelity providing easy access for institutions and retail traders, there’s a huge amount of optimism around bitcoin. As the last ATH falls, will bitcoin hit $100k this year? $200k?

Let us know your predictions!