What is the current price of bitcoin?

The price of bitcoin, or 1 BTC, traded at $57,423.61, as of 8 a.m. ET. The highest intraday price that the original crypto reached in the past year was $73,750.07 on March 14, 2024.

Bitcoin price chart

The chart above is pulling data as of 8 a.m. ET daily and doesn’t display intraday highs or lows.

Bitcoin price history

Bitcoin’s all-time high was on March 14, 2024, trading at $73,750.07 per bitcoin. The lowest intraday price that the crypto traded in the past year was $24,930.30 on Sep. 11, 2023. The original crypto is up by 90% year over year.

BTC had very humble beginnings when it was launched in January 2009. Fifteen years later, the world’s first cryptocurrency has completely shifted global financial markets and amassed a global market capitalization of $1.13 trillion.

The crypto is also becoming a popular alternative to government-backed fiat currencies, such as the U.S. dollar, which tend to lose value over time due to inflation.

What is bitcoin? And how does bitcoin work?

Bitcoin runs on a groundbreaking blockchain-based network powered by a collection of global users. It allows anyone with internet access worldwide to make financial transactions that completely circumvent banks or other financial or government intermediaries.

Bitcoin’s security system is centered on its cryptography. All bitcoin transactions are validated by miners, who use high-powered computers to solve complex mathematical puzzles and create new blocks of verified transactions on the blockchain.

Since its launch, bitcoin has inspired thousands of other cryptocurrencies. While many additional cryptocurrencies have become hugely successful, bitcoin remains the most valuable and popular cryptocurrency globally.

What determines bitcoin’s price?

Because bitcoin does not represent ownership of tangible assets and does not generate earnings, revenue or cash flow, the price of bitcoin is determined exclusively by supply and demand.

Bitcoin’s network automatically releases new bitcoins to miners each time they verify and add a new block of transactions to the blockchain. The total supply of bitcoin is capped at 21 million BTC.

Given bitcoin’s fixed supply, demand is the primary variable determining its price. This demand fluctuates based largely on investor sentiment.

Bitcoin’s starting price

The first recorded bitcoin price came in late 2009 when users in the BitcoinTalk online forum exchanged 5,050 BTC for $5.02 via PayPal. This transaction valued bitcoin at about $0.00099 per BTC, or about one-tenth of a cent.

Bitcoin halving dates

Each time 210,000 blocks of transactions are added to the bitcoin blockchain, the network automatically undergoes a process known as halving.

Bitcoin miners receive a set amount of BTC as a reward for their services to validate a block. But that reward is cut in half each time a halving occurs. In other words, about once every four years, bitcoin miners get a 50% pay cut.

Bitcoin halving is important in limiting bitcoin’s supply and theoretically supporting its price.

The next halving is expected in 2028 when the block reward price will fall from 3.125 BTC to 1.5625 BTC.

Does bitcoin halving increase BTC’s price?

Because bitcoin halvings reduce the supply of new BTC, they would theoretically be good for bitcoin prices.

But a halving doesn’t directly impact the price of bitcoin. So it’s not a guaranteed bullish catalyst. Historically, bitcoin prices have reached a cyclical bottom roughly a year before a halving occurs, and then BTC prices rise for more than a year after the halving.

A history of bitcoin prices

2010 – 2019

The first online bitcoin exchanges emerged in 2010. The price per coin grew from the $1 threshold in 2011.

From there, BTC prices continued to climb, reaching the $1,000 mark in late 2013. Its popularity and trading volumes snowballed four years later.

In November 2017, bitcoin reached $10,000 and peaked at over $20,000 roughly a month later. The rally was partly driven by CME Group’s announcement to launch the first bitcoin futures contracts in December 2017.

Enthusiasm for the original crypto cooled in 2018, with BTC prices dropping below $4,000.

The next notable bitcoin boom occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. This time, BTC’s rise was partly driven by government shutdowns of sports, casinos, and other leisure and entertainment options and multiple rounds of government stimulus checks that left many Americans with extra disposable income.

2020 – 2024

But rising interest rates cooled investor enthusiasm in 2022, with a flight away from riskier assets like cryptocurrency.

Falling crypto prices in 2022 exposed overleverage among crypto lenders, hedge funds and exchanges. A string of crypto industry layoffs and bankruptcies weighed on bitcoin prices in 2022.

But it wasn’t too long before the original crypto began to rebound. Bitcoin’s rally resumed in 2023 into this year. Investors are more optimistic about the U.S. economic outlook along with the potential to invest in several spot bitcoin ETFs.

On March 14, 2024, bitcoin reached an all-time intraday high of $73,750.07.

How to buy bitcoin online

Investors can buy bitcoin on popular cryptocurrency exchanges, such as Binance, Coinbase and Kraken.

Any investor buying bitcoin directly must store their BTC in a bitcoin wallet. It’s similar to storing paper money in a physical wallet. In this case, bitcoin investors store the privacy keys needed to send or receive cryptocurrency in the wallet.

Bitcoin wallets can be hardware wallets that resemble USB sticks or software wallet apps that store BTC on a smartphone or another device.

Hot wallets are bitcoin wallets that are connected to the internet. In contrast, cold wallets are not connected to the internet. Hot wallets are considered more convenient than cold ones but riskier because of online access.

Read more: How to buy bitcoin

Bitcoin ETFs

In addition to buying bitcoin directly, investors can speculate on the bitcoin market indirectly via bitcoin funds.

In January 2024, the SEC also approved several bitcoin spot ETFs. These funds hold the cryptocurrency rather than crypto futures contracts and trade on major U.S. exchanges.

The approval of bitcoin exchange-traded funds represents a resounding institutional validation of the cryptocurrency, marking a departure from its initial reputation as a speculative and volatile asset.

Leading bitcoin spot ETFs include Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), VanEck Bitcoin Trust (HODL) and Fidelity Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund (FBTC).

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Bitcoin’s all-time high was $73,750.07, which it reached on March 14, 2024.

Since bitcoin exchanges launched in 2010, BTC’s lowest recorded price was $0.04865 on July 14, 2010, according to CoinMarketCap. That said, bitcoin reportedly traded on online forums for just $0.00099 per BTC in 2009.

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