Bitcoin (BTC) emerged in 2008 after the global financial crisis. A mysterious identity under the name of Satoshi Nakamoto published the white paper of Bitcoin, a peer-to-peer digital currency that would be free from the clutches of the global market.
BTC is one of the first cryptocurrencies to come into the markets. It has stayed on top despite many other cryptocurrencies entering the scene. It also became an open-source blockchain that helped create other cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin is one of the few cryptocurrencies which uses specialized mining hardware. Each block mined provides a specific amount of Bitcoin to the miner. Currently, the reward amount is 6.5 BTC, and it is due to half again in another four years (or after miners mine another 210,000 blocks).
The recent mining occurred on May 12th, and the price dropped instantly, but within 48 hours, the price is back to the $9K level.
Bitcoin Price and Market Cap
Bitcoin is at a market price of $9,681 currently , and it started the day with just $9,152. Just after the Bitcoin Halving, the price dropped to a low of $8,272 but quickly began to recover the next day.
Around 107 blocks of Bitcoin and 668.75 BTC have been mined in the last 24 hours .
Bitcoin or any cryptocurrency market is quite volatile and is dependent on the supply and demand. Unlike traditional markets, BTC’s market price depends on the supply and demand of the crypto coin. If there is an increase in the supply and demand for the asset, then the market value will rise and vice versa.
There are various cryptocurrency exchanges set up that help you buy, sell, and trade BTC. Few exchanges have insurance if something goes wrong, so ensure you do your research before signing up and transacting.
With more exchanges offering Bitcoin to trade, the supply and demand will only increase, leading to an increase in the market value.
Bitcoin Price History
Let’s take a look at some of Bitcoin’s historic statistics over the years.
Bitcoin in 2015
- In 2015, Bitcoin started at around $315 but saw the lowest price of $177.28 by January 14th itself . But the price stabilized during the summer and saw another spike in November.
- At the time a popular crypto exchange raised 75 million USD in a Series C funding round and became the biggest Bitcoin company.
- Further to the influx of exchange funding more than 160,000 merchants began to accept payments in BTC.
- BTC rose to a high of $465.50 on December 15th.
Bitcoin in 2016
- Bitcoin had a low of $358.77 on January 15th and a high of $978.01 on December 28th in 2016  the price came close to the $1K mark, which it crossed in 2017.
- Japan recognized BTC as virtual currency on par with real money. Dr Craig S Wright publicly announced that he was Satoshi Nakamoto in a huge blog post.
- Hackers also attached Bitfinex, a popular Bitcoin exchange, and stole almost 120,000 Bitcoins.
Bitcoin in 2017
- In 2017, Bitcoin was at the lowest of $775.98 on January 11th and the highest at $19,343 on December 16th . 2017 was the year where Bitcoin gained more popularity and legitimacy amongst lawmakers and legal finance companies.
- Japan even recognized BTC as a legal mode of payment. During August, BTC also split into two – Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, and this became the ‘Bitcoin Cash hard fork.’
- Bitcoin reached a record high but could not cross the $20,000 mark.
Bitcoin in 2018
- The year of 2018, saw Bitcoin be at the highest at $17,135.84 on January 6th but then continued to follow a downward trend and reached a low of $3,703.80 on December 15th .
- 2018 was a rough year for Bitcoin, and many sold their crypto coins when they could. Google and Facebook also added to the hurt and announced they would block any cryptocurrency advertisements.
Bitcoin in 2019
- Bitcoin started the year just above $3.7K and reached a low of $3,383.67 on February 6th. However, by mid-2019, it crossed the $10K mark and reached a high of $12,907.14 . But the downward trend continued as the next Bitcoin halving was nearing.
Bitcoin in 2020 (so far)
- By early 2020 the market value of 1 BTC had grown to $7,195.89. It seemed to have developed a bullish pattern as the Bitcoin halving event was nearing. It rose to a high of $10,348.92 on February 12th, but then the price dropped to a low of $4,912.40 on March 16th .
- The Bitcoin halving event occurred on May 12th and resulted in a price drop from $9.9K to $8.6K. However, the bullish pattern developed, and the price has since stabilized above $9,500 and is looking to test the $10K mark again.
Bitcoin Mining Statistics
In the beginning anyone could mine Bitcoin on their home computer. At the time of launch, in a readme document Satoshi Nakamoto mentioned it would only take a few hours for people to receive their Bitcoins. Nowadays, mining operations require vast amounts of computing power and electricity. Almost all miners of a large size use application-specific integrated hardware (ASIC) hardware to keep the system running without any hiccups. This hardware is used to solve complex calculations called hashes that provide BTC as rewards.
Each BTC block is about 1-megabyte size and verifying it is quite easy. There can only be around 21 million Bitcoins in existence. Once this limit is reached there, can be no more mining. Approximately 18.5 million Bitcoins have been mined, leaving just under three million coins .
Initially, BTC was mined using a computer’s CPU. But GPU mining overtook CPU mining quickly. Back then, the rewards for mining a block were 50 BTC, but Bitcoin wasn’t at a higher market value so not many people took notice.
GPUs became so popular for crypto mining that there were hardware and graphic card shortages which led to price hikes in 2013 and 2017.
According to coin share, the global Bitcoin mining industry consumes about 4.7GW of electricity. Bitcoin mining accounted for 5 GW electricity per day in the US .
Is Bitcoin Mining Profitable?
Bitcoin mining can be profitable depending on various factors, mainly electricity. With Bitcoin halving occurring every four years, the rewards keep on reducing by half. Companies had started to mine Bitcoin in a considerable amount to make a profit, leaving out smaller miners.
Just the graphic card costs around $700, a basic setup may cost from $3,000 onwards. For the biggest miners, they have thousands of machines running 24/7. On top of this, the electricity cost is also in the tens of thousands. All this ends up making Bitcoin mining not as profitable as it was before.
For the miners it could take months before their mining rewards can repay for setup and electricity costs. However, for the smaller miners there is a new method for mining known as cloud mining, where you use another person’s rig for mining. Many companies charge you just for the processing power, or you may pay monthly fees.
Bitcoin markets are still volatile, and once they become stable, then mining and trading will yield better rewards. Currently, mining does not seem profitable enough for smaller miners.
Various Bitcoin statistics suggest that the market price of Bitcoin might cross the $10K mark soon and reach new resistance levels after the halving event. The halving event may also create more demand, which in turn affects the market price.