It’s cold in the United States. How cold? Residents in the Midwest may as well be living in Antarctica this week, and windchill factors could leave exposed skin with frostbite in a matter of minutes. That’s cold. Record breaking cold. If you live in Chicago or the Twin Cities, we hope you’re staying put, drinking hot cocoa, and resisting the urge to order Bitcoin Pizza. (After all, delivery guys are no more deserving of frostbite than you are.) But in honor of the cold weather, and what many are saying is the middle of Bitcoin Winter, we decided to dive into Bitcoin’s price history and take a look at Bitcoin’s biggest cold snaps over the last ten years.
BRRR, It’s Cold In Here!
May 22, 2010, otherwise known as Bitcoin Pizza Day, gave Bitcoin its first real-life value, and marked the beginning of price tracking for cryptocurrency. Nine months later, Bitcoin’s price first reached a dollar. And only a few months after that, it quickly spiked to $30. But what goes up must come down, or so we hear. After almost grazing the $30 mark on June 8, by June 11 the price had plummeted by 50% to $14.65. It briefly looked set to recover, but the downward swing continued, and by December of that year the price was only $3.00, a 90% decrease in value.
Following a quiet but steady 2012, 2013 showed Bitcoin’s first signs of volatility in April. The cryptocurrency’s price was slowly climbing, having started the year at a little more than $13. By the beginning of April, it had crossed the $100 mark for the first time, and a few days later, on April 9, it hit $230. That celebration didn’t last long though—over the next four days, the price plunged back down to $68, losing 70% of its value. It would be another six months, in November of that year, before the price recovered.
Five years after it debuted, and following its November recovery, Bitcoin first hit four digits. That climb into the $1,000 range not only showed Bitcoin’s power as an alternative, decentralized currency, it also gave us the now-famous HODL post, coining a new term for holding on for dear life. But while Bitcoin reached a dizzying $1147 on December 4th, by December 7th it had dropped down to $694. It wouldn’t cross the $1,000 mark again until January 2, 2017.
2017 was a year of near steady climbing for Bitcoin. It debuted the year at $1,000, and closed it at $14,000, increasing by 1400% over the course of one year. But not everything went up. In September 2017, over the span of two weeks, Bitcoin’s price went from just in reach of $5,000 back down to $3,222. And in December of that year, after peaking at an incredible $19,343 on December 16, less than a week later it was back down at $13,857, a drop of almost 30% over six days.
2018 may as well have been one big cold snap, but the most significant price drop happened at the start of the year. After rebounding above $17,000 on January 6—Bitcoin’s highest price for 2018—the price fell steadily over the course of a month before bottoming out at just under $7,000 on February 5, losing $10,000, or 60%, in value over the course of 30 days.
November 2018 – December 2018
Which brings us to the Bitcoin Winter of our discontent. Between November 13, 2018 and December 13, 2018, Bitcoin once again went through a cold snap, losing almost 50% of its value over the course of a month, dropping from $6300 to $3200. That’s cold, but as of this writing, it’s been holding steady.
What do these cold snaps tell us? First that it’s time to burrow under another electric blanket and heat up some soup. But they also show us the amazing resilience of Bitcoin. Over the course of ten years Bitcoin has managed to go from a value of under $0.01 to over $19,000 and back down to $3,000 without collapsing. It has weathered drops only to climb mountains and it has been declared dead only to rise up again. And its staying power is a testament to you. To your belief in alternative payment methods, a new economy, and a financial revolution. Like you today in the polar vortex, Bitcoin has shown that it can weather anything. Now excuse us, we’re not crying or anything, we just have some snow in our eyes…