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Bitcoin Price Chart

Historical price data for Bitcoin.
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  • Bitcoin
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    $1.27 T

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is the first publicly adopted cryptocurrency and the largest by market value. The Bitcoin network is a decentralized peer-to-peer network that allows anyone around the world to move value without relying on a third party, such as a bank or financial institution.

One of Bitcoin’s primary features is its fixed supply of 21 million coins and global availability. Anyone around the world can own BTC as a digital property, and its limited supply and economic design also make it appealing to investors.

Brief History of Bitcoin

In late October 2008, an unknown person or group of people known by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto introduced Bitcoin to the world. The idea behind the network and its underlying infrastructure was described in a whitepaper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.”

Satoshi Nakamoto released the Bitcoin whitepaper to a cryptography mailing list that included some of the world’s most renowned cryptographers, such as Adam Back and Hal Finney. Fast forward to a few months, precisely on January 3, 2009, Satoshi launched the Bitcoin network and mined the first ever Bitcoin block (also known as the genesis block).

Following its launch, Bitcoin remained a niche technology used by a small community of enthusiasts. However, things would eventually change as more people learned about the technology’s revolutionary power, as well as Bitcoin’s potential to become a form of global monetary asset.

The first known commercial transaction with Bitcoin occurred on May 22, 2010. On that date, computer programmer Laszlo Hanyecz bought two pizzas for 10,000 Bitcoins following his post for such an offer on the BitcoinTalk forum.

Just one year later, Bitcoin would find a broader use case. Silk Road, a darknet marketplace created by Ross Ulbricht, adopted BTC as its primary payment currency, with many users preferring it because of its decentralized and pseudonymous nature.

Even though Silk Road was subsequently busted by government authorities, it demonstrated Bitcoin’s potential and led to a broad adoption of the currency. Given how rapidly its price surged on demand, many also realized Bitcoin’s value as an asset. Besides, the price rally drew widespread media attention, brought BTC to the mainstream spotlight, and prompted a wave of interest from both retail investors and institutional players.

Fast-forward to the present. Bitcoin is now a broadly adopted asset offered by the world’s largest financial institutions and held by publicly traded companies. It has also inspired the development of millions of other cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects, underpinning an industry valued at trillions of dollars.

Bitcoin remains the largest cryptocurrency by market value and a focal point for innovation, investment, and debate within the global financial landscape.

Read our complete Bitcoin guide for beginners