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Bitcoin Track Record

14+ Years

since inception

$600+ Billion

market capitalization

$15+ Billion

volume traded (24h)

19+ Million

circulating supply

50% Market

BTC dominance



Bitcoin Price History since inception

Bitcoin Market Cap since inception

Bitcoin Historical Annual Returns

From its humble beginnings in 2008 to today, Bitcoin’s history has been relatively short but very eventful. The original protocol for this popular digital currency was created in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto, believed to be a pseudonym for an unknown developer or group of developers.
Nakamoto launched the Bitcoin network just a year later and began mining the currency— an estimated 1 million bitcoins were mined in the early years. The creator(s) of this first-of-its-kind asset developed the cryptocurrency in response to the Great Recession of 2007-2009, spurred by a distrust of the traditional banking system and concerns about its stability.
Given the recent values of Bitcoin, it’s hard to believe the currency first started trading on exchanges in 2010 at under $0.10. Since then, it’s experienced astronomical growth and some pretty wild price swings. At its most recent high, one bitcoin was worth over $69,000—a far cry from trading for pennies in its earliest days.
Whether you’re thinking of investing in Bitcoin or you’ve held this cryptocurrency for several years, it’s fun to look back at this groundbreaking asset’s history. Read on for insights on Bitcoin milestones, historical returns, and how its returns compare to those of other assets. Historical performance doesn’t guarantee future returns. 

Bitcoin Performance Milestones

Since being created, Bitcoin has experienced several milestones. Here’s a look back at some of the most significant moments in the short history of this cryptocurrency:
1. In March 2010, Bitcoin began trading on the now-defunct Bitcoin Market, one of the first-ever cryptocurrency exchanges.
A Florida man named Laszlo Hanyecz bought pizza with 10,000 bitcoin in May 2010, making it the first time anyone used the currency to purchase something.
2. In June 2011, Bitcoin saw its first significant price spike, climbing to a value of $29.60 (up from just $0.30 in January) before declining again later that year.
3. The second half of 2013 marked another major spike—from $68 on July 4th to $1,237 on December 3rd before declining again.
One of Bitcoin’s most significant increases happened in 2017, with its value surging from around $1,000 at the start of the year to $19,345 by mid-December.
4. The Bitcoin hype cooled in 2018, resulting in significant declines—its lowest value was around $3,232 in December of that year.
In 2019, Bitcoin saw another spike, hitting $13,813 on June 26th before declining.
5. After seeing modest ups and downs through October 2020, Bitcoin’s value began to surge again. It hit an astronomical high of over $69,000 in November 2021.
6. Bitcoin dropped by over 75% in 2022

Bitcoin’s annual returns 2010-2021

Compare Bitcoin’s returns to Gold, Real Estate or S&P 500 stock market returns and you will quickly notice the difference. Bitcoin has been the best performing asset class since 2010.

Bitcoin vs. Gold

Compare Bitcoin’s returns to gold’s returns, you’ll notice a stark difference. Bitcoin has an average annual return of 1,576% and a total return of 18,912% from 2010 to 2021, while SPDR Gold Shares had an average annual return of just 5.14% and a total return of 61.67% over the same period. 

Bitcoin vs. Real Estate

BTC delivered a whopping 1,576% average annual return and an 18,912% total return from 2010 to 2021, while the Vanguard Real Estate ETF had an average annual return of 13.49% and a total return of 161.91% over the same period. So, real estate saw slightly higher returns than gold, but it still didn’t come close to Bitcoin’s returns.

Bitcoin vs. S&P 500 (Stock Market)

The S&P 500 didn’t fare too much better in its head-to-head with Bitcoin. From 2011 to 2021, the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF delivered an average annual return of 15.74% and a total return of 173.14%. While those numbers aren’t too shabby, Bitcoin’s average annual return for the same period was a whopping 819%, and its total return was 9,012%.

$1,000 invested in Bitcoin

If you decided to invest $1,000 into Bitcoin. Here’s a look at how this $1,000 investment would’ve performed if you bought and held your bitcoin for 10, 5, 3, and 1 years.

Bitcoin vs. Stocks

Bitcoin stacks up against major companies like Amazon, Apple, Berkshire Hathaway, JP Morgan, Microsoft, Visa, and Walmart. We looked at the average annual and total returns for each asset.

History of Bitcoin Events

Bitcoin Address Metrics

Bitcoin Supply Metrics