2020 is probably the strangest, toughest year many of us have encountered. The pandemic has affected our day-to-day lives, our well-being, and our economy. But it also helped launch Bitcoin on one wild ride, culminating in Bitcoin reaching its all-time highest price on December 19 (at the time of writing this). Here, we’ll take a look at Bitcoin’s 2020 journey by examining numbers* of note.
For context: The highest Bitcoin (BTC) ever traded at was $19,780 in December 2017 and the lowest was $3,200 in December 2018.
*All numbers are approximate.
January 1: Bitcoin starts the year trading at $7,150.
According to Coin Telegraph’s January 15 article: “So far, January 2020 has already marked Bitcoin’s most successful start to the New Year since 2012.”
February: Coronavirus cases surged, and so does Bitcoin’s price, all the way up to $10,500.
Remember all the uncertainty we felt in February as U.S. COVID-19 cases climbed, major events were cancelled, and work-for-home policies were instituted? That uncertainty also fueled interest in Bitcoin as a safe-haven asset.
In addition, Bitcoin benefited from the buzz around May’s forthcoming “halving event,” where bitcoins available for mining halve. The last halving event in 2016 resulted in Bitcoin’s price doubling. Investors hoped for a repeat performance….
March: The World Health Organization officially declares the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, and Bitcoin tumbles to $3,850.
On March 11 when the pandemic was declared nearly every one and everything, Bitcoin included, freaked out. Justifiably.
As Joe DiPasquale, CEO of crypto investment firm BitBull Capital, put it in a CNBC article: “Bitcoin’s recent price action is primarily a result of the coronavirus outbreak affecting global markets and driving investors towards the safety of cash.”
Late March: The world continues to freak out, governments release inflation-boosting stimulus packages, and Bitcoin makes a Bull Run to $6,450.
Luuk Strijers, CCO at the crypto derivatives exchange Deribit, posited this in a Coindesk article: “This money printing [for stimulus packages] and lowering of rates might actually turn out to be a driver for more interest in Bitcoin as a hedge against fiat.”
As an aside: The above quote comes from a post titled “Bitcoin All-time High in 2020? Chances are Only 4%, Options Market Signals.”
Spoiler alert: Bitcoin does indeed reach its all-time high.
May: Bitcoin halves and hits $10,000.
The halving event also halves Bitcoin’s inflation rate, which makes Bitcoin especially appealing as governments released inflationary stimulus packages to buoy the economy.
July: Bitcoin hits its year high (so far) at $10,900.
Via Bloomberg: “Bitcoin surged to the highest in almost a year as the slump in the dollar and rally in gold bolstered the notion that cryptocurrencies will emerge as a viable alternative to traditional monetary systems.”
October: Big buys and bigwigs push Bitcoin to $12,000.
Business intelligence firm MicroStrategy buys $425 million in Bitcoin. Square buys $50 million. PayPal announces their platform now supports Bitcoin payments. Plus, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell discusses publicly, albeit cautiously, potential CBDC [central bank digital currency] adoption in the U.S.
This is all very good news for Bitcoin.
November: Bitcoin reaches its all-time high of $19,860!
According to Decrypt, Bitcoin’s price increased 65% in three-and-a-half months due to the cumulative effect of pandemic-inspired interest in safe-haven assets, big-money investors, and solid endorsements from savvy experts.
Add to this, PayPal put its money where its mouth is and bought 70% of all newly mined bitcoins over the course of roughly a month.
Plus the compliments for Bitcoin kept rolling in, such as this from Rick Rieder, BlackRock CIO via Decrypt: “Do I think it’s a durable mechanism? Do I think it will take the place of gold to a large extent? Yeah, I do, because it’s so much more functional than passing a bar of gold around.”
December: Bitcoin hits its all-time high (once again) of $23,000!
The big-time endorsements keep coming and Bitcoin prices keep climbing.
There’s this from JPMorgan: “The adoption of Bitcoin by institutional investors has only begun, while for gold its adoption by institutional investors is very advanced.” So basically: Bitcoin adoption has only just begun while gold doesn’t have the same opportunity for growth.
Then asset manager Ruffer, which managed $27.6 billion in assets in November, announced its Bitcoin investment of 2.5%, calling it “a small but potent insurance policy against the continuing devaluation of the world’s major currencies.”
Altogether, Bitcoin’s value has tripled its value in the course of a year. To which we say: Pass the Bitcoin, please!