The history of bitcoin, from its modest beginnings in 2008 to the present, has been comparatively brief yet quite dramatic. This well-known digital currency’s first protocol was developed in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto, who is thought to be a fictitious creator or group of developers. There has been a significant increase in bitcoin returns over time.
Nakamoto built the Bitcoin network and started mining the currency; in the early years, an estimated 1 million bitcoins were produced. The cryptocurrency was invented in response to the Great Recession of 2007–2009, which was sparked by mistrust of the conventional banking system and worries about its stability.
Given the current prices of bitcoin, it is difficult to believe that the digital coin’s initial trading price on exchanges was less than $0.10. Since then, it has expanded astronomically and seen some wildly fluctuating prices.
One bitcoin was valued almost $64,000 at its most recent peak, a vast cry from its early days when it was only worth pennies. It’s interesting to consider the past of this ground-breaking asset, whether you’re considering buying bitcoin or you already own some of it. Continue reading for details on bitcoin returns over time, milestones, and how they stack up against those of other assets.
Table of Contents
Benchmarks for Bitcoin Returns Over Time Performance
Bitcoin has reached a number of significant anniversaries since its creation. A look back at some of the pivotal events in the brief history of this coin is provided below.
In May 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz, a Florida resident, became the first person to use bitcoin to make a purchase when he used the cryptocurrency to pay for pizza.
Before falling once more later that year, in June 2011 bitcoin experienced its first big price increase, rising to a value of $29.60 (up from just $0.30 in January).
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 the digital currency’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.
The hype cooled in 2018, resulting in significant declines—its lowest value was around $3,232 in December of that year. In 2019, it saw another spike, hitting $13,813 on June 26th before declining.
After seeing modest ups and downs through October 2020, the coin’s value began to surge again. It hit an astronomical high of over $68,000 in November 2021. It dropped by over 75% in 2022. It continues to hover around the $30k mark in 2023 even though it might have dipped of late.
Total Bitcoin Returns Over Time (10 Years, 5 Years, 3 Years, and 1 Year)
Although the digital asset isn’t immune to the volatility that many cryptocurrencies encounter, it has produced some remarkable profits over the years. The annual bitcoin returns from 2010 until 2022 are shown below:
|10-Year Bitcoin Returns Chart|
While the digital currency has gone through some extreme monthly price swings and seen its value decrease for a few years, you can see that these reductions have been overshadowed by some remarkable gains. Let’s now examine how its price has fluctuated over the past 10, 5, 3, and 1 years.
Consider purchasing a single bitcoin on August 3rd, 2013, at the going rate of $1,106.75. The value of that one coin would have increased to $29,310.44 if you had held it until August 3rd, 2023, giving you 10-year bitcoin returns on investment of 2,546.8%.
In this example, we’ll also assume that you bought one bitcoin. A single coin was worth $965.31 on August 3rd, 2018, and by August 2023, it would be worth $29,310.44. Your overall bitcoin returns for those five years, according to our computation, would be 294.1%.
On August 3, 2020, one bitcoin was worth $11,246.20, and by the end of 2021, it had increased to $29,310.44. Your bitcoin returns over the course of those three years was 160.6%.
On August 3, 2022, you would have spent about $22,626.83 for a single coin. That amount would have grown to $29,310.44 in a year. That year, you would have earned a total of 29.54% as your bitcoin returns.
Multi-year returns compared
|Initial value||Final value||Bitcoin returns (%)|
|15 years (2008-2023)||$0.000764||$29,310.44||3,839,387,524,500%|
|10 years (2013-2023)||$1,106.75||$29,310.44||2,546.8%|
|5 years (2018-2023)||$7,438.67||$29,310.44||294.1%|
|3 years (2020-2023)||$11,246.20||$29,310.44||160.6%|
|1 year (2022-2023)||$22,626.83||$29,310.44||29.54%|
What Your Bitcoin Returns Would Have Been If You Started 10, 5, 3, or One Year Ago
Let’s imagine you invested $1,000 in bitcoin rather than purchasing one coin. Here is an analysis of how your $1,000 investment would have fared if you had purchased and held bitcoin for 10, 5, 3, and 1 years.
|Initial Price||Number of Bitcoins purchased||Final Value|
|10 years (2013-2023)||$13.30||75.19||$2,203,358.14|
|5 years (2018-2023)||$13,880||0.072||$2,110.35|
|3 years (2020-2023)||$7,200||0.139||$4,073.15|
|1 year (2022-2023)||$16,605.10||0.0602||$1,765.11|
Although individuals who bought and held bitcoin in the beginning would have benefited the most, newer investors also got good bitcoin returns over time.
How Does Bitcoin Compare to Other Asset Classes?
- Vs. Gold
There is a noticeable disparity between bitcoin returns and gold returns. In comparison to SPDR Gold Shares, which had an average annual return of just 5.14% and a total return of 61.67% from 2010 to 2022, bitcoin returns over time were a total of 18,912%.
Returns over time (%)
|SPDR Gold Shares (XAU) Return (%)|
2. Vs. Real Estate
Let’s examine whether real estate performed any better than bitcoin returns over time. In contrast to the Vanguard Real Estate ETF, which had an average annual return of 13.49% and a total return of 161.91% over the same time period, the cryptocurrency generated a staggering 1,576% average annual return and an astounding 18,912% total return from 2010 to 2021.
Real estate therefore experienced slightly greater returns than gold, although they were still not as high as bitcoin returns.
Returns over time (%)
|Vanguard Real Estate ETF|
3. Vs. S&P 500 (Stock Market)
When compared to bitcoin returns over time, the S&P 500 didn’t perform any better. The Vanguard S&P 500 ETF generated returns totaling 173.14% between 2011 and 2023, with an average annual return of 15.74%. These figures aren’t bad, but the digital currency’s average yearly return for the same time period was a staggering 819%, and its overall return was 9,012%.
Returns over time (%)
|VOO, Vanguard S&P500 ETF|
How Do Bitcoin Returns over time Compare to The Best Performing Stocks?
How do bitcoin returns over time fare in comparison to some of the best-performing stocks? We’ve examined how it contrasts with gold, real estate, and the stock market. This popular cryptocurrency is compared to some of the world’s largest corporations, including Amazon, Apple, Berkshire Hathaway, JP Morgan, Microsoft, Visa, and Walmart.
We examined each asset’s average yearly and total returns. According to the statistics, you purchased the asset in 2010 and kept it until 2023.
|Asset||Average annual return (%)||Total return (%)|
Although some investors might be wary about cryptocurrencies due to worries about market volatility and a significant chance of loss,bitcoin returns over time offer a positive image. For many investors, especially early adopters, bitcoin has proven to be worth the risk due to its longevity and extraordinarily high profits.
Of course, past results may not guarantee future success. In light of this, only invest in cryptocurrencies what you can afford to lose.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ
What are Bitcoin Historical Annual Returns?
Its historical annual returns refer to the percentage change in the value of the coin over specific time periods, typically measured on an annual basis. These returns provide insights into the performance of the digital asset as an investment over different duration, such as 10 years, 5 years, 3 years, and 1 year.
How are historical Annual Returns Calculated?
Historical annual returns are calculated by comparing the price at the beginning of a specific year with its price at the end of that year. The percentage change in price is then calculated, taking into account factors such as price fluctuations, market trends, and any other relevant events that occurred during the year.
What Do Historical Annual Returns Tell Us?
historical annual returns offer a retrospective view of how the digital asset has performed as an investment over different time horizons. Positive returns indicate price appreciation, while negative returns signify price depreciation. These returns can help investors understand the volatility and potential risk associated with bitcoin returns over time.
What Time Periods Are Typically Analyzed for Historical Returns?
historical annual returns can be analyzed for various time periods, including 10 years, 5 years, 3 years, and 1 year. These time-frames allow investors to assess the coin’s performance over the long term as well as its more recent trends.
How Should Investors Interpret Historical Returns?
Investors should interpret historical returns in the context of their investment goals and risk tolerance. Positive returns over a specific period indicate potential profit, but they also reflect the volatility of the digital coin’s price. Negative returns are not uncommon, given the inherent volatility of cryptocurrency markets.
What Factors Can Impact Historical Returns?
Several factors can impact historical returns, including market sentiment, regulatory developments, technological advancements, macroeconomic trends, and global events. The decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies and their susceptibility to news and events can lead to rapid price fluctuations.