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Crypto Transaction fees explained

Crypto Transaction fees, explained

Crypto Transaction fees, explained

By Anatol Hooper

1. What are transaction fees?

Transaction fees are paid when cryptocurrencies are transferred to another wallet.

Processing transactions on the blockchain takes effort — and these fees are used to compensate the miners and validators who help keep things running smoothly.

Transaction fees can fluctuate based on how busy a blockchain network is, and they can also be flexible. A user who wants their payment to be confirmed urgently can choose to pay a higher fee so miners are incentivized to put their transaction at the front of the queue.

These charges are fixed on most cryptocurrency exchanges, but users may have the option to adjust fees when using certain wallets.


2. Why do transaction fees exist?

They were initially introduced on Bitcoin as an anti-spam tool, but they turned into one of the most essential attributes of a blockchain.

Initially, transaction fees had the sole purpose of deterring malicious actors from overloading the Bitcoin network. Satoshi Nakamoto, the cryptocurrency’s pseudonymous inventor, was inspired by Adam Back’s hashcash system, which relied on a Proof of Work (PoW) system.

About two years later, Bitcoin developer Gavin Andresen noticed a source code rule that required a minimum transaction fee of 0.01 BTC — that would be an eye-watering $137 at today’s prices.

Back in 2010, this fee didn’t seem like much of an issue. But as time passed, with Bitcoin’s dollar value rising and demand for block space increasing, people realized it was too expensive — especially for those who wanted to send smaller amounts of cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin developers updated the network to omit that rule and increased the block size through the SegWit2x upgrade. Now, transaction fees can be much lower than 0.01 BTC, and they have become an essential part of the network’s health.

Other blockchains, such as Ethereum and Ripple, also realized the importance of transaction fees and adopted similar strategies to keep miners motivated.


3. How do transaction fees work?

Fees incentivize miners to prioritize transactions with higher fees and add them into the next block.

In the case of Bitcoin, all pending transactions reach a so-called memory pool (mempool) where they wait to be picked by miners and included in the next block. If the mempool is full, miners select transactions with higher fees and leave the rest for the following block. That’s why many crypto users are keen to manually increase fees when their transaction is urgent.

On Ethereum, transaction fees are measured in gas — small fractions of ETH. This blockchain offers more sophisticated features than Bitcoin, such as smart contracts and decentralized applications (dApps), so the fees play an essential role here. However, there can be downsides, especially if a crypto user adds an inadequate gas fee.

In the case of Ripple, there are no miners generating new XRP coins, which is one of the reasons why the transaction fees are next to nothing.

So… what about stablecoins, such as those pegged to the U.S. dollar? Tether doesn’t charge transaction fees when funds are being transferred between two USDT accounts or any two blockchain-based wallets that are capable of storing this digital asset. However, there can be costs when USDT is being converted back into fiat.


4. How do blockchain networks and their transaction fees compare?

Usually, blockchains that can handle greater numbers of transactions per second have lower fees.

Today, there are dozens of popular blockchain projects that charge different transaction fees. A simple rule of thumb is this: the higher the network’s throughput, the lower the transaction fee.

For example, the standard fee of a Ripple transaction is 0.00001 XRP as of today, and it peaked at over 0.40 XRP for a very short period in 2017. Considering that the price of XRP is below $0.25, the fee is negligible.

On Ethereum, transaction fees are higher and can surge during congestion on the network. This happened in 2017, 2018 and in mid-2020 during the DeFi craze. This August, fees hit an all-time high — and the record was broken again a month later. Some people were quoted fees of $99, prompting speculation that some protocols would begin to seek alternative blockchains. On Sep. 1, ETH miners pocketed profits of $500,000 in a single hour. Demand for transactions has become a big problem for this blockchain, but it’s hoped that a long-awaited upgrade to Ethereum 2.0 will deliver a better fees system. Ethereum’s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, has expressed concerns that high fees could encourage selfish mining practices.

As for Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market cap has also seen a considerable increase in the price of transaction fees this year. They were under $1 in July, surged above $6 in August, and breached $10 at the end of October.

Besides Bitcoin and Ethereum, other blockchains — including Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano and Ethereum Classic — have much lower fees of below one cent on average. Tron has even lower fees, similar to Ripple.

Elsewhere, ILCoin also has infinitesimal transaction fees, and it relies on a PoW protocol inspired by Bitcoin. Each block on its blockchain can handle millions of transactions, as opposed to the 2,000 transactions that are included in a typical BTC block. This allows ILCoin to maintain unnoticeable fees — and the company says this comes to 0.0124 ILC for every 10 million transferred. Unlike Ripple, which is a more centralized payment network, ILCoin is decentralized and relies on the RIFT protocol.


5. What factors contribute to transaction fee sizes?

The two main factors affecting fees are the size of a transaction, and demand for block space.

Given that some networks can only contain a limited amount of data in each block, miners or validators are restricted on the number of transactions they can include.

When there are many users sending crypto funds simultaneously, demand for block space increases, and there are more transactions waiting for confirmation. 

Sometimes, demand for block space can get so high that networks experience congestion, and fees surge to unsustainable levels.

Larger transactions require more space in the block and take longer to validate than smaller ones.

Article produced by Anatol Hooper


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Heiko Closhen, Entrepreneur

HSBC Bangladesh uses blockchain to import 20000 tons of fuel oil from Singapore

HSBC Bangladesh uses blockchain to import 20,000 tons of fuel oil from Singapore

HSBC Bangladesh uses blockchain to import 20,000 tons of fuel oil from Singapore


HSBC Bangladesh has completed the country’s first blockchain-powered cross-border trade settled using a letter of credit.

The Bangladesh branch of global banking firm HSBC has conducted the country’s first blockchain-based letter of a credit transaction on the Contour DLT platform.

The transaction was used to settle the importation of 20,000 tonnes of fuel oil from United Group’s Singapore subsidiary United Mymensingh Power.

HSBC Bangaladesh’s chief executive, Md Mahbub ur Rahman, described the transaction as showcasing the bank’s commitment “to supporting cross-border trade by Bangladeshi businesses using cutting-edge technology platforms.”

“I believe this will usher in a new era of routing international trade transactions as businesses and governments recognize transparency, security and swiftness in performing tasks using blockchain technology.”

Global payments service SWIFT estimated that Bangladeshi trades using letters of credit, or LCs, were worth more than $34 billion during the first half of 2020. 

By utilizing blockchain technology, the time taken to process the transaction was reduced from between five and 10 days to less than 24 hours. United Group’s managing director, Moinuddin Hasan Rashi, said:

“Fuel oil LCs are highly time-sensitive where every second counts and we believe this blockchain technology will help to manage time efficiently and also ensure increased efficiency and better cost management.”

Contour is a blockchain platform built using R3’s Corda that connects financial institutions and corporate entities in a “decentralized trade finance network.” 

Contour is owned by eight financial institutions including HSBC, ING, Citi, Bangkok Bank, BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered, SEB and CTBC. The platform’s development began in mid-2017, then dubbed “Voltron,” before launching in closed beta the following year.

Eighty different entities spanning 17 countries tested Contour leading up to its commercial beta launch at the beginning of 2020, with the platform exiting beta just one month ago.

Contour has also been used to settle a 176,000 iron ore trade between Malaysia and China, with the Philippine-based Asian Development Bank also using the platform to execute the first cross-border blockchain LC transaction between Vietnam and Thailand.

Article produced by SAMUEL HAIG


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Heiko Closhen, Entrepreneur

Artist gamer or property mogul? Follow the NFT road to find earnings

Artist, gamer or property mogul? Follow the NFT road to find earnings

Artist, gamer or property mogul? Follow the NFT road to find earnings


From owning land to playing games and creating artworks, earning opportunities on NFT marketplaces continue to grow.

Nonfungible tokens are not a new phenomenon in the crypto space, as the emergence of blockchain technology has provided a useful base layer to create a sprawling economy for digital collectables.

Amid the growing appetite for digital art, in-game utility tokens and other forms of crypto collectables, the NFT metaverse is experiencing a surge toward broad-based commercialization. Within the ecosystem lie numerous intersections among various industries such as arts and crafts, gaming, and virtual real estate.

The 2020 decentralized finance hype has also helped to add more fuel to the NFT fire. Governance tokens and liquidity mining protocols appear to be encouraging greater interactions with NFT marketplaces, which is a net positive for NFT market liquidity.


Provably rare NFTs as in-game assets

Earlier in the year, gaming analytics service Newzoo estimated that the industry will exceed $150 billion in revenue by the end of 2020, with this figure topping $200 billion within the next three years. Across multiple platforms — including PC, mobile and console — game developers have seen an increase in patronage following months of lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The intersection of the gaming and blockchain industry arguably offers one of the more attractive propositions for NFT utility. Even the most casual gaming enthusiast is familiar with in-game tokens, like FIFA Points and FUT coins, or exchanging items for money in a person-to-person marketplace like in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

Outside of the game, these assets usually have little value. However, with blockchain, it’s becoming increasingly possible to tokenize these in-game assets. Also, the novel tech provides a useful base layer for creating a marketplace to trade these in-game NFTs.

With NFTs as in-game coins, real-life ownership of these digital assets becomes possible, changing the balance of power from gaming companies to the players themselves. Real ownership offers the possibility of commercializing popular niches such as online trading card games.

Thus, gamers can be assured of earning real money for their time spent exploring these diverse gaming worlds. NFT marketplaces allow users to trade valuable in-game assets for money or even popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).

Blockchain as a common base layer might also create the possibility for cross-platform interaction in the gaming space. Users will be able to move assets such as rare trading cards or unique armour and skins across different titles, as long as the games — especially if they are made by the same developer — share the same blockchain implementation.

Gaming platforms such as Enjin are already working toward cross-platform blockchain gaming. Back in April, the company announced a Ready Player One-style cross-game event dubbed “Cyborg’s Quest” involving eight different Ethereum-based titles with a $50,000 prize pot attached to the competition.

Additionally, the world of competitive gaming is already a huge industry. Earlier this year, market experts predicted that global esports revenue will surpass the $1 billion mark before the end of 2020.


Starving artist? Mint and sell token art

According to data from, the total lifetime NFT sales volume on the Ethereum network has exceeded $130 million. The art sector has only contributed about $8 million to this figure.

However, as previously reported by Cointelegraph, several indicators are pointing to NFTs being a major breakthrough for crypto art. Blockchain is already finding useful applications in establishing provenance for valuable works of art. The immutable nature of decentralized ledger technology offers a framework to monitor and trace the ownership of the artwork to ensure the authenticity of the item in question.

Blockchain is also finding adoption in the online art sales market. Earlier in October, auction house Christie’s sold a digital portrait of Bitcoin’s code for over $130,000. The news marked a landmark in the NFT art adventure as the first time a renowned auction house conducted the sale of a nonfungible token. Commenting on blockchain art, Artur Sychov, founder and CEO of virtual reality platform Somnium Space, identified the art industry as being primed for blockchain disruption, telling Cointelegraph:

“Art is one of the biggest and fastest-growing applications for NFTs. The intersection of proof of ownership and scarcity makes it a perfect match made in heaven. Same with physical goods. Buying a digital copy and receiving a physical equivalent is becoming a big business and part of an ecosystem.”

In a conversation with Cointelegraph, artificial-intelligence artist Pindar Van Arman described NFT adoption as a veritable source of intellectual property protection for art makers. According to Arman: “Without it [NFT], limitless reproductions of their work can be made.”

As digital artists explore ways to mint NFTs, the concepts of haecceity and indexicality come more into play. The former describes the property of an item’s uniqueness, while the latter examines the association between objects.

Some critics of NFT art say it cannot have provable scarcity because it’s possible to download a JPEG of the art piece, rendering the crypto-art-file format redundant. There is also the belief that crypto art can only attain value status upon the emergence of a social consensus with “baked-in” principles of ownership registers.

Within such a framework, artists can not only earn healthy commission percentages for their works but also receive royalties from secondary sales. Like gamers, art makers can earn passive income from the NFT marketplace. Dirk Lueth, the co-founder of the NFT property trading platform Upland, told Cointelegraph that digital memorabilia and crypto collectables are only the tip of the iceberg for nonfungible tokens:

“There is the whole world of digital media. Once the technology is a little more advanced and blockchain allows you also to manage access rights to a movie, song, etc., then the whole world of NFTs is going to see unprecedented growth.”


Virtual commerce in the NFT metaverse

Whether through gaming or selling digital art, the NFT metaverse appears on course to deliver the groundwork for a fully realized virtual space. Back in September, Cointelegraph reported that investors were rushing to acquire blockchain-based land.

Amid the technological strides in VR and blockchain, developers of digital worlds are building immersive virtual ecosystems that allow for several forms of virtual interaction. Thus, for those not possessing great dexterity with games or the gift to create impressive works of art, land ownership in simulated environments offers another path to NFT acquisition.

Projects such as Upland are building digital worlds on top of real-world acreage. Building on the idea of online trading card games, gamers on such platforms can purchase landmark properties that look exactly like their real-world counterparts.

Indeed, the virtual real-estate landscape is beginning to encompass every aspect of the emerging NFT market. When fully realized, artists can display their works in virtual museums and art galleries owned by digital landowners and building owners.

According to Lueth, the expanding digital landscape will help to create value for NFT goods and services: “As people start spending more time in these parallel worlds it is not a question of if, but when other industries will discover that NFTs will be able to offer complete new business opportunities.”

The fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic has also caused a reexamination of human interaction across several spheres of life. Social distancing protocols in many countries have seen activities like work and school move to the virtual realm. Sychov believes humans will eventually move toward a primarily virtual means of interaction:

“The future of human communication is going to be mostly digital inside Virtual Reality. And in order for humans to exist in virtual worlds, they need a decentralized independent economy and ownership protocols which blockchain and NFTs solve very well. So, in short — yes NFTs will play an integral role in exchanging goods and services.”

Article produced by OSATO AVAN-NOMAYO


ecosystem for entrepreneurs


Heiko Closhen, Entrepreneur

Crypto Browser Brave Hits 20 Million Monthly Users

Crypto Browser Brave Hits 20 Million Monthly Users

Crypto Browser Brave Hits 20 Million Monthly Users

By Robert Stevens

Brave’s monthly active user count has increased by 230% in the past year.

Crypto-friendly privacy browser Brave today announced that it has passed 20 million monthly active users and 7 million daily active users. That’s a 2.3x increase from this time last year when it reported 8.7 million monthly active users and 3 million daily active users. 

Brave is a Chromium-based browser with crypto baked in. Instead of lining Google’s pockets, Brave pays you in BAT, its ERC-20 based cryptocurrency token, when you watch web advertisements.

Brave pitches itself as a subversion of “surveillance capitalism,” which refers to the sale of personal data to third-party brokers. Instead of being a slave to Google, you’re a kind of freedom-fighting mercenary. Decrypt gave it a glowing review; we called it a “no-brainer” for current Chrome users. 

Brave, though, has disappointed its users several times on the long road to monetization. It redirected those searching for crypto exchanges to affiliate links and, at one point, set up donation funds for influencers without telling them

Politics and corporate spats aside, Brave’s idea is clearly catching on, and the company is beating its own high score almost every month. It claims that the average click-through rate for a Brave Ads campaign is 9%, far above the industry average of 2%, and that users have watched over 2 billion ads each month.

But Brave is still small and does not register on any major charts of global browser market shares. Chrome, by contrast, has 66.12% of the browser share per Statcounter.

Article produced by Robert Stevens


ecosystem for entrepreneurs


Heiko Closhen, Entrepreneur

Lawyer for OneCoin scammer Ruja Cryptoqueen Ignatova disbarred

Lawyer for OneCoin scammer Ruja "Cryptoqueen" Ignatova disbarred

Lawyer for OneCoin scammer Ruja "Cryptoqueen" Ignatova disbarred


Mark S. Scott, who pocketed upwards of $50 million in fees for laundering OneCoin money, disbarred

In a move on Friday that may help bring some peace to jilted investors, a five-judge panel from New York formally disbarred Mark S. Scott, the former Locke Lord LLP lawyer and attorney for the notorious scammer Ruja "Cryptoqueen" Ignatova, following his November 2019 conviction on charges related to the multi-billion-dollar OneCoin scam. 

Scott, who was convicted of conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit bank fraud, fought the disbarment, arguing that he has a post-trial motion pending which requests either an acquittal or a new trial. 

Judges from the Third Judicial Panel rejected these arguments, stating in their opinion that, "Should respondent's post-trial motion or potential future appeal be successful, 'he may move to vacate the sanction imposed by this court.'"

Co-founded by Ignatova in the mid-2010s, the OneCoin pyramid scheme/multilevel marketing ploy offered commissions for recruiting new investors in what promised to be a major cryptocurrency, but investments were often instead routed directly into Ignatova’s pockets. Ignatova remains at large

For his part, Scott was convicted of helping to launder nearly $400 million for Ignatova, of which he pocketed upwards of $50 million in fees. According to prosecutors, Scott boasted of earning “50 by 50,” referring to his wealth and age, and he used the money to purchase cars, a boat, and multiple beachside homes. 

As Cointelegraph has previously reported, the OneCoin saga and its characters are set to become the topic of a major motion picture starring Kate Winslet, as well as a BBC television show. 

Scott, who is free from prison due to medical concerns, is currently awaiting sentencing scheduled for December 2020. He faces up to 50 years in prison. 

Article produced by ANDREW THURMAN


ecosystem for entrepreneurs


Heiko Closhen, Entrepreneur

What’s Happened to Bitcoin Since its Whitepaper Appeared 12 Years Ago?

What’s Happened to Bitcoin Since its Whitepaper Appeared 12 Years Ago?

What's Happened to Bitcoin Since its Whitepaper Appeared 12 Years Ago?

By Robert Stevens

Since Satoshi Nakamoto published the Bitcoin whitepaper on this day 12 years ago, a lot has happened to the first cryptocurrency.

In brief

  • On October 31, 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto published the Bitcoin whitepaper.
  • Since then, Bitcoin's journey has taken in highs and lows, from the Mt. Gox hack to an all-time high price of $20,000.
  • In 2020, it's seen renewed growth in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, as institutional investors take a growing interest in the cryptocurrency.

Today marks the 12th birthday of the Bitcoin whitepaper. There will be no party, no cake: Bitcoin’s friendship network is decentralized, and its creator anonymous. Yet, since its release, the whitepaper has had a profound impact on the world. What’s happened? Let’s go year by year:


2008: the birth of Bitcoin

On October 31, 2008, our story began. Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonym of Bitcoin’s anonymous creator—or team of creators—releases the whitepaper for Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. In it, Nakamoto sketches a plan for a system that allows “online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.”

The previous month, Lehman Brothers, one of the largest investment banks in the US, collapsed as a result of the 2008 financial crisis. This was Bitcoin’s raison d'être—as the centralized US financial system ran into trouble, a gap in the market opened for a decentralized system that bypassed its burning wreck. 


2009: Bitcoin’s first year

2009 marked the release of Bitcoin. In January, its code was released as open-source software, and the genesis block—Bitcoin’s first block—was mined. Nakamoto mined the first 50 bitcoins, though they weren’t worth anything at the time.

A few weeks later, Nakamoto sent Hal Finney 10 Bitcoins in the first Bitcoin transaction between two individuals. As Bitcoin turned one, Wikileaks published 400,000 documents about the Iraq war, and the Times Square Bomber—who failed to detonate in the New York City tourist hotspot—was sentenced to life in prison.


2010: Bitcoin Pizza Day

Bitcoin shared its 2010 birthday with Instagram; the photo-sharing app launched on October 6. In 2010, Bitcoin was worth around $0.20 and hit highs of $0.39 during the year. Nakamoto, who had mined around one million Bitcoins at the time, passed over the keys for Bitcoin’s code repository to Gavin Andresen. 2010 also marked Bitcoin Pizza Day: on May 22, Laszlo Hanyecz paid 10,000 Bitcoins for two pizzas from Papa John’s. At current prices, that’s over $137 million.

The #BitcoinPizza would be worth US$137,558,701.15 right now (up 3.56352655% in the last 24 hours) #Bitcoin

— Bitcoin Pizza (@TheBitcoinPizza) October 31, 2020

Years later, Hanyecz was sanguine about his multimillion-dollar purchase, telling the New York Times that, “It wasn’t like Bitcoins had any value back then, so the idea of trading them for a pizza was incredibly cool […] No one knew it was going to get so big.”


2011: The first Bitcoin bubble

Bitcoin took off in 2011—and it didn’t take long for the black market to take note of its supposed anonymity, with Silk Road, the darknet market which traded Bitcoin for guns, drugs, and other illegal contraband, opening for business. 

2011 was also Bitcoin’s first bubble: Bitcoin skyrocketed in price, rising to $31.50 on June 8, but by Bitcoin’s third birthday, its price sunk to $3.12; an early sign of the volatility that continues to affect the cryptocurrency to this day.

Bitcoin was also met with competition on its third birthday:  Litecoin, the “silver to Bitcoin’s gold,” launched in October 2011. Elsewhere in the world, Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was killed as part of the Arab Spring uprising.


2012: Blackout, schmackout

October 31, 2012, marked something of a triumph for Bitcoin; on that day, the New York Stock exchange opened up again after closing for two days as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Bitcoin remained operational throughout, providing ample evidence of the power of its decentralized network.

Bitcoin’s price continued to grow throughout the year: by October, it reached highs of $12.4. Its price, which averaged $5.27, was a 1,656 percent increase from 2011.

In September, the Bitcoin Foundation was started, headed by Gavin Andresen, Jon Matonis, Patrick Murck, Charlie Schrem, and Peter Vessenes. BitPay, the Bitcoin payments service, announced that 1,000 merchants started accepting payments through Bitcoin.


2013: Silk Road seized

In February 2013, Coinbase reported sales of over $1 million, and in March, Bitcoin’s market capitalisation surpassed $1 billion. Silk Road, which opened in 2011, was seized by the FBI in October, along with 26,000 Bitcoin; its founder, Ross Ulbricht, is now serving a double life sentence without parole; in 2020, he marked his seventh consecutive birthday in prison. Prosecutors said that, from 2011-2013, sellers on Ulbricht’s site made over $214 million.

By its third birthday, Bitcoin’s market cap had surpassed $2 billion and the price for a single Bitcoin was over $200. Elsewhere in the world, Peter Higgs and Alice Munro win Nobel Prizes.


2014: Mt. Gox collapses

By Bitcoin’s sixth birthday, its market cap is over $4 billion, the price of a single Bitcoin is $329, and its daily volume is over $13 million. But not all is well in Bitcoin world: back in February, the cryptocurrency exchange, Mt. Gox stopped accepting withdrawals after 744,000 Bitcoins went missing; around $473 million, or 6 percent of the Bitcoin supply. Around 200,000 of those Bitcoins have been recovered, though the rest are gone. 


2015: Volume up

By the end of October 2015, Bitcoin’s market cap was $4.6 billion, and the price of a single Bitcoin was $312. Though the price and market cap stagnated, Bitcoin’s daily volume skyrocketed to $52 million. Outside of Bitcoin, China started to build islands in the South China Sea, and Russia got involved in the Syrian war. 


2016: Bitcoin goes mainstream

In 2016, the price of Bitcoin begins to grow. On its whitepaper’s birthday, its 24 hour volume hit $93 million, its market cap $11 billion, and the price of a single Bitcoin, $703. Many more high profile businesses start accepting Bitcoin, including Valve’s Steam video games store and ride-sharing service Uber.

In October, Colombia signed a peace agreement with FARC rebels, and Kim Kardashian had $10 million stolen from her in a hotel room in Paris. If only she’d kept it in Bitcoin…


2017: The Bitcoin bubble

2017 ushered in a new US President in Donald Trump, but for cryptocurrency holders, it was the year of the Bitcoin bubble.

On the birthday of the Bitcoin whitepaper, one Bitcoin was worth $6,131, and its market cap was over $100 billion—a figure that some attribute to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s listing of Bitcoin futures contracts, which made it far easier for the world to bet on Bitcoin. CME traded $460 million in its first week. This price was to skyrocket to over $20,000 in December. On December 7, almost $50 billion worth of Bitcoin was traded. 


2018: Down, but not out

In 2018, everything came crashing down. The market, based purely on speculation, flipped, and Bitcoin fell to $6,538 in February. The cryptocurrency muddled through a tough year: on the 10th anniversary of its whitepaper, the price of Bitcoin was $6,325. While its market cap remained strong, at $109 billion, the crypto crash prompted a backlash from mainstream publications and social media.

Twitter, Facebook, and Google duly banned advertisements for cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. Google and Facebook have since lifted the ban, with Facebook going all-in on crypto as it tries to get its own digital currency, Libra, off the ground.


2019: Bitcoin’s back, baby

In 2019, the market came rushing back, following further price drops in 2018. Bitcoin started the year at $3,764, and its price skyrocketed to $13,796 in July. Since then, its price waxed and waned, but held relatively strong, boosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping's endorsement of its underlying technology, blockchain.

On its 11th birthday, Bitcoin cost around $10,000, and its market cap was around $165 million. By that point, the Bitcoin network comprised over 55,000 nodes, while over 820,000 addresses had traded Bitcoin.


2020: New heights

Ah, 2020. Bitcoin started off strong, as excitement mounted for the imminent Bitcoin halving. But few could have foreseen how the year would pan out, as the coronavirus pandemic gripped the world in March. The chaos initially throttled the price of Bitcoin, with the cryptocurrency dropping to lows of $4,000.

But as massive stimulus packages followed lockdowns around the world, Bitcoin began to come into its own, with investors seeking it out as a hedge against inflation. Bitcoin’s price reached around $10,000 and stayed there for the remainder of the summer. The series of financial shocks endured by the world economy seemed to prove the case that Bitcoin is antifragile—not only resistant to shocks and stresses but stronger for them.

Then the big money started to pour in; institutional investors such as Grayscale and Square scooped up vast amounts of Bitcoin, and digital payments giant PayPal introduced crypto buying and selling features, opening the door to mass adoption of the cryptocurrency.   

The news sent the price of Bitcoin soaring past $13,000; on the 12th anniversary of the Bitcoin whitepaper, it reached its highest price since 2018. Those who'd previously bashed Bitcoin, from Grayscale CEO Michael Saylor to JP Morgan, fell over themselves to sing the cryptocurrency's praises.

#Bitcoin is a swarm of cyber hornets serving the goddess of wisdom, feeding on the fire of truth, exponentially growing ever smarter, faster, and stronger behind a wall of encrypted energy.

— Michael Saylor (@michael_saylor) September 18, 2020

One thing's for certain: whatever happens next, Bitcoin is in a very different place from when it first emerged into the world, 12 years ago.

Article produced by Robert Stevens


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Heiko Closhen, Entrepreneur