The Rise, The Fall and The Resurgence of Bitcoin

It's 2021 and Bitcoin is featuring prominently in the news once more. In this article, we are going to take a look at the rise, the fall, and the resurgence of bitcoin. Cryptocurrency has come a long way since its inception and since then this digital currency has seen massive value fluctuations, hacks, and even some scandals.

Bitcoin has gone through a number of huge crashes since its open-source release back in 2009 and a detailed look at bitcoin prices through to 2021 is detailed below. In the early days of bitcoin, it was primarily used by those who wished to sidestep government rules and it was only when regulators started to accept it as a valid form of tender that more people began to invest in it. Bitcoin's inventor Satoshi Nakamoto designed the cryptocurrency as a means for daily transactions and a way to circumvent the traditional banking infrastructure.

The Rise, Fall, and Resurgence of Bitcoin After the 2017 spike that put Bitcoin in the global spotlight, and the subsequent bubble collapse soon after, few people expected it to climb as high as it did in 2021.

Bitcoin Price Through The Years

Bitcoin has one of the most volatile histories when it comes to trading and price increases and sudden drops have been noted. A lot of bitcoin investors have seen huge changes over the past decade and apart from the volatility of this digital currency, they have also faced numerous problems such as scams, frauds, and the absence of regulation. In spite of this, they have been periods where the price of bitcoin has resulted in huge price bubbles.

  • 2010: This year saw the first bitcoin price increase where the value of a single Bitcoin jumped from $0.0008 to $0.08.
  • 2011: In June of this year the price of Bitcoin jumped from its April value of $1 to $32 which was a 3200% rise. Unfortunately, it was followed by a massive fall in November of the same year and the price plummeted to $2.
  • 2012: Things improved slightly for Bitcoin with a rise in price to $4.80 in May and up to $13.20 by August.
  • 2013: The start of the year saw bitcoin trading at $13.40 and there were two price bubbles throughout the year. The price shot up to $220 in April but this was followed by a very rapid decrease and by mid-April it had fallen to $70. By October it had risen again to $123.20 and by December the price had reached $1156.10. Unfortunately 3 days after this huge rise it fell to $760. There were rumours of poor management and lax securities at Mt. Gox, and this was blamed on the steep decrease of 29%.
  • 2014: There was a decline of 32% in bitcoin's price in 2014 when the price went from $850 to $580. This happened after Mt.Gox, one of the crypto exchanges claimed it lost 850,000 bitcoins in a hack. They filed for bankruptcy in February 2014. Bitcoin however crossed the $1,000 price at the end of January when Overstock announced that it would be accepting bitcoin for purchases.
  • 2015: There were several rapid changes and bitcoin had reached a low of $315 by the start of 2015.
  • 2017: Another price bubble happened in 2017 with Bitcoin trading at $1,000 at the start of the year. It had declined to $975.70 by March 25th but a huge surge and massive price bubble followed with bitcoin reaching $20,089 by the 17th of December. It was this massive price bubble that placed Bitcoin in the spotlight and governments and economists began to take notice and new digital currencies were created to compete with bitcoin.
  • 2019: Between 2017 and 2019 bitcoin's price moved up and down and in June 2019 the price reached over $10,000. It fell to $7,112.73 by December despite now being available at several European online casinos.
  • 2020: With a global pandemic shutting down the economy, Bitcoin's price once again surged. The year began with a price of $7,200 but by the 23rd of November, it has shot up and was trading at $18,353. With the COVID-19 pandemic crushing much of the stock market in 2020, stimulus checks of up to $1,200 were introduced and the markets began to recover. There were concerns over inflation and the idea of Bitcoin as a store of value was reinforced and its supply was capped at 21 million. Institutions began to take an interest and this further increased the price of bitcoin which reached just under $24,000 in December. This was an increase of 224% from the start of the year.
  • 2021: The year has only just begun and already bitcoin has surpassed its previous record hitting $40,000 in January. By January 8th it was trading at $41,528. Three days later however it fell to $30,525.39.

Factors that Influence Bitcoin Pricing

Bitcoin was created as a medium for daily transactions but never really took off in this direction and is seen more as a store of value. People buy it and hold onto it for long periods of time rather than using it for transactions. Over the past decade, bitcoin has become an attractive asset for institutional investors and this has helped to tamp down the volatility. In 2020 several respected financial names spoke in favor of bitcoin and its potential to develop into a store of value to hedge against inflation caused by the pandemic and the government's increased spending. Bitcoin also saw a strengthening in price as it was used for treasury management in numerous companies including MicroStrategy Inc. and Square Inc. Both companies have committed to using bitcoin instead of cash as part of their corporate treasuries.

Bitcoin halving events have had an impact on pricing increases too. This is where the total supply of bitcoin available declines due to a reduction in miner rewards. The bitcoin halving that took place in May 2020 saw an increase in price of nearly 300%. Halving events from previous years such as those of 2012 and 2016 also produced huge price gains of 8,000% and 600% respectively.

Economic instability can also cause bitcoin prices to fluctuate. Bitcoin has always positioned itself as a separate practice and a hedge against economic instability and the government-controlled fiat currency. Countries that have experienced hyperinflation in their currencies have also seen huge increases in the use of Bitcoin and this has led analysts to believe that the price of bitcoin and global economic turmoil are connected and this was clearly seen with the 2020 global pandemic.

Bitcoin and Online Gambling

Bitcoin and Online Gambling

Online casinos in 2021 are adding bitcoin to their arsenal of payment methods and with good reason. A large number of casino players around the world are switching to using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. They can place bets and play real money casino games using a bitcoin wallet. They can claim their winnings in bitcoin and there are no fees.

The first online gambling site to accept bitcoin payments was Switchpoker, and this happened in August 2011. It would be a year later before another site became available and this was Satoshi Dice in 2012. It was a huge success with the site being responsible for half of all transactions on the bitcoin network. The site owner later sold Satoshi Dice in 2013 to an undisclosed buyer for 26,315 BTC which at the time was valued at $11.5 million. In June 2013, crowdfunded Just Dice was launched but a month later it lost 1,300 BTC due to an error on the site and it also exposed the poor security measures that were being used in bitcoin gambling at the time.

In September 2013 the first big bitcoin win was recorded. A lucky winner by the name of Nakowa won 11,000 BTC which at the time was valued at $1.65 million. The first licensed bitcoin casino, Bitcasino.io, launched in February 2014. These initial bitcoin casinos only accepted bitcoin and it wasn't until August 2014 that Crypto-Games launched and began accepting other cryptocurrencies which at the time was Altcoins. FortuneJack followed in September 2014 and it accepts multiple cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin gambling continued to grow. It was unregulated and this was a concern for many. People were exposed to huge risks. In July 2015, the UK government issued a warning and asked people not to partake in bitcoin gambling. This led to a number of additional warnings and restrictions being placed around cryptocurrency transactions. The UK government reversed their stance in 2016 after they established stricter money laundering protocols and two months later licensed casino operators in the UK started accepting bitcoin as a payment method. In October 2016 NetBet became the first licensed bitcoin casino in the UK.

In September of 2017 China issued a blanket ban on cryptocurrency exchanges and this had a huge effect across the entire ecosystem. Online gamblers faced difficulties retrieving their funds and bitcoin casinos felt the impact greatly. Things have found a new normal since then and bitcoin casinos like Bitstarz Casino are finding their place in the online gambling world once more. Many now offer both fiat and digital currencies and there has been a surge in new sites launching since the COVID-19 pandemic.

2020 Pandemic Bitcoin

The 2020 Pandemic and Bitcoin Gambling

The 2020 pandemic led to an exploding in online gambling and many introduced bitcoin as a payment option. While sportsbooks took a massive hit because of the cancellation of many sporting events, online casinos saw a huge increase in play. Special rewards and VIP bonuses were introduced and the quarantine lockdowns enforced by governments around the world pushed land-based casino players to move online. Casinos used the surge in popularity for bitcoin to introduce special bitcoin packages.

Best Bitcoin Gambling Sites

There is a large number of bitcoin gambling sites. The biggest and most popular bitcoin casino is Bitstarz which launched in June 2014. Below are the 4 big brand licensed contenders in the bitcoin gambling market.

  • Bovada: This bitcoin gambling site covers the whole spectrum offering a casino, sportsbook, online poker, and horse racing. It offers special bitcoin bonuses for casino, sports betting, and poker players. Online casino players from the USA can get in on the action and there is a live dealer casino offering too.
  • Slots.lv: This online casino focuses on slot machines and offers bitcoin players huge bonuses as well as weekly reloads when they opt to use the cryptocurrency.
  • BetOnline: This is another all in one online gambling website where bitcoin players can enjoy a casino, sportsbook, and poker room. Players from the USA are accepted and there are some great bitcoin bonus offers too.
  • Ignition Casino: This is a bitcoin accepting online poker room and casino that offers complete anonymity for bitcoin users. There are special bitcoin bonuses available too.

Benefits of Bitcoin Gambling

There are several reasons why Bitcoin is a popular choice for online gamblers and why it is on the rise at online casinos. Below are some of the advantages and benefits of using bitcoin when gambling online.

  • Anonymity: Bitcoin payments are completely anonymous and it offers more protection of player data than any other payment methods available for online gambling. This allows players to remain anonymous. Bitcoin allows for privacy and you don't have to provide the casino with your personal information.
  • No Fees: It's not uncommon for online casino players to face fees especially if the site uses a different currency to yours. This doesn't apply to bitcoin and you don't have to pay for currency conversions.
  • Fast Easy Transactions: For those looking for instant and fast withdrawals, bitcoin is excellent. Traditional withdrawal methods can take up to 3 working days but because there are no intermediaries involved with bitcoin the funds appear in your bitcoin wallet almost immediately. You can have your winnings in a few minutes or up to a couple of hours at the latest.
  • Bonuses and Promotions: Most online casinos accepting bitcoin in 2021 also offer special bitcoin bonuses and promotions which are far more lucrative than standard deposit bonuses.

Online casinos have embraced bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and the advantages far outweigh the negatives of the volatile price. The convenience, anonymity, and safety of using bitcoin to play real money games as well as the increase in special bitcoin bonuses, seems to be having a big effect and we expect to see more and more licensed bitcoin online casinos making an appearance.

Future of Bitcoin

The Future of Bitcoin - 2021 and Onwards

In 2011 bitcoin cost $1. Fast forwards 10 years and bitcoin in 2021 is worth $51,000. If you'd bought bitcoin ten years ago you could be rich today. Many consider bitcoin to be one of the best investment opportunities of the 21st century. There are many professionals that agree. Ari Paul, CIO and co-founder of the BlockTower Capital investment company, believe that bitcoin's current market could reach between $100k and $400k by the end of 2022. Tesla has invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin and is preparing to sell electric cars for bitcoin. Visa is developing an API that will allow banks to provide buying and selling of bitcoin to their customers by the end of 2021.

Given the projects listed above, it looks like bitcoin has an impressive future and predictions for its future pricing are promising. In the online gambling markets, bitcoin casinos are increasing and look set to become an integral part of online gambling sites over the next year too.

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