If You Invested $100 in Bitcoin in July 2010, Here's How Much You'd Have Now | The Motley Fool (2024)

Hint: You'd be one of the world's richest people.

Over the very long-term, no asset class has been more successful at making investors richer than the stock market. Although there have been instances where housing, bonds, oil, and other commodities have outperformed equities in the short-term, no other investment vehicles have produced a higher average annual return than stocks.

Over the short-term, it's a completely different story.

Since the coronavirus pandemic trough for equities in March 2020, the broad-based S&P 500 has returned a little over 100%. Meanwhile, the total value of all cryptocurrencies has jumped almost 20-fold, from $141 billion to $2.8 trillion, as of Nov. 12, 2021.

If You Invested $100 in Bitcoin in July 2010, Here's How Much You'd Have Now | The Motley Fool (1)

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Here's how much $100 invested in Bitcoin on its debut day is worth now

Much of the buzz in recent months has gone to the dogs, literally. Meme coin Shiba Inu (SHIB 2.82%) has galloped higher by more than 10,600,000% since its debut on Aug. 1, 2020. Dogecoin, which also derives its inspiration from the Japanese Shiba Inu dog breed, gained more than 27,000% in a six-month stretch between early November 2020 and early May 2021.

But potentially lost in this mix is how insane the returns have been for cryptocurrency blue chip Bitcoin (BTC 0.20%).

Bitcoin first made its debut for trading at the beginning of July 2010 at a price of $0.0008 per token. That's just eight-hundredths of a penny. If we make the hypothetical assumption that there were no transaction fees, a $100 investment on its debut day could have purchased 125,000 Bitcoin.

As of late evening on Nov. 12, at the time of this writing, Bitcoin was going for $63,712.34 per token. An initial $100 investment held for a tad over 11 years and four months has gained almost 8,000,000,000% and would now be worth $7,964,042,400. In other words, Forbes would be including you in their annual list of the world's richest people.

To put this into another context, Tesla Motors' CEO Elon Musk is currently the world's richest person, with an estimated net worth of $281.6 billion. If you had the luck, stomach, and wherewithal to invest $3,550 in Bitcoin on Day 1, you'd be the richest person in the world right now.

If You Invested $100 in Bitcoin in July 2010, Here's How Much You'd Have Now | The Motley Fool (2)

Image source: Getty Images.

Here's how Bitcoin has returned almost 8,000,000,000% for its investors since July 2010

You might be wondering how any investment gains nearly 8 billion percent in a little over 11 years. The answer boils down to a couple of factors.

Arguably the biggest catalyst for Bitcoin is the perception of its scarcity. Whereas most cryptocurrencies have large maximum coin supplies (e.g., Shiba Inu started out with a max coin supply of 1 quadrillion), Bitcoin caps at a 21 million token supply. Since Bitcoin is mined and the block rewards associated with transaction validation halve every four years, the full 21 million tokens won't be in circulation until sometime around the year 2140.

To build on this point, Bitcoin is often viewed as an inflationary hedge to what's been a free-wheeling Federal Reserve. Since Great Recession, the U.S. central bank's balance sheet has grown immensely, as has the U.S. money supply. The thinking here is that as inflation ticks higher and the true value of U.S. dollars declines, people will flock to Bitcoin, which has an aforementioned fixed supply of 21 million tokens.

There's also clear excitement about Bitcoin's growing real-world utility. For example, El Salvador became the first country to legalize Bitcoin as tender, as of Sept. 7, 2021. Bitcoin is also the most-accepted digital currency among businesses worldwide.

Not surprisingly, the largest cryptocurrency in the world by market cap has the biggest community, by a mile. Over 76 million people around the world, including 46 million in the U.S., have a unique wallet that contains Bitcoin, as of August 2021. Keep in mind these figures are prior to El Salvador making Bitcoin legal tender.

Lastly, there's continued excitement about future upgrades that'll improve the network and, hopefully, increase adoption. For instance, the long-awaited Taproot upgrade occurred this past weekend. Taproot will boost Bitcoin's privacy, allow for complex (i.e. smart-contract-based) transactions at a cheaper cost, and combine multi-signatures transactions into one, which'll reduce data stored on the blockchain and help scale the network.

If You Invested $100 in Bitcoin in July 2010, Here's How Much You'd Have Now | The Motley Fool (3)

Image source: Getty Images.

Don't be fooled: Bitcoin is no surefire investment

Although Bitcoin has, thus far, been an unstoppable investment that's proved me wrong, there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical about future upside (or even the ability to maintain its existing gains).

To begin with, Bitcoin isn't truly scarce. A physical commodity, such as gold, is limited to what's already been dug up from the ground and what remains to be mined on Earth. In other words, alchemy can't be used to make more gold. This is what true scarcity looks like. With Bitcoin, there is no physical scarcity. Only written code caps its token limit, and changes can be made if consensus is reached. That's not true scarcity -- it's the perception of scarcity.

Another concern is that Bitcoin may still lag a number of popular cryptocurrencies, even with the Taproot upgrade. At the moment, Bitcoin's transactions process much slower than its peers and cost substantially more. If businesses were looking for a blockchain-based use case that would improve existing payment infrastructure, Bitcoin would be way down the list of long-term candidates.

Furthermore, Bitcoin is constantly being battered by dilution. But I'm not talking about token inflation. Rather, I'm speaking to the hundreds of new coins and blockchain projects being introduced on a weekly basis. While Bitcoin has first-mover advantages, it's a first-generation technology that could struggle to compete with third-generation blockchain innovation.

The growing ability to trade Bitcoin presents additional challenges. Although shorting popular digital currencies is possible on many crypto exchanges, short-selling crypto is rare due to its volatility and sometimes sketchy liquidity. For some tokens, this creates something of a buy bias. But with the number of derivative listings for Bitcoin growing, it's providing a means for big money to bet against the world's largest digital currency. In essence, as access to Bitcoin grows, so does the ability to short-sell it.

Lastly, history is pretty clear that investors always overestimate how quickly new technology will be adopted. Every next-big-thing trend since the mid-1990s has gone through a bubble phase and eventually deflated. This doesn't mean blockchain technology won't play a major role at some point in the future. It's simply to point out that the big gains in Bitcoin will likely prove fleeting as the enterprise shift to blockchain takes longer than expected.

Sean Williams has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Bitcoin and Tesla. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

If You Invested $100 in Bitcoin in July 2010, Here's How Much You'd Have Now | The Motley Fool (2024)


What was the price of Bitcoin in July 2010? ›

The closing price for Bitcoin (BTC) in July 2010 was $0.06, on July 31, 2010. It was up 26.7% for the month. The latest price is $66,154.73.

How much would 100 dollars in Bitcoin be worth today? ›

Convert US Dollar to Bitcoin
100 USD0.00158862 BTC
200 USD0.00317723 BTC
250 USD0.00397154 BTC
400 USD0.00635447 BTC
11 more rows

What would $10 in Bitcoin in 2010 be worth today? ›

On the first Bitcoin exchange, in March 2010, 1 BTC was $0.003 - so, you would have bought around 3333 BTC for $10. Today 1 BTC is $16763, so your BTC would be worth 55.87 million USD.

How much would 1 Bitcoin be worth in 5 years? ›

We predict that Bitcoin will hold an average price of $60,000 in 2024, thanks to the Halving event, and settle more in 2025 with an average of $65,000. In 2026, we see Bitcoin trading as high as $90,000 by the end of the year. By 2030, we predict that Bitcoin could reach a high of $160,000.

How much would I have if I invested $100 in Bitcoin in 2010? ›

If you invested $100 in Bitcoin in 2010, you'd have $42,800,000 today. Makes you wonder what the next big opportunity will be. What are you the most bullish on over the next decade?

How much would $100 of Bitcoin in 2010 be worth today? ›

If you invested $100 in bitcoin in 2010, witnessing its growth to $1.54 billion today, you have experienced a once-in-a-lifetime financial phenomenon. It serves as a powerful example of how innovation can reshape the investment landscape.

How much was the price of Bitcoin in 2010? ›

In 2010, bitcoin—the cryptocurrency that had then come into being only a year back—was valued at the average of USD 0.06 or Rs. 2.85. Bitcoin hit a record-high of USD 2,779 yesterday, stunning investors and observers around the world. It has appreciated 150 percent year to date.

How much would $1 dollar in Bitcoin be worth today? ›

Current USD to BTC exchange rate

1 USD equals 0.000017 BTC. The current value of 1 United States Dollar is -1.28% against the exchange rate to BTC in the last 24 hours. ​ The current Bitcoin market cap is $1.18T. ​Create a free Kraken account to instantly convert USD to BTC today.

How much is a full Bitcoin worth today? ›

The live Bitcoin price today is $63,079.00 USD with a 24-hour trading volume of $188.12M USD.

What happens if I put 500 in Bitcoin? ›

If Bitcoin returns to all-time highs, a $500 investment today would be worth $822.50, representing a return of +64.4% which bring a little ROI to your investment.

What if I invested $1000 in Bitcoin in 2010? ›

That investment would be worth $6,859,178,076.22 today based on the same price of $28,122.63 at the time of writing. While investing in Bitcoin today may never be worth billions of dollars in the future, the hypothetical investment illustrates the large increase in value of the leading cryptocurrency over time.

What happens if I invest $100 in Bitcoin? ›

If Bitcoin returns to all-time highs, a $100 investment today would be worth $164.41, representing a return of +64.4%. While Bitcoin may never reach the $500,000 or $1 million price targets from Ark Invest, a return to all-time highs could be more likely.

What if you put $1000 in Bitcoin 5 years ago? ›

If you had invested $1,000 into bitcoin five years ago, the investment would have grown by 1,352% and be worth around $14,524 as of Feb. 14. If you had bought $1,000 worth of bitcoin 10 years ago, it would have grown by 7,644% and be worth around $77,443 as of Feb.

How low will Bitcoin go in 2024? ›

Bitcoin, it found, is likely to hit an average peak price of $87,875 in 2024, with some experts predicting it will climb as high as $200,000. On the flip side, the average lowest price Bitcoin could hit by the end of 2024, is seen as $35,734, the report said, with some predicting it will fall as low as $20,000.

Could Bitcoin go to zero? ›

It is theoretically possible. Bitcoin has been around for close to 15 years now, and although it has survived several dramatic crashes before making new highs, its extreme volatile nature puts investors at risk of losing all their money.

What was the price of 1 Bitcoin in 2010? ›

In 2010, bitcoin—the cryptocurrency that had then come into being only a year back—was valued at the average of USD 0.06 or Rs. 2.85.

How much was 1 Bitcoin in 2010? ›

The closing price for Bitcoin (BTC) in 2010 was $0.30, on December 31, 2010. It was up 506.1% for the year. The latest price is $63,607.19.

How much was $1 BTC in 2010? ›

Prices and value history
DateUSD : 1 BTC
May 2010less than $0.01
Feb 2011 – April 2011$1.00
Nov 2013$350–$1,242
Apr 2014$340–$530
23 more rows

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