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Bitcoin's price has typically declined from past peaks for more than three years, with the most recent rise just seven months ago. In June of 2022, the price of Bitcoin (BTC) plunged below $20,000 after reaching a high of $68,000 in December 2021.
Bitcoin experienced its worst month since September 2011 in June 2022, as its monthly losses reached 40 percent. In addition, the cryptocurrency experienced its most considerable quarterly loss in 11 years.
The present market decline does not limit Bitcoin crashes and bear markets to 2022. Since the first Bitcoin block, also known as the genesis block, was mined in January 2009, Bitcoin has had its fair share of crypto winters.
As we zoom out on the Bitcoin price graph, Cointelegraph has identified five of the most significant price drops in the history of the pioneering cryptocurrency.
The Bitcoin price surpassed its first crucial psychological threshold of $1.00 in late April 2011, initiating its first-ever rise that culminated on June 8, 2011, when it reached $32. A few days later, though, Bitcoin’s value plunged to only $0.01, ending the celebration.
The sudden sell-off was primarily linked to security vulnerabilities at the collapsed Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox, which traded the bulk of Bitcoin at the time. Due to a security compromise on the exchange’s infrastructure, 850,000 BTC were taken, raising severe worries about the safety of Bitcoin on exchanges.
Bitcoin’s June 2011 flash crash, in which BTC lost around 99 percent of its value in a matter of days, was a significant event in the history of Bitcoin. The event marked the beginning of a long time until the BTC price rebounded to the previous high of $32 and reached new heights in February 2013.
The Bitcoin price before 2013 is difficult to follow compared to current figures. Before April 2013, popular price tracking programs and websites like CoinGecko and CoinMarketCap did not track Bitcoin prices.
“Before 2013, Bitcoin was in its infancy, and there were not too many sites trading Bitcoin,” CoinGecko’s chief operating officer Bobby Ong said to Cointelegraph. He said that CoinGecko has not had many data requests since 2013. Therefore it is low on the platform’s list of priorities.
According to BTC price statistics compiled by Cointelegraph, the price of Bitcoin reached $100 in mid-April 2013 and briefly surpassed $1,000 in November 2013.
Shortly after surpassing $1,000 for the first time in history, Bitcoin entered a significant bear market, with the BTC price plunging below $600 one month later. In 2013, the Chinese central bank began to crack down on Bitcoin by preventing local financial institutions from accepting BTC transactions. This precipitated the price decline.
In the subsequent two years, the value of the cryptocurrency continued to decline, bottoming out at roughly $360 in April 2014 and then falling even further to $170 in January 2015.
The lengthy cryptocurrency winter of 2014 connected with the Mt. Gox hack, which blocked all Bitcoin withdrawals in early February 2014. The platform ceased trading and ultimately declared bankruptcy in Tokyo and the United States.
Late in 2014, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission asserted that it had authority over “Bitcoin price manipulation.” Other primary financial sources also expressed concern about Bitcoin, with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission claiming it had control over “Bitcoin price manipulation.”
The attitude around Bitcoin was predominantly negative until August 2015, when a long-term trend reversal began. In January 2017, Bitcoin’s price ultimately recovered to $1,000 during a solid bullish market. This was the longest stretch of Bitcoin price recovery to an all-time high in its history.
After recovering to $1,000 in January 2017, Bitcoin rallied to a peak of $20,000 by the end of the same year.
Similar to Bitcoin’s previous peak of $1,000, the victory of $20,000 was short-lived, as Bitcoin lost more than 60 percent of its value within a few months.
2018 was swiftly dubbed a “crypto winter” as the Bitcoin market continued to decline, with BTC bottoming at about $3,200 in December 2018.
The crypto winter began with security vulnerabilities on Coincheck, another Japanese cryptocurrency exchange. In January of 2018, Coincheck was compromised, resulting in the loss of around $530 million worth of the NEM (XEM) cryptocurrency.
In March and June of 2018, digital titans, including Facebook and Google, prohibited advertisements for initial coin offerings and token sales on their platforms, respectively, exacerbating the bear market.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rejected applications for Bitcoin exchange-traded funds, which further contributed to the bear market.
Bearish sentiment dominated the crypto market until 2020, when Bitcoin not only returned to $20,000 but also began a strong bull run that peaked in April 2021 at over $63,000.
Despite 2021 being one of the best years for Bitcoin due to its market valuation surpassing $1 trillion, Bitcoin had a minor setback.
Three months after Bitcoin’s price reached new all-time highs in mid-April, it retreated significantly, falling to as low as $29,000 in three months.
The small bear market of 2021 coincided with a developing media narrative indicating that Bitcoin mining had an environmental, social, and corporate governance problem (ESG).
Elon Musk’s electric vehicle company Tesla dropped Bitcoin as a payment option in May, with the CEO citing ESG concerns, which increased the worldwide ESG-related FUD around Bitcoin. After only three months, Musk acknowledged that almost fifty percent of Bitcoin mining was fueled by renewable energy.
The bear market was short-lived despite China’s massive crackdown on local mining operations. Bitcoin finally surged to its still-unbroken all-time high of $68,000, recorded in November 2021, when the bullish trend reappeared at the end of July.
The price of Bitcoin failed to surpass $70,000 and began falling in late 2021. Since November of last year, the cryptocurrency has been in a bear market, and 2022 will see one of its worst historical declines.
In June, the price of bitcoin fell below $20,000 for the first time since 2020, causing widespread market panic.
The recent bear market is primarily attributable to the crisis of algorithmic stablecoins, namely the TerraUSD Classic (USTC) stablecoin, which is meant to sustain a stable 1:1 peg with the U.S. dollar using blockchain algorithms as opposed to corresponding cash reserves.
In May, USTC, previously a prominent algorithmic stablecoin, lost its dollar peg. The debugging of USTC caused widespread fear in the crypto market, as the stablecoin had become the third-largest stablecoin before its collapse.
Due to enormous liquidations and uncertainty that fueled a crisis in cryptocurrency financing, the collapse of Terra produced a domino effect on the rest of the crypto market. Due to their failure to sustain liquidity, many worldwide crypto lenders, such as Celsius, were forced to restrict withdrawals due to challenging market circumstances.
Bitcoin’s price has typically traded below prior highs for over three years. The previous top of $68,000 was only seven months ago, and it is unknown whether and when Bitcoin will reach new heights.