To the average person, Bitcoin is a scary computer thingamajig that hackers use to buy drugs and guns online. Yet Bitcoin is really just a currency, not unlike the U.S. Dollar or the British Pound. Sure, you can use it to make illegal purchases (like all other currencies), but most people use the currency to pay for legal products and services as they would with regular money.
Unlike regular, physical currencies, you can’t hold onto Bitcoin outside of a computer. It’s not tied to any one government, so the economy of a single country won’t necessarily impact its price. It cannot be manipulated or counterfeited, as everyone in the Bitcoin economy knows how much it’s is worth. It also changes in value 24 hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty-five days a year. (Regular currencies on the foreign exchange, or “forex market,” follow a strict schedule).
These groundbreaking qualities made this currency an attractive investment over the last several years. When the currency came into existence in 2009, it was worth almost nothing. As of this writing, a single bitcoin sells for over $1336. This is because demand in the cryptocurrency tremendously as supply slowly grew.
What does this mean for original Bitcoin investors? Charlie Bilello, Director of Research at Pension Partners, recently posted a chart on StockTwits (our parent site) showing just how much a $10,000 Bitcoin investment in July of 2010 would be worth today. When you see how the currency grew, you might kick yourself for not getting in “on the ground floor.”
— Charlie Bilello, CMT (@charliebilello) Apr. 27 at 08:47 AM
If you bought $10,000 worth of bitcoin in July 2010, you would now be $144,615,556 richer. That’s 1,446,255.56 times the original investment. If someone invested this much into the cryptocurrency and waited less than seven years, they could retire for the next several lifetimes.
There’s no telling just how Bitcoin will perform in the future. The currency is new and volatile, which means it could go up hundreds more or come crashing down. One thing’s for sure: if you’re still holding onto ‘coins from several years ago, you made the best investment of your life.