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Bitcoin Crash History: Not the First and Won't be the LastShare on LinkedinDownload

Bitcoin Crash History: Not the First and Won't be the Last

In this article

Introduction

Worried about Bitcoin crashing and your crypto wealth going to zero? If you haven’t been a part of the crypto space for a long time, this is definitely a real concern.

Yet, the Bitcoin crash history might surprise people. Guess how many times Bitcoin has had horrific crashes. One? Two? Four?

Try 13!

bitcoin crash history chart
(Crashes in this case are measured as times when the BTC price was down by 30% or more). Image credit: HowMuch.net, a financial literacy website 

Moreover, Bitcoin has been much more volatile in the past. Did you know that Bitcoin lost 87 percent of its value in three days from April 10, 2013 to April 12, 2013? Despite that drastic crash in Bitcoin’s price, Bitcoin still increased in value nearly 100 times, or 10,000%, from the beginning of 2013 (~$10) to the end of November 2013 (~$1,000).

For more perspective, here are some of Bitcoin’s biggest crashes and the events that helped cause them.


Bitcoin Crash History: Bitcoin’s 5 Biggest Crashes

1. June to November 2011, -93%

Bitcoin’s first major crash happened in 2011, when Bitcoin went from $29 all the way down to $2. Such a dramatic crash (93%) has not happened since.

The major reason for this epic crash was the hacking of Mt. Gox, the dominant centralized crypto exchange in crypto’s early days. A hacker gained access to Mt. Gox user accounts and was able to falsely “crash” Bitcoin’s price to $0.01.

Although this crash wasn’t real, it was a huge blow to Bitcoin and the broader ecosystem in its early days. Unfortunately, however, this was not the last Mt. Gox fiasco, as you’ll see shortly.

2. August 2012, -56.7%

Bitcoin’s next big crash came a year later in summer 2012, when Bitcoin Savings & Trust, a ponzi scheme promising large weekly payouts to investors, stopped its payouts. Bitcoin Savings & Trust’s operator, Trendon Shavers, eventually went to jail for his activities.

bitcoin crash history - bitcoin savings and trust trendon shavers
Crypto-based ponzi schemes (paying earlier investors in the scheme with new investors’ money) pop up time and time again, even though Bitcoin does not have any sort of investment yield in the way that something like dividend-paying stocks do. Image credit: Edukasi Bitcoin

3. April 2013, -87%

The aforementioned big crash over a few days in April 2013 was a result of both Bitcoin rising too fast and yet another case of mismanagement at Mt. Gox (it wouldn’t be the last). After a huge 4 month rally, BTC finally started to cool off, with the price dropping significantly. On April 10th, 2013, the price of Bitcoin dropped 52% in 6 hours from 12:00 (12pm) UTC to 18:00 (6pm) UTC.

However, this situation was only made worse as Mt. Gox failed to handle the increased amount of trading because of the price drop, causing the price to drop even further. And it didn’t stop there! Hackers decided to DDoS the Mt. Gox site, or take it down.

Considering that Mt. Gox was handling over 70% of Bitcoin transactions at its peak (way more than any centralized exchange today), this caused extreme uncertainty and selling pressure in the community.

4. December 2013 - January 2015, -84.6%

In November 2013, Bitcoin broke its previous all-time high of $260, resulting in the price going absolutely parabolic. Within the course of about a month, Bitcoin’s price went up nearly 5x or 500%, peaking at around $1,150 in early December.

After this tremendous rally, Bitcoin began to correct in price. Again, this was only made worse - yet again - due to problems at Mt. Gox. On February 10, 2014, Mt. Gox halted all withdrawals before filing for bankruptcy on February 28, 2014, announcing that they had lost 850,000 Bitcoin, worth about $450 million at the time.

The Mt. Gox hack was one of the most catastrophic crypto incidents of all time and probably set back the development of the space by a few years. Image credit: Wikipedia

5. December 2017 - December 2018, -83.8%

2017 saw Bitcoin go on a massive rally from $1,000 in the beginning of the year to $20,000 in December. However, Bitcoin’s price quickly began to slide and would do so for an entire year before beginning to stabilize.

While there was no Mt. Gox type event that might’ve had a hand in crashing the market, the market was likely overdue for a correction considering how frenzied the market was by the end of 2017.


Conclusion

As you can see, Bitcoin crash history tells us that crashes in Bitcoin price, including extremely drastic ones, are nothing new. It’s not a stretch to say that we can expect to see more in the future as this asset continues to mature.

The US stock market, which is now one of the most mature and valuable markets in the world, was also much more volatile in its early days:

The early US stock market was much more volatile than today’s US stock market. Not to mention the US stock market has also had its fair share of catastrophic crashes, including the Wall Street Crash of 1929, which started with stocks crashing 89% and helped start the Great Depression, which saw 1 in 4 Americans unemployed. Image credit: The Motley Fool

Nevertheless, through all its ups and downs, the US stock market is still here. Likewise, throughout its more than 10 year history, Bitcoin has yet to be wiped out, despite the hundreds of times that it’s been called “dead”.

While Bitcoin has indeed suffered some serious crashes throughout its existence, here’s what the price of Bitcoin looks like over the long run:

Image credit: Buy Bitcoin Worldwide

As you can see, even though many have called it a scam, or said that it was “dead”, Bitcoin has proven resilient and its long-term trend seems to be up. In fact, Bitcoin is the best-performing asset of the 2010s, and the competition isn’t even close.

For more information on that statistic as well as why it’s possible 1 Bitcoin will be $100,000 or more, check out our future of cryptocurrency article!

Information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. Investing in crypto assets is speculative and carries a high degree of risk; you may lose some or all of the money that is invested. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

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