Bitcoin’s Impressive Year in Perspective

by Joakim Book
The American Institute for Economic Research

Bitcoin’s returns are no longer astronomical.

At this time last year, the financial press was filled with stories of bitcoin’s outsized returns. The controversial cryptocurrency had been the highest performing asset of the 2010s, by orders of magnitudes besides. CNN reported that its decadal returns were in the millions of percent. Vildana Hajric at Bloomberg kept repeating the 9,000,000% return figure. Crypto Twitter was filled with people celebrating bitcoin’s financial success.

Investigating that claim I argued that bitcoin’s astonishing returns were made possible by starting from a ridiculously low base ? 50 cents, 0.07 cents, or even 0.0036 cents. Using the earliest prices we have for this strange new beast, the return claims were somewhat conservative ? a rare trait in the crypto sphere.

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