Mar 5, 2024 - Economy

Bitcoin sets new all-time high on Coinbase

Illustration of a bitcoin necklace.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Bitcoin has reached a new all-time high, breaking its prior nominal record of $69,225 hit on November 10, 2021, on Coinbase, the largest crypto exchange in the U.S.

Why it matters: The original cryptocurrency is driving the latest industry bull market.

Between the lines: Bitcoin continues to exhibit the four-year cycle associated with the regular halving of its supply issuance. The next halving is due to hit sometime in April.

  • Exchange traded funds launched in January have also put the cryptocurrency in the realm of mainstream investors. So-called spot bitcoin ETFs have finally allowed heavily regulated funds to enter the market.

By the numbers: Coinbase charted a high of $69,324 at a little after 10:00 AM ET this morning. Bitcoin (BTC) is currently trading at $66,988 on the exchange.

  • In recent days, it had already broken its all-time high when denominated in other major currencies around the world.
  • Adjusted for inflation, its all-time high relative to the U.S. dollar is closer to $77,000 today.

Caveat: Each price is typically composed of market inputs from around the world, so they can have slightly different readings.

  • Axios usually cites CoinGecko data, which has not yet charted a price above $69,000. The all time high on that site is $69,044.
  • The CoinDesk Price Index also shows the original cryptocurrency breaking $69,000 this morning.

Flashback: Since its prior high in November 2021, bitcoin's price graph has been anything but a straight line.

  • A billion dollars in value evaporated a year after that mark, when a gradual crypto market downturn was sent into a full-blown crash with the terra usd stablecoin meltdown in May 2022.
  • Bitcoin fell below $29,000 that November.

The big picture: Crypto now has been through several booms and busts, and in each bust, the bottom has been a little higher than it was the time before.

  • While the cinematic string of scandals that rocked the industry through 2022 captured the public imagination, none of those companies represented the core value proposition of blockchain technology: decentralized networks that no one person or group can control.

My thought bubble: As we said in December 2022, crypto would be fine.

What we're watching: Bitcoin is up more than 57% over the last three months, and strong growth may continue through the halving — but returns probably won't match 2021's.

  • The market's maturing.
Go deeper