In 2011, cryptocurrencies were in their very infancy. Bitcoin had only been created two years prior, and trading and using cryptocurrencies required technical knowledge. A decade later and the adoption of cryptocurrencies into the mainstream has begun in earnest. It never has been easier to exchange Fiat currencies for crypto that can be used to purchase everything from pizza to a brand new Tesla Model 3. If you had invested $1,000 in any of the cryptocurrencies below a decade ago, you would be a wealthy individual in 2021.
The one that started it all. Created in 2009 by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin created and continues to define the industry.
In August 2011, the price of one Bitcoin sat at just above $10. This was a brief interlude in a downturn that saw it hit a low of around $2 in the final quarter of 2011. Today, a single Bitcoin is worth north of $48,000, down from its high of over $63,000 earlier this year.
Having only been created in July 2015, Ethereum was, of course, not around for the start of our decade-long review.
In less than a year after its creation in 2015, Ethereum was already testing the $10 mark. Despite this, the cryptocurrency hasn’t seen the same meteoric rise as Bitcoin. Today, one Ethereum is worth just over $3,000. It is, however, seen as a strong competition for Bitcoin in its adoption for everyday use.
Dogecoin is a bit of an enigma. It was created ostensibly as a joke. It was then pushed by traders, memers, and trolls on Reddit and later by huge personalities like Tesla’s Elon Musk and Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban.
After seeing little growth for much of its existence, a viral campaign saw investors pile into the cryptocurrency towards the beginning of 2021. The price of Dogecoin rose from around $0.003 in December 2020 to a high of $0.7 in May. Today, one Dogecoin costs approximately $0.3.
Litecoin fits almost perfectly into our decade-long review, having been created in 2011. Finding historical data from that time is, however, challenging. Most data points start from 2013 to 2014. This period was largely static, though. The price fluctuated under $10 until 2017 when it began to catch the crypto community’s eye.
Since then, it has gone through two large peaks, hitting a high of $384 in May 2021, thanks largely to the same viral campaign that prompted Dogecoin’s meteoric rise. Today, one Litecoin is worth approximately $170.
The result of a civil war in the Bitcoin community around a software upgrade in 2017, Bitcoin Cash sought to create larger blockchains in order to process more transactions per second. This decision was made largely to ensure that Bitcoin Cash could be used as an actual currency rather than a store of value.
As a fork of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash was able to debut with an impressive price of $900. After an initial jump to over $1,000 in early 2018, its price had plummeted to less than $90 by the end of the year. Today, Bitcoin Cash is worth approximately $615 a unit.