If You Invested $1,000 in Bitcoin in 2013, This Is How Much You … – The Motley Fool

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In the past decade, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite have put up superb total returns (including dividends) of 186% and 260%, respectively.
However, the cryptocurrency market has produced an even bigger winner: Bitcoin (BTC 0.92%). The world’s most valuable digital asset has skyrocketed in the last decade. Its current price of roughly $34,600 (as of Oct. 31) is almost 17,000% higher than it was on this same day 10 years ago.
This means a relatively small investment of $1,000 back then would be worth $168,000 today. Good luck finding a better performing asset than that! 
Let’s take a closer look at what has helped drive this top cryptocurrency throughout its history. And then, by assessing things from today’s perspective, investors can figure out if Bitcoin should be in their portfolios right now. 
Unlike most financial assets that start off with institutional adoption, Bitcoin was unique in that its early supporters were individuals, mostly computer scientists who valued privacy and autonomy more than anything. And it makes sense why they thought this way. 
Bitcoin was launched about 15 years ago on the heels of the Great Recession as a new form of money that wasn’t controlled by anybody. Seeing the turmoil caused by the subprime mortgage crisis, the massive bailouts that occurred, and the unprecedented stimulative efforts by governments, Bitcoin’s pseudonymous founder, Satoshi Nakamoto, created a solution. And the first cryptocurrency was born. 
To be clear, Bitcoin has mainly been viewed as an investment vehicle up until now for those seeking financial gains, as opposed to actually being used in transactions. In fact, since the network can only process five transactions per second, some wonder if this cryptocurrency will ever have greater utility. 
Nonetheless, it’s hard to argue with Bitcoin’s astronomical price rise historically. While it’s an extremely volatile asset, it has always reached higher highs. Right now, it’s about 50% below its peak price from November 2021. 
And to show how much progress Bitcoin has made, it’s worth looking at the expansive infrastructure of supporting products and services out there. Bitcoin-only businesses provide Bitcoin individual retirement accounts and loans backed by the digital coin. Coinbase Global, PayPal Holdings, and Block give individuals and institutions the ability to buy and sell it. There are Bitcoin-focused payments companies. And many well-known businesses accept it as payment. 
Bitcoin has also found its way into the portfolios of large corporations and billionaire fund managers. El Salvador even accepts it as legal tender within its borders. Over time, this growing interest has certainly helped propel the crypto’s price. 
I believe it’s reasonable to assume that the next 10 years for Bitcoin won’t come close to resembling the past. If this crypto would have the same compound annual growth rate that it did in the last decade, its market cap would be a ridiculous $114 trillion by November 2033. That’s simply unrealistic. 
But this doesn’t mean it isn’t a worthwhile investment right now. As I noted earlier, its current price is well below its all-time high, so buying the dip is an option, with the hope that it will reach a newer high once again, like it has always done. 
There is also a major catalyst on the horizon. In another sign that the cryptocurrency is slowly becoming more mainstream, the approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission of spot exchange-traded funds is viewed by industry experts as inevitable. The only question is when. This could open the floodgates to lots of institutional capital flowing to Bitcoin. 
Investors who believe in this crypto’s prospects should seriously consider adding a tiny allocation to their portfolios. 
Neil Patel and his clients have positions in Bitcoin. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Bitcoin, Block, Coinbase Global, and PayPal. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: short December 2023 $67.50 puts on PayPal. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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