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Chart: How Bitcoin Reached Parity With Gold



Chart: How Bitcoin Reached Parity With Gold

Chart: How Bitcoin Reached Parity With Gold

Charting the fast and volatile rise of bitcoin

The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays.

Would you rather have one bitcoin, or a single ounce of gold?

The answer used to be obvious. Even at the climax of the legendary 2013 rally, bitcoin was never able to reach unit-for-unit parity with gold.

However, since an off-year in 2014, the enigmatic cryptocurrency has steadily climbed in price to take the title of the best-performing currency in both 2015 and 2016. And today? After continuing its rally into 2017, the price of bitcoin has now passed this arbitrary, but psychologically important measure of parity with an ounce of gold.

How did we get here so fast?

Bitcoin: A Short History

Here are some of the most important events that have shaped the bitcoin market:

May 2010: The famous “Bitcoin Pizza” transaction takes place.
This is one of the first “real world” transactions, in which one man indirectly paid 10,000 BTC for two Papa John’s pizzas. That works out to a pretty steep price of over $6 million per pizza using today’s prices, but we are sure they were delicious. Today, May 22 is still celebrated as “Bitcoin Pizza Day” throughout the Bitcoin community.

February 2011: Bitcoin hits “dollar parity”.

October 2012: Bitpay says 1,000 merchants accept bitcoin payments.
Early adopters of the cryptocurrency included, Reddit, OKCupid, and The Pirate Bay.

Mar 2013: Cyprus bank bail-in.
Generally speaking, the European Debt Crisis was a major boon for bitcoin. However, this specific event really put the potential downsides of the banking system and centralized fiat currencies in the limelight.

Oct 2013: Silk Road Bust
As prices were soaring at the end of 2013, the FBI seized 26,000 BTC from Silk Road and its alleged owner, Ross Ulbricht.

Feb 2014: Mt. Gox files for bankruptcy protection
The world’s biggest exchange, which at one point controlled 70% of bitcoin transactions, was plagued with hacks and other problems. It finally went under in 2014.

Aug 2015: By this point, 160,000 merchants accept bitcoin payments

Dec 2016: Bitcoin is the world’s top performing currency for 2nd straight year
See our charts on this for 2015 and 2016.

Bitcoin’s Rise in Context

For enthusiasts and speculators that have followed the cryptocurrency since the beginning, the meteoric rise of bitcoin has been a wild ride.

However, despite the feat of reaching unit-for-unit parity with gold, it is important to take in some context.

Firstly, there are about 16.2 million BTC in circulation – and there are 5.6 billion oz of gold that have been mined throughout history. For that reason the value of the gold market is still more than 300x higher.

Next, while the value of the bitcoin market has soared exponentially since the early days, it is still only worth about $20 billion in total – this is about half of the value of the average company on the S&P 500 (~$40 billion). Compare the bitcoin market to an Apple or Google, and it seems even less extraordinary.

But for those people that follow the crypto markets closely, this above context actually represents the potential upside of the digital cryptocurrency. It means bitcoin still has lots of room to soar – and since bitcoin supply is limited and cannot be created out of thin air, there is nowhere for the price to go but up.

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Visualizing the 15 Most Valuable Bitcoin Addresses

The most valuable Bitcoin address is worth $17.5B.



Bar chart of the 15 most valuable bitcoin wallets.

Visualizing the 15 Most Valuable Bitcoin Addresses

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

A Bitcoin address is a unique identifier consisting of 26 to 62 alphanumeric characters used to receive bitcoins.

These addresses serve as the destination for transactions on the Bitcoin network, ensuring that funds are sent to the correct recipient.

This graphic ranks the 15 most valuable Bitcoin addresses globally as of May 2024, based on BitInfoCharts’ Bitcoin Rich List.

How Bitcoin Works

Bitcoin is considered the world’s most valuable digital currency.

Unlike fiat currencies such as the U.S. dollar, which central banks back, a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin is supported by an underlying blockchain. This blockchain records every Bitcoin transaction in a public, decentralized, and distributed ledger.

Every time bitcoins are spent, a digital transaction record must be validated and added to the blockchain. Miners undertake this task, legitimizing and auditing Bitcoin transactions while earning bitcoins as a reward.


According to BitInfoCharts, the world’s top Bitcoin address dates back to October 2018, with a balance of 0.1 BTC (worth $660 at the time).

Since then, it has experienced several massive swings in value, reaching 180,000 BTC ($1.7B) in November 2019 and then falling to 1,370 BTC ($9.4M) in April 2020.

RankBalance (BTC)Value (USD)Address

Beginning in late 2020, this address began accumulating bitcoins at a rapid pace, reaching 300,000 BTC ($10.3B) in July 2021.

Since January 2023, its BTC balance has remained constant at around 248,597 BTC.

If you enjoyed this post, check out Ranking the Largest Bitcoin ETFs in the U.S. In this graphic, we rank the top eight Bitcoin ETFs in the U.S. by their total assets under management.

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