How much is one bitcoin worth? In fiat currency terms, that’s a constantly shifting answer, but ever since the beginning, the following has held true: one bitcoin is worth as much as the buyer is willing to pay. Today, that’s likely to be a few thousand dollars, but back in the day, the reverse was more likely to be true: for one dollar, you could buy several thousand bitcoins.
Also read: Bitcoin History Part 7: The First Major Hack
Calculating Bitcoin’s Exchange Rate
Once an asset has a universally agreed exchange rate, tracking its rising and falling price thereafter is a simple matter. But when no one’s really sure what the market is willing to pay for an emerging asset, it can be hard to reach consensus on valuation – especially when there are no exchanges to facilitate price discovery. This was the dilemma that early Bitcoin adopters faced in early 2010.
‘We are in a sort of “chicken and egg” situation at the moment,” noted Bitcointalk forum member The Madhatter. “In order for an exchanger to sell bitcoins … to someone, they need customers who have dollars and want coins … I mean, why would an exchanger sit around and accept bitcoins that are generated on your computers? They are going to just blow out their float of dollars and fold.” A couple of months prior, the first rudimentary exchange rate for BTC had been calculated by influential forum user “NewLibertyStandard” (aka NLS). Their pricing system was based on the amount of energy required to mine BTC – or “BC” as it was still often referred to at the time.
A Simple Model to Get the Ball Rolling
“New Liberty Standard is doing fantastic and logical work to help ‘set the ball rolling’,” praised forum user “BitcoinFX” on Feb.