How the Debt Ceiling Deal Will Affect Student Loans

On Saturday June 3rd, President Joe Biden signed the long-awaited debt ceiling deal into law. The Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 averts the general economic chaos that could ensue if the U.S. defaulted on its domestic and foreign debts, and imposes cuts in federal spending. The legislation also ends the three-year pause on federal student loan payments and interest accrual in effect since March 2020.

Federal student loan borrowers anxiously await confirmation of exactly when payments will resume.

When Will Federal Student Loan Payments Resume?

According to the bill’s language, the federal student loan payment pause will end “60 days after June 30th,” or Aug. 30th. The bill does not explicitly outline when the Department of Education (DOE) will resume collecting payments, but prohibits further extensions of the pause (there have been eight) without congressional approval.

The White House may still offer a grace period or other payment flexibility. Prior to the debt ceiling bill, when the payment pause was set to expire June 30th, the White House had been considering a one-month grace period. And according to one report, the DOE has already been preparing for the end of the payment pause with a plan that incorporates its own grace period.

All told, repayment is not expected to resume until October.

Recommended: The US Debt Ceiling, Explained

What About Student Loan Forgiveness?

In the hours before the debt ceiling bill passed, the Senate also voted to overturn President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan. Biden has said he will veto that resolution.

The future of federal loan forgiveness now hinges on the Supreme Court, which is expected to rule on two forgiveness cases this month, though no firm date has been released. If the Supreme Court upholds student loan forgiveness, low- and middle-income borrowers will be eligible for up to $20,000 in debt relief on federal student loans.

The court ruling will affect roughly 27 million qualifying student loan borrowers, according to DOE estimates. With the average federal student loan debt around $37,338, Pell Grant recipients who qualify for the full $20K in debt cancellation could see their loan principal halved. And borrowers who receive just $10K in forgiveness could still see their payments drop by 25%.

If the Supreme Court strikes down student loan forgiveness, the Biden administration may still seek changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and income-based loan repayment. Borrowers who don’t qualify for either of these programs will need to pay back their full outstanding federal student loan balance.

The Takeaway

The Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, commonly referred to as the debt ceiling bill, officially cancels the pause on federal student loan repayment and interest accrual at the end of August. Student loan borrowers must now prepare to repay their loans this fall — possibly in October.

Sometime in June, the Supreme Court will also decide the fate of Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, which will affect the size of student loan bills for qualifying borrowers.

Student loan refinancing is one way borrowers can seek to make student loan payments more manageable. If you want to lower your monthly payment but your federal debt is potentially eligible for Biden’s one-time forgiveness program, you can refinance just the amount that will not be canceled. Note that the refinanced amount will lose access to federal protections and programs, and you may pay more in interest over the life of the loan.

Refi with SoFi today to get flexible terms and a competitive low rate.

Photo credit: iStock/Su Arslanoglu

SoFi Student Loan Refinance
If you are looking to refinance federal student loans, please be aware that the White House has announced up to $20,000 of student loan forgiveness for Pell Grant recipients and $10,000 for qualifying borrowers whose student loans are federally held. Additionally, the federal student loan payment pause and interest holiday has been extended beyond December 31, 2022. Please carefully consider these changes before refinancing federally held loans with SoFi, since the amount or portion of your federal student debt that you refinance will no longer qualify for the federal loan payment suspension, interest waiver, or any other current or future benefits applicable to federal loans. If you qualify for federal student loan forgiveness and still wish to refinance, leave unrefinanced the amount you expect to be forgiven to receive your federal benefit.

CLICK HERE for more information.

Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.

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Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.

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Bull Markets, Explained

Bull Markets, Explained

A bull market occurs when a broad market index rises at least 20% over two months or more. Bull markets signal higher levels of investor confidence and optimism about the future of the market. They are generally a sign of a strong, healthy economy.

The opposite scenario, in which stock prices fall by 20% over an extended period, is known as a bear market.

If you’re investing in the stock market, it’s important to know the nature of bull markets and their potential impact on your returns.

What Is a Bull Market?

When asset prices generally rise over time, the upward trend is known as a bull market. The traditional benchmark for identifying a bull market is an increase of 20% or more in a market index over a two-month period. For example, stock experts might look closely at the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) or the S&P 500 to determine whether a bull market exists.

Bull markets can imply that the economy is in good shape, with unemployment low and new jobs being created. Investors tend to view a bull market favorably because it suggests that stock prices may continue to rise over the long term. People who buy stocks early in a bull market may benefit later from the investments’ significant price appreciation.

Why Is It Called a Bull Market?

Although there’s no single explanation for how bull and bear markets got their names, people often suggest that the descriptive names are meant to reflect the nature of each animal.

Bulls, for instance, have a reputation for charging or attacking. In a bull market, eager investors may rush in to buy stocks in the hope of capitalizing on future price increases.

Bears, on the other hand, are often seen as being defensive animals that only attack when threatened. In a bear market, it’s common to see investors pull back out of caution and sell off stocks they own or avoid buying new ones. Those behaviors are often driven by fear and uncertainty about the market trending down.

Characteristics of a Bull Market

Identifying when a bull market begins or ends is sometimes challenging, given the nature of stock prices and how rapidly they can move up or down. Generally, there are three indicators that stock experts use to determine whether a bull market exists.

•   Stock prices, or prices for a broad market index, have increased by 20% or more over a set period of time, typically two months or longer.

•   Investor confidence is high and those buying into the market have an optimistic outlook toward the future.

•   Overall economic conditions are largely positive, with low unemployment rates and, ideally, low inflation rates as well.

These three signs usually indicate that the market is on a sustained upswing. Other indications of a bull market can include strong earnings reports and marked increases in investors’ dividends.

What Causes a Bull Market?

Bull markets are usually driven by changing undercurrents in the economy. They tend to reflect the business cycle.

The business cycle experiences periods of expansion, followed by periods of contraction. Real gross domestic product is a commonly used metric for determining which of four phases the economy is in.

•   Expansion. During the expansion period, the economy is growing and domestic production is up. There may be a bull market for stocks during this period.

•   Peak. A peak occurs when the economy exhausts its ability to grow. At this stage, the bull market typically hits its highest levels before entering the next phase.

•   Contraction. During the contraction period, the economy shrinks. Companies may cut back on spending or hiring to save money and stocks may enter bear market territory.

•   Trough. The trough is the lowest point in the business cycle. It’s followed by the beginning of the next expansion phase, which can open the door to a new bull market.

The business cycle also influences when bear markets occur. In addition, there are times when a bull or bear market is triggered by something other than the business cycle. For example, in early 2020 there was a short-lived bear market caused by uncertainty over the emerging COVID-19 pandemic.

Example of a Bull Market

The bull market that began in 2009 following the shock of the financial crisis is the longest on record, lasting until the bear market that occurred in early 2020.

Several factors contributed to the sustained length of the bull market, including strategic moves to manage monetary policy on the part of the Federal Reserve, and tax breaks delivered by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Many stockholders benefited from steady dividend payouts, and the real estate market also delivered a strong performance during that time.

Bull Market vs Bear Market

Bull markets and bear markets are opposites in terms of how participants behave and what the outcomes can mean for investors. Bull markets typically involve upward movement of stock prices while bear markets indicate a downturn.

In a bull market, investors tend to take a positive view of the market. Bear markets, on the other hand, can trigger pessimism, fear, or other negative feelings among investors.

Bull markets are usually marked by thriving economies and high levels of corporate growth. Bear markets point toward a slowing economy and limited growth. In extreme cases, a bear market could suggest that a recession may be on the horizon (although a recession can offer certain opportunities as well).

Investing Tips During a Bull Market

Investing in a bull market isn’t one-size-fits-all, so your personal approach may be different from other investors’. There are, however, a few overall strategies that could help you to maximize gains while taking on a level of risk you’re comfortable with.

Keep Your Goals In Sight

It’s easy to be tempted to follow the crowd when investing in a bull market or a bear market, but it’s important to stay focused on your individual goals, especially if you’re a beginning investor. If you already have a financial plan in place, that plan can act as a guide for how to choose the right asset allocation during a bull market.

Diversify Your Portfolio

Diversification is an important tool for managing risk in a portfolio. When you’re diversified across different asset classes or industries, it helps to limit your exposure to certain kinds of investment risk. If one investment begins to decline in value, your other investments can help to bolster your portfolio.

A higher allocation to stocks may be optimal if stock prices are rising, but you may want to balance those out with less risky investments, like bonds.

If you’re investing in mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs), consider what assets each one holds to avoid becoming overweighted in one particular industry or sector.

Go Long in Your Positions

Going long simply means adopting a buy-and-hold approach when investing in a bull market. The end goal is to buy stocks at a low price, then sell them later for a higher price to maximize returns. The key is knowing how to identify the impending end of a bull market so that you can sell before prices drop.

The Takeaway

Bull markets, in which asset prices rise and investors feel optimistic, are a natural part of the market cycle. A bull market begins when a market index rises 20% or more over a two-month period, and it can last months or years. Generally, during a bull market, maintaining a diverse portfolio and a clear idea of your goals can help you manage your investments prudently.

If you’re not investing yet, it’s never been easier to get started. With SoFi, you can open an online investment account and start building a portfolio. You can choose between self-directed trading or automated trading as you begin your journey to growing wealth. SoFi doesn’t charge management fees, and investors can choose between stocks, ETFs, crypto, and more.

Invest with as little as $5 with a SoFi Active Investing account.


Is a bull market a good market?

A bull market usually signifies that the market is strong. A market where stock prices are generally increasing can offer an opportunity to buy and hold stocks — if you can purchase them before prices rise too high.

How long can a bull market last?

Bull markets have no set duration; they can last months or even years. When a bull market occurs, it typically sticks around for a longer period of time than bear markets do.

Should you sell stocks in a bull market?

Selling stocks in a bull market could make sense if you’re able to sell them for substantially more than you paid for them. Essentially, it all comes down to timing and what makes sense for your individual goals and tolerance for risk.

Photo credit: iStock/GOCMEN

SoFi Invest®
The information provided is not meant to provide investment or financial advice. Also, past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Investment decisions should be based on an individual’s specific financial needs, goals, and risk profile. SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance. Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC. SoFi Securities, LLC, member FINRA / SIPC . SoFi Invest refers to the three investment and trading platforms operated by Social Finance, Inc. and its affiliates (described below). Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of the platforms below.
1) Automated Investing—The Automated Investing platform is owned by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC registered investment advisor (“Sofi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC, an affiliated SEC registered broker dealer and member FINRA/SIPC, (“Sofi Securities).
2) Active Investing—The Active Investing platform is owned by SoFi Securities LLC. Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
3) Cryptocurrency is offered by SoFi Digital Assets, LLC, a FinCEN registered Money Service Business.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above, including state licensure of Sofi Digital Assets, LLC, please visit Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform. Information related to lending products contained herein should not be construed as an offer or prequalification for any loan product offered by SoFi Bank, N.A.
Investment Risk: Diversification can help reduce some investment risk. It cannot guarantee profit, or fully protect in a down market.
Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs): Investors should carefully consider the information contained in the prospectus, which contains the Fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other relevant information. You may obtain a prospectus from the Fund company’s website or by email customer service at [email protected] Please read the prospectus carefully prior to investing. Shares of ETFs must be bought and sold at market price, which can vary significantly from the Fund’s net asset value (NAV). Investment returns are subject to market volatility and shares may be worth more or less their original value when redeemed. The diversification of an ETF will not protect against loss. An ETF may not achieve its stated investment objective. Rebalancing and other activities within the fund may be subject to tax consequences.

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Bitcoin Price History: Price of Bitcoin 2009 - 2021

Bitcoin Price History: 2009 – 2023

With Bitcoin’s price holding steady above the $20,000 mark for most of early 2023, there are hopes that the crypto winter of 2022 is thawing, and that BTC — as well as crypto prices in general — may recover some lost ground.

Bitcoin’s price has been on a wild ride since it launched over 14 years ago, on January 3, 2009. While that’s similar to most cryptocurrencies, BTC has been particularly volatile owing to the price surges of 2021, quickly followed by the dramatic declines during the so-called crypto winter of 2022.

In other words, those who bought Bitcoin (BTC) early and held onto it have typically seen phenomenal returns, but the fluctuations in Bitcoin’s price — as with all forms of crypto — have also led to considerable losses.

For crypto fans and investors curious about this space, the volatile price history of the world’s oldest and most widely embraced cryptocurrency can also be viewed as a much broader saga. Bitcoin’s story reflects the rise of decentralized finance (DeFi), the emergence of blockchain technology, and countless innovations that are changing how investors think of commerce as well as what the future of crypto might hold.

Bitcoin Price History

Bitcoin price history chart

While some enjoy comparing Bitcoin’s price history to past speculative manias like Beanie Babies circa 1995 (or the infamous tulip bubble circa 1636), speculation is only one factor in any given Bitcoin price fluctuation.

Over the years, a fairly reliable pattern has emerged in Bitcoin’s prices. Every four years, the network undergoes a change called “the halving,” where the supply of new BTC rewarded to Bitcoin miners gets cut in half. This has happened three times so far. The first Bitcoin halving occurred in 2012, from 50 BTC to 25 BTC, the second in 2016, from 25 to 12.5, and the third in 2020.

As of July 15, 2022, the current reward for Bitcoin mining stands at 6.25 BTC.

In each instance, the price of BTC reached new record highs in the year or so following each halving event. This was typically followed by a Bitcoin bear market. After a period of consolidation, the price then moved upwards again in anticipation of the next halving, beginning a new Bitcoin bull market.

While the price of BTC can hardly be considered predictable, it’s useful to view the chapters in the Bitcoin price history and what it may mean for investors.

Bitcoin Price History by Year

Bitcoin Price History by Year (2014-2022)
Year High Low
2014 $457.09 $289.30
2015 $495.56 $171.51
2016 $979.40 $354.91
2017 $20,089.00 $755.76
2018 $17,712.40 $3,191.30
2019 $13,796.49 $3,391.02
2020 $29,244.88 $4,106.98
2021 $68,789.63 $28,722.76
2022 $48,086.84 $15,599.05
2023 $16,674 $24,895

Source: Yahoo Finance

Bitcoin Price in 2009: The Start

Price of 1 Bitcoin in 2009: $0

On October 31, 2008, the pseudonymous person or group known as Satoshi Nakamoto published the Bitcoin white paper. This paper introduced a peer-to-peer digital cash system based on a new form of distributed ledger technology called blockchain.

Then, on January 3, 2009, the Bitcoin network went live with the mining of the genesis block, which allowed the first group of transactions to begin a blockchain. This block contained a text note that read: “Chancellor on Brink of Second Bailout for Banks.” This referenced an article in The London Times about the financial crisis of 2008 – 2009, when commercial banks received trillions in bailout money from central banks and governments. This event helped mark Bitcoin’s original price at $0.

For this reason and others, many suspect that Nakamoto created Bitcoin, at least in part, in response to the way the events of those years played out.

Bitcoin Price in 2011: The Surge Pt. 1

Price of 1 Bitcoin in 2011: $1 – $30

The Bitcoin price in 2009 was barely above zero. Real adoption of Bitcoin began to take place about two years later, and a major Bitcoin price surge happened for the first time.

In 2011, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) accepted BTC for donations for a few months, but quickly backtracked due to a lack of a legal framework for virtual currencies.

In February of 2011, BTC reached $1.00 for the first time, achieving parity with the U.S. dollar. Months later, the price of BTC reached $10 and then quickly soared to $30 on the Mt. Gox exchange. Bitcoin had risen 100x from the year’s starting price of about $0.30.

By year’s end, though, the price of Bitcoin was under $5. No one can say for sure exactly why the price behaved as it did, especially back when the technology was so new. It could be that 2011 marked the launch of Litecoin, a fork of the Bitcoin blockchain — and other forms of crypto began to emerge as well — signaling greater competition.

In 2012, of course, Bitcoin saw its first halving, from a 50-coin reward for mining BTC to 25 coins. This set the stage for its precipitous growth. But the pattern of an 80% – 90% correction from record highs would continue to repeat itself going forward, even as much more Bitcoin liquidity would come into being.

Bitcoin Price in 2013: The Decisive Year

Price of 1 Bitcoin in 2013: $13- $1,100

In 2013, the EFF began accepting Bitcoin again, and this was the strongest year in Bitcoin price history in terms of percentage gains. The cryptocurrency saw gains of 6,600%.

Starting at $13 in the beginning of the year, the price of Bitcoin rose to almost $250 in April before correcting downward over 50%. The price consolidated for about six months until another historic rally in November and December of that year, when the price peaked out at $1,100.

This bull run saw Bitcoin’s market cap exceed $1 billion for the first time ever. The world’s first Bitcoin ATM was also installed in Vancouver, allowing people to convert cash into crypto.

It would be over three years before the Bitcoin price would reach $1,000 again. The Bitcoin price in 2013 bottomed out at -85% off its record high.

Amidst this volatility was a surge in crypto interest, with Dogecoin being one of the more notable coins to emerge at that time. Though considered a meme coin, Dogecoin still exists.

Bitcoin Price in 2014 – 2016: The Fallow Period

While the cryptoverse quietly exploded in this time period, with technological innovations that permitted a move away from proof-of-work to the less onerous proof-of-stake, as well as the emergence of smart contracts, and the real foundations of decentralized finance — Bitcoin was relatively quiet.

The price held steady in the $200 to $400 range for much of this time, but began to climb with the second halving in 2016 — and quickly reached five digits within the year after the halving, peaking at nearly $20,000 in December of 2017. Let’s take a closer look.

Bitcoin Price in 2017-2019: The Surge Pt. 2

Price of 1 Bitcoin in 2017-2019: $1,100 – $20,000

The Bitcoin price in 2017 breached the $1,100 mark in January, a new record high at the time — following the Bitcoin halving in July of 2016. By December, the price had soared to nearly $20,000. That’s a 20x rise in less than 12 months, and it was followed predictably by a decline through 2018 and 2019. Bitcoin wouldn’t see the other side of $20,000 until late 2020.

Like the 2013 price surge, the 2017 rally occurred about one year after the halving. What made this time different was that for the first time ever, the general public became more aware of cryptocurrency. Mainstream news outlets began covering stories relating to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This price rise largely reflected retail investors entering the market for the first time.

Opinions on Bitcoin ranged from thinking it was a scam to believing it was the greatest thing ever. For the believers, this was an opportunity to learn how to invest in Bitcoin for the first time, but there’s little doubt that the influx of retail interest in the crypto markets contributed heavily to volatility across the board.

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Bitcoin Price in 2020: After the 3rd Halving

The crypto feeding frenzy was well underway by the end of 2019, with hundreds of new coins on the market. By January 3, 2020, Bitcoin’s price was $7,347.49 and it steadily rose as the halving in May of 2020 approached, shooting north of $9,100 that month, nearly a 25% increase in just a few months.

But that was just the start of a meteoric rise — and fall — for BTC that few will forget, and a phase of Bitcoin’s story that many tie to the pandemic. With millions of people worldwide confined at home from 2020 through 2021 (in some cases longer), online speculation became a widespread phenomenon. One offshoot of that may have been the biggest Bitcoin bull market to date.

Bitcoin Price Chart in 2021: An Epic Rise and Fall

In August 2021, the price of Bitcoin was hovering around $46,000, and by November 2021 BTC hit its all-time high of over $68,500.

bitcoin price chart 2021

Toward the end of 2021, however, the Bitcoin hash rate, a factor thought to have some correlation to the Bitcoin price, plummeted to around $47,000 — a loss of close 30%.

The price drop occurred partly as a result of China requiring its citizens to shut down Bitcoin mining operations. The country previously housed a significant portion of the network’s mining nodes. As a result, these computers had to go offline. Many believe this reduction in mining capacity was a key factor weighing on the Bitcoin price.

In addition, politicians and regulators raised concerns about the future of crypto laws and regulations, adding to the general mood that crypto mavens refer to as FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) — one of many crypto slang terms now in wider use.

But as 2021 shifted into 2022, the specter of inflation — in addition to the global energy crisis and geopolitical turmoil thanks to Russia’s war on Ukraine — put a drag on the price of BTC and just about every other major crypto.

Bitcoin Price in 2022: Onset of the Crypto Winter

From January 2022 through May, Bitcoin’s price continued to sag as the Crypto Winter officially took hold. By May, BTC dipped under $30,000 for the first time since July of 2021.

What Is a Crypto Winter?

Unlike a bear market, a crypto winter doesn’t have specific parameters or criteria. But, similar to a bear market, it does mark a period of steady and sometimes precipitous losses that pervade the crypto markets as a whole.

Crypto Struggles in the Face of Crises

This downward trend proved to be the case as crypto prices overall declined through Q2 — partly affected by the collapse of stablecoins like TerraUSD and Luna. In June, Bitcoin fell below $23,000.

Crypto prices struggled through Q3 of 2022, and took another hit in November 2022, thanks to the sudden failure of crypto exchange FTX.

The exchange crashed amid a liquidity crunch and allegations of misused funds by its CEO, Sam Blankman Fried. A bailout by Binance was possible, but the deal fell through because of FTX’s troubled finances and implications of fraud.

The rapid downfall of FTX shocked the financial industry, and the crash had a massive ripple effect throughout the crypto market, affecting investor confidence. Widespread worries about inflation, as well as steady interest rate hikes, affected broader markets. Bitcoin’s price continued to be a barometer of crypto health in many ways, plunging below $20,000 by the end of December, 2022.

Bitcoin in 2023: Hopes for a Steady Recovery

As of February 27, 2023, Bitcoin’s slow but steady price increase to about $23,300 sparked hopes that the crypto winter had begun to thaw, with other cryptocurrencies showing similar price patterns in Q1.

Also, Bitcoin mining has reached a new high as February draws to a close. This signals interest from miners, which some traders are taking as a bullish indicator.

Although inflation has yet to be tamed in the wider markets, there is a sense that some of the measures the Fed has taken may encourage a soft landing.

What Factors Affect Bitcoin’s Price?

Bitcoin trades constantly on many different exchanges. The price is discovered through buyers and sellers agreeing on prices at which to settle trades. It can be said that “the market” determines the price of Bitcoin.

Of course, many external factors may influence the price at which people are willing to pay for Bitcoin.

1. Sentiment

With any asset, general market sentiment can influence present and future price action. This tends to occur in cycles.

It often happens that as more and more people grow increasingly bullish on something, the price keeps rising until everyone thinks it will never go down again. Then at some point, things change, and sentiment starts shifting the other way. Once most people think the price will never go up again, that usually indicates that prices have come close to bottoming.

This is why CNN has something called the “Fear and Greed Index”. The index measures sentiment across financial markets at large using seven broad indicators. These indicators measure things like Bitcoin stock price volatility, call-to-put ratios, and the amount of stocks making new highs vs the amount of stocks making new lows.

2. Mining

Bitcoin mining also impacts the price of Bitcoin. Miners are powerful computers that process transactions for the network, and they’re the source of newly minted bitcoins.

Because miners create and accumulate new coins, what they tend to do as a whole can make a big difference in market prices. Miners have to sell Bitcoin to cover electricity and maintenance costs. But what they choose to do with their remaining coin can impact prices.

For example, when miners anticipate the future price of Bitcoin to be higher than it is right now, they could choose to hold most of their coins, reducing overall supply on exchanges. This would create support for prices.

On the other hand, if miners think the price of Bitcoin will fall, or they need cash today for some reason, they could sell their coins, increasing the supply and potentially driving prices lower.

3. Money Supply

Some may argue that the number one factor affecting the price of Bitcoin is the growth in money supply. When central banks print more money, the price of Bitcoin tends to rise in almost direct proportion to the amount of new currency created.

This is part of the supply-and-demand element in Bitcoin’s price. More and more dollars (or Euros, Yen, Pesos, etc.) wind up chasing an ever-dwindling supply of bitcoin. The new supply of fiat currency keeps growing while the new supply of bitcoin gets cut in half every 4 years (a process known as Bitcoin halving).

4. The Network Effect

Some say Bitcoin’s true value lies in the Bitcoin network. In other words, how many people are using Bitcoin.

A rough analogy would be social media networks. We tend to measure the value of a social network by its number of users and how active they are on the platform. Facebook and Instagram both have over a billion users each, with at least half of them logging in everyday in the case of Instagram. This is the main reason people think these networks have value.

With the Bitcoin evolution, the more people who create cryptocurrency wallets, convert fiat currency to Bitcoin, and spend or store those coins, the more valuable Bitcoin could become. And as the price of Bitcoin rises, more people tend to join in the network, potentially creating a positive feedback loop.

The Takeaway

As of February 27, 2023, Bitcoin seems to be regaining some of the luster it lost during the crippling crypto winter of 2022, holding fairly steady above the $20,000 mark (but far off its November 2021 peak of about $68,000).

Nonetheless, the bigger story of Bitcoin’s price history is far more impressive. As the oldest and still the largest form of crypto, BTC has gone from being worth a fraction of a penny to about $23,000 today — with a staggering range of price highs and lows in between.

If Bitcoin continues to grow at even a fraction of the rate it has over the past 14 years, the gains for long-term crypto investors would outpace that of most other asset classes. However, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results.

If you’re interested in beginning to buy and sell crypto, a great way to start is by opening an Active Invest account with SoFi Invest®. With a little as $10 you can start trading not only Bitcoin but dozens of other cryptocurrencies as well. SoFi does not offer staking or a crypto wallet. But you can trade 24/7 from SoFi’s secure platform.

Trade crypto and get up to $100 in bitcoin! (Offer is available through 12/31/23; terms apply.)

Photo credit: iStock/simarik

SoFi Invest®
The information provided is not meant to provide investment or financial advice. Also, past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Investment decisions should be based on an individual’s specific financial needs, goals, and risk profile. SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance. Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC. SoFi Securities, LLC, member FINRA / SIPC . SoFi Invest refers to the three investment and trading platforms operated by Social Finance, Inc. and its affiliates (described below). Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of the platforms below.
1) Automated Investing—The Automated Investing platform is owned by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC registered investment advisor (“Sofi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC, an affiliated SEC registered broker dealer and member FINRA/SIPC, (“Sofi Securities).
2) Active Investing—The Active Investing platform is owned by SoFi Securities LLC. Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
3) Cryptocurrency is offered by SoFi Digital Assets, LLC, a FinCEN registered Money Service Business.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above, including state licensure of Sofi Digital Assets, LLC, please visit Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform. Information related to lending products contained herein should not be construed as an offer or prequalification for any loan product offered by SoFi Bank, N.A.
Crypto: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies aren’t endorsed or guaranteed by any government, are volatile, and involve a high degree of risk. Consumer protection and securities laws don’t regulate cryptocurrencies to the same degree as traditional brokerage and investment products. Research and knowledge are essential prerequisites before engaging with any cryptocurrency. US regulators, including FINRA , the SEC , and the CFPB , have issued public advisories concerning digital asset risk. Cryptocurrency purchases should not be made with funds drawn from financial products including student loans, personal loans, mortgage refinancing, savings, retirement funds or traditional investments. Limitations apply to trading certain crypto assets and may not be available to residents of all states.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
2Terms and conditions apply. Earn a bonus (as described below) when you open a new SoFi Digital Assets LLC account and buy at least $50 worth of any cryptocurrency within 7 days. The offer only applies to new crypto accounts, is limited to one per person, and expires on December 31, 2023. Once conditions are met and the account is opened, you will receive your bonus within 7 days. SoFi reserves the right to change or terminate the offer at any time without notice.

First Trade Amount Bonus Payout
Low High
$50 $99.99 $10
$100 $499.99 $15
$500 $4,999.99 $50
$5,000+ $100


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