Tatton Teaser

Posted 14 May 2024

The most tangible investment to many is good old bricks and mortar, and the most intangible is, by its nature crypto currency. So, a mental exercise we wondered how many Bitcoins (BTC) would it have taken to buy the ‘average’ US home at different points in time? The virtual buying good old bricks and mortar.

The first ever Bitcoin transaction was in 2009 at a price of $0.00099 and it would have needed over 210 million BTC to buy an average priced house with a value of $208,400. With a fixed theoretical maximum supply of 21 million BTC, this would never have worked in reality.

Fast forward to 2013, and your average priced house in the US was yours for 2,286 Bitcoins. Today with a median house in the US costing $417,000 (Source: St Louis Fed) it takes just 6.8 Bitcoins to get the keys, with Bitcoins currently trading at $61,730.96 [as of 14/5/2024]

And, as Blackrock’s Bitcoin ETF shows, real money is following the virtual with over $18bn invested in the 71 days since launch (for context a gold ETF took 808 days to raise the same amount). {DATE}

The future for Bitcoin? Prices have since retreated by around 9% from record highs after Bitcoin went through its regular “halving” event on 20th April – halving reduces the rate of supply expansion by 50%, roughly every four years.

For the Bitcoin experts, the reward for mining on the ‘proof of work’ network fell from the previous level of 6.25 BTC, to its new rate of 3.125 BTC [and will fall again to ~1.5625 sometime possibly in 2028]. If demand remains stable, a reduction in supply may theoretically boost prices higher.  

It is still early days since the halving, but prices have only risen about 4%, a far cry from previous large jumps of a few hundred percent. Prices could continue to be volatile, both up or down. But the bigger question of whether crypto has finally been finally accepted by investors, alongside more traditional investments, will have to remain an open thought experiment for now.

Thank you Sam Leary for the analysis.

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