Bitcoin's Rollercoaster 2017: What's Happened So Far

Need a catch-up on recent price developments? Here's your go-to primer.

AccessTimeIconJan 5, 2017 at 7:15 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:58 p.m. UTC
CoinDesk - Unknown

2016 may have been a dynamic year for the price of bitcoin, but 2017 is shaping up to be a dramatic one already.

Bitcoin's race past $1,000 (and subsequent gyrations above and below that line) have already sparked headlines (both good and bad) worldwide, as today's dramatic fall from above $1,100 drove a massive influx of interest in the the digital currency.

If you’re just tuning in to the action, you may be wondering how things got to this point in the first place.

To get you up to speed, it may be helpful to look back at the past week's major price developments that took exchange markets near new all-time highs – and, as today showed, dramatic lows.

Here's the blow-by-blow for 2017 thus far:

Bitcoin tops $1,000 

CoinDesk - Unknown
fireworks, 2017

The year got started with a bang on 1st January, when the price of bitcoin crossed the $1,000 mark.

After spending the day approaching that level – climbing as high as $999 before settling back down – the price climbed to its then-highest point since January 2014.

The movement was notable given less-than-average trade volume figures at the time. Conversely, in the days before, bitcoin prices had approached (but not quite exceeded) $1,000.

Read more here.

Bitcoin eyes all-time highs

CoinDesk - Unknown
high, jump

Things began heating up within a few short days.

As reported by CoinDesk on 4th January, early trading this week saw the digital currency’s price drift ever higher after crossing the $1,000 line.

A high of $1,060 meant that the price was inching closer to its all-time high of $1,165.89, reached on 30th November, 2013, according to data from the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (BPI).

It was during this time as well that mainstream media sources, including The New York Times and The Washington Post began taking note, which continues to today

Read more here.

Bitcoin closes in

CoinDesk - Unknown
sad, dog

The price, as may be expected, continued to climb that day.

Bitcoin shot above the $1,100 line in late-day trading on 4th January, quickly spiking to as much as $1,129.28 before settling back. CNY-denominated markets saw sharp gains that day as well, surging more than 23%.

A notable development at that point was the emergence of sell-side pressure in markets like Bitfinex.

As reported at the time, there were more sell orders than buy orders between the $1,137 and $1,140 – potentially foreshadowing the developments to come.

Read more here.

Sell orders slow rally

CoinDesk - Unknown

4th January continued to surprise with heightened volatility, with markets seeing some of the day’s gains lost before re-reaching them once more as trading continued.

The day saw prices climb as high as $1,141.05 during the session, the highest total since 5th December, 2013, according to BPI data. Yet prices fell as low as $1,087.53 before climbing once more, signaling that there could be more volatility to come.

It was here that at least some observers – who previously had indicated broadly bullish sentiment – began to suspect that a market pullback was on the horizon.

Read more here.

Bitcoin bounces back

CoinDesk - Unknown

Today, opened with significant gains, as the price climbed as high as $1,153.02 – well within striking distance of the all-time BPI high.

As reported this morning, the market behavior seen seemed to follow a pattern previously exhibited the day prior. That is to say, sharp movements upward before consolidation.

One noticeable change was a shift to more buy orders on exchanges like Bitfinex, potentially signaling that the price of bitcoin would climb even further.

Read more here.

Bitcoin pulls back

CoinDesk - Unknown

This morning’s dramatic price plunge, however, would cast a shadow on those bullish sentiments.

Just hours after climbing closer to the all-time high set in 2013, market averages suddenly tumbled. Markets had been fluctuating between the $1,080 and $1,070 lines, according to BPI data, before falling to as low as $887.47.

Overall, USD-denominated markets fell as much 23%, with CNY-denominated markets tumbling more than 15% as well.

However, in the hours since, the price of bitcoin has recovered. At press time, the average market price is $978.25.

Developers keep on working

CoinDesk - Unknown
watch, repair

Of course, we'd be remiss to note that bitcoin is an open-source technology – meaning, tweaks to its core protocol are ongoing.

Amidst all the ups and downs, a number of bug fixes were released that showcase how bitcoin could continue to evolve and become more useful, even in the face of challenges.

Read more here.

Image via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.