How to Follow the Price of Bitcoin
When bitcoin was first created, it was seen primarily as a virtual currency to be used for transactions between individuals. Those who owned bitcoin in the early days were those who mined for them and gained them through transactions and barters with others. Once there was wider use of bitcoin throughout the world, there was the need to gain more access to it for a wider audience of people. Along with that was the need to correlate the value of bitcoin to a dollar amount so that people without mining options and direct contacts who owned the virtual currency could gain access to it.
This spawned the introduction of bitcoin exchanges of which Mt. Gox was the primary one. Unfortunately, many people who conducted transactions and stored their bitcoin with Mt. Gox were left “holding the bag” when the exchange collapsed and the owner of the exchange was charged with theft and other charges.
Although news of this event created the perception for many that bitcoin was dead, fortunately, that has not been the case and the currency has continued to grow in usage. Along with this growth in usage, they have been times of growth (and periods of decline) in the value of the currency. As the currency can be bought and sold on newer, more secure and legit exchanges, there’s been a growing interest in obtaining the virtual currency as an investment vehicle.
Along with owning the currency directly, investors can also buy it as an investment product such as the Bitcoin Investment Trust or use bitcoin to invest in many startups through crowdsourcing efforts such as BnkoftheFuture. However, as investors decide to gain access to bitcoin, there’s a need to track its daily price since it trades on a worldwide 24-hour basis.
So how can an investor or anyone interested in tracking the daily price of bitcoin best do this? Fortunately, there have become more options than there were just a few years ago.
Tracking Bitcoin Prices
One of the challenges with following the price of bitcoin is that there are numerous exchanges available. One of the most widely used is Coinbase and you can not only access bitcoin's current price, but you can access a chart that shows the price over time as well as the number of daily bitcoin transactions.
Coindesk recognizes that there are various prices from various exchanges and it provides its own Bitcoin price tracker which averages the prices a few leading Bitcoin exchanges: Bitfinex and Bitstamp. The graph can display either the BPI or price data from any of the three exchanges. Historical data for Mt. Gox is also included. For us, it’s the go-to site for not only bitcoin prices but current news on bitcoin as well.
Other sources of bitcoin price information include some of the more graphical pleasing interfaces such as Bitcoincity, which shows the market in real time in a colorful manner. The always reliable Blockchain.info also has a solid price tracking chart that is simple to read and provides a view of the major exchanges as well.
One site that is gaining traction and recognition is the Winkdex which was created by the Winklevoss twins, who have transcended their recognition from the film, The Social Network to becoming leaders in the bitcoin world. Winkdex is aiming to become THE index for bitcoin as it draws price data from numerous exchanges will the goal of becoming the DJIA for bitcoin.
Using Mobile Devices
On your mobile device, you can also access most of these trackers as well as some of my favorites for the Apple and Android. Bitcoin Ticker is popular.
One of my regular mobile apps that is also used for tracking bitcoin prices is Coindesk, which also recently announced its ability to allow for the trading of bitcoin from the mobile device.
Whether or not you’ve taken the dive into investing in bitcoin, it’s clear that the ability to track the real-time price of bitcoin has come a long way from the days of Mt. Gox.