When Bitcoin’s price breaks its previous all-time high, people may not realize it, for it can’t be determined what the current all-time high is.
The Communications Director for Cryptocurrency advocacy organization Coin Center, Neeraj Agrawal, posed the question on Twitter:
He referred to the dollar value of Bitcoin, a hard number to pin down when it is continuously trading for different prices on each exchange.
Larry Cermak from The Block has composed a list of the ATH on top exchanges, with Bitcoin price values amounting from $19,660 at the low end to $20,093 at the high end.
But CoinMarketCap says that the all-time high is $20,089, reaching on December 17, 2017. “The price of any crypto asset is a volume-weighted average of market pair prices for the crypto asset.” It incorporates volume to limit publishing wild price swings from exchanges that have low liquidity.
Messari used a similar number, $20,089, but explains: “The ATH quote is not necessarily the absolute highest single trade price. Due to the nature of the historical data we analyze, we are not always able to look at every trade for an asset. For some assets, the ATH quoted may refer to the All-Time-Highest daily average, or a price-sample on the day the All-Time-High [occurred].”
There is another number that repeatedly pops up: $19,783. Publications like Fortune frequently cite that figure as the all-time high Bitcoin price.
The difference in index numbers, Messari researcher Ryan Watkins says, “all depends on which exchanges they’re using and how each provider calculates prices.”
Artur Sapek, founder of the crypto markets platform and Kraken subsidiary Cryptowatch, agreed.
“Personally I think around $20k is a good milestone to consider an all-time high, because the ATHs varied so much on each exchange and because the dollar has lost some value since 2017,” Sapek said. “Inflation-adjusted, $20k seems like a reasonable ATH figure to be using right now.”
Paul Veradittakit, a partner at Pantera Capital, stated, “I never really thought price mattered except for the media, mainstream, fundraising, and recruiting. That said, it is helpful when the price is up and I do consider Bitcoin ATH to be $19,783 when it hits that price on a majority of exchanges.”
Sino Global Capital CEO Matthew Graham commented, “I don’t think it matters. However you measure it, we will blow past the old highs before long. Everything is in front of us.”
So what is the Bitcoin ATH? $20,000 it is.