If You Bought $10 Worth of Ethereum 5 Years Ago, Here's How Much You'd Have Today
by Dana Sitar | Updated July 30, 2021 - First published on May 2, 2021
Feeling a twinge of regret for ignoring the crypto market until now? These numbers aren't going to make you feel any better.
Cryptocurrency is booming right now, and it seems to be all anyone in finance wants to talk about.
Those of us who are just starting to pay attention now are probably kicking ourselves for ignoring the opportunity years ago -- when it would have been much cheaper to dip our toes in the water.
How much was ETH worth 5 years ago?
Ethereum is a decentralized blockchain (a database of cryptocurrency transactions). It supports thousands of cryptocurrencies and NFTs, including its native coin, Ether (ETH). It's the second-largest cryptocurrency, after Bitcoin.
According to Coindesk historical data, the price of ETH five years ago (on April 12, 2016) was $7.10 for one coin. If you bought $10 worth of the currency, you'd have 1.4 ETH. ($10 divided by $7.10 is 1.4.)
How much is ETH worth today?
The price of Ether as of April 12, 2021 is $2,144.42 for one coin. That's 302 times the price five years ago -- about 30,000% growth!
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If you bought $10 of ETH 5 years ago, here's how much you'd have today
Growth like that is too phenomenal for most of us to fathom, so we'll do the math for you. If you bought $10 worth of Ethereum five years ago, you'd have about $3,020 today ($10 x 302). That's not exactly retirement money, but it's not bad for a $10 buy-in.
For anyone who saw the potential in cryptocurrency back then and did want to bet an early retirement on it, they could probably have reached that goal with an investment of about $4,100. Five years ago, $4,139 worth of Ethereum, left untouched, would be about $1.25 million today, enough to support $50,000 in annual living expenses for the next 25 years.
Is Ethereum a good investment now?
Like many other cryptocurrencies, Ethereum is having a moment right now. Its value is soaring -- up 1,224% from a year ago, and almost constantly rising in value since fall of 2020.
So does that make it a good investment?
If your reason for investing in cryptocurrency is to get rich quickly, it's not a good investment -- no investment is if that's your motivation. No investment comes with guaranteed returns, and crypto is more volatile than any other market.
All of cryptocurrency is just over a decade old, and Ethereum has been around for less than six years. Even though we've seen phenomenal jumps in value in that time, we've also seen significant drops. And the market doesn't have enough history -- like the traditional stock market -- to figure out whether it stands to stabilize and yield positive returns in the long run.
Folks who've earned thousands or millions of dollars in returns with the currency made big bets years ago and got lucky. Crypto investment is best for money you're willing and able to lose -- because your financial future can't depend on luck.
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About the Author
We're firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.
Dana Sitar has no position in any of the stocks or cryptocurrencies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Bitcoin.