News - Bitcoin vs. Apple: Which is the better investment?

By Luc Vesters

Bitcoin vs. Apple: Which is the better investment?

Bitcoin (BTC)
Investing

The course of a Bitcoin jumped above $45,000 at the beginning of the year. The digital reserve currency thus reached its highest level since April 2022 and has been in a sustained upward trend for 13 months, although the latest news surrounding the SEC and the ETF decision have made the slowed growth. Many altcoins also posted significant price gains last year and recovered more or less strongly from the FTX crash in November 2022.

But what are today's share prices worth to investors who have for 10 years invest in the crypto market? Should they have spent the money on shares in tech giants such as Apple to maximize their returns? A comparison of price trends over ten years yields interesting results.

Disclaimer: Past results do not guarantee future success. Be cautious and wise in your trading decisions.

Bitcoin 2014 for less than $1,000

Despite the current rally, Bitcoin's price is still 50 percent away from the 2021 highs. However, those who invested in BTC very early on can look forward to significant returns at the current price of around $45,000. This is evident from a historical snapshot of coinmarketcap.com of the value of major cryptocurrencies as of Jan. 5, 2014.

Back then, a Bitcoin cost less than $1,000. To be exact, the price then was $933 per coin. Anyone who bought a Bitcoin 10 years ago can now look forward to a return of more than 4,700 percent. Even with a relatively small amount, early investors could build a small fortune by buying Bitcoin.

Apple shares can't keep up with Bitcoin

However, other investments have also brought investors strong gains over the past decade. How does investing in Bitcoin compare to buying stock in Apple, Amazon or Tesla a decade ago?

In early January 2014, one Apple share cost less than $20. Instead of one Bitcoin, an investor could have bought nearly 50 shares of what is now the world's most valuable company. At the current price of $185, investors could look forward to an 825 percent return. Undoubtedly an impressive figure, but one that falls far short of Bitcoin's performance since 2014.

Ten years ago, Microsoft shares cost about $37. Since then, the share price has risen about 900 percent. This means its share price has even slightly outperformed Apple's, but is just as far behind Bitcoin's appreciation.

Tesla and XRP with similar returns

But can Bitcoin hold its own against the purchase of Tesla securities, billionaire Elon Musk's company? A share in the electric car pioneer cost just $10 a decade ago; today it trades for about $250. This investment clearly outperforms buying shares of Apple or Microsoft. The return of 2,400 percent over a ten-year period is still only half as high as buying Bitcoin.

The comparison shows that a Bitcoin investment clearly outperforms most other investments in the long run. But does the same hold true for altcoins? According to the historical snapshot of crypto rankings from 2014, most of the digital currencies of that time no longer exist today or have a niche existence. Litecoin and XRP, however, are two cryptocurrencies in the top three that are still around today.

An LTC token cost just under $27 in early 2014. But with a current price of around $73, the value has "only" increased by 170 percent in ten years. The price trend thus lags significantly behind Bitcoin, as well as the aforementioned top stocks.

The price of XRP was quoted at about 2.5 cents at the time. At about 63 cents today, the price has risen 2,400 percent, in line with the performance of Tesla shares.

Those who invested in cryptocurrencies 10 years ago are not necessarily richer today than if they had bought stocks. According to the figures, altcoins were not only the riskier investment compared to Bitcoin, but also tended to yield lower returns in the long run.

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