The cryptocurrency market has exploded over the last few years. There are now thousands of cryptos to choose from, with some costing as a little as a pound and others costing tens of thousands for a single token.
The values of crypto are infamously volatile. Bitcoin has fluctuated from a few hundred pounds to over £50,000 in just a few weeks and it is not uncommon for new crypto to rapidly rise in value before plummeting just a few days later.
So, if you are making your first foray into the world of cryptocurrency, you will likely want to know how to find live crypto prices so that you can compare values and make sensible exchanges.
In this article, we will outline how and where you can find these prices, the factors that impact the value of crypto, and what you should consider before making any exchanges.
How do you find live crypto prices?
You can find the prices of mainstream cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tether, on all cryptocurrency exchange websites or apps. However, the prices of some of the lesser-known cryptocurrencies may only be available on certain exchange platforms and, therefore, have limited access for investors.
When a smaller cryptocurrency is listed on several exchanges and included on some of the bigger platforms, the demand for that currency will go up, which usually means that its value will also rise.
So let’s jump in and take a look at some of the best websites, apps, and platforms for finding live crypto prices.
Where to find live crypto prices
When it comes to crypto exchange platforms, there is no shortage of choices.
If you are just starting out on your crypto adventure and want a simple to use platform, then Coinbase is a good option. Coinbase is designed to be user-friendly and has a very simple user interface.
If you are a more experienced crypto trader and are looking for low fees on your transactions, then you might want to consider either crypto.com or Kraken. These platforms are more complex and don’t offer the beginner support of Coinbase. However, the low fees are an enticing feature for many seasoned traders who know what they’re doing on the crypto market.
Other good platforms include Gemini, BitMark, Bisq, and Cash App.
With each platform, you normally need to open a trading account before you can view live prices. However, you can also find live prices online without the need for an account simply by searching for the value of the crypto you are looking for, though this method won’t give you any of the features that the trading platforms do.
How are cryptocurrencies valued?
Cryptocurrencies are valued differently from regular fiat currencies as they aren’t backed by a government or central authority.
The value of fiat currencies are heavily influenced by the government or institution that determines how much of that currency is printed and in circulation. In the UK, for example, the Bank of England plays a central role in how much money there is circulating in the economy, which then determines the value of the pound along with other factors such as inflation rates.
Most cryptocurrencies are decentralised, so their value is determined by other factors such as supply and demand, competition, regulations, real-world events, availability, production, and media exposure, amongst other variables.
How do supply and demand affect the value of cryptocurrencies?
Cryptocurrencies are officially regarded as commodities under the Commodity Exchange Act and not currencies. One of the main reasons for this is that the value of crypto is largely determined by supply and demand.
As with any commodity, if demand increases at a faster rate than supply, then the price goes up. If one person wants to buy something valued at £100, then they will buy it for £100. If 100 people want to buy something valued at £100, then the price will rise until only one buyer remains who is able to buy the product at an inflated price. This is the law of supply and demand.
The supply side of cryptocurrency is easily available to find online on any crypto exchange platform, app, or website. Each currency publishes the number of its tokens currently in circulation.
Some cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, for example, have a maximum supply. There are currently around 18 million Bitcoins that have been mined and are in circulation, and there is only a maximum of 21 million that can ever be mined. Others, Ethereum, for example, have an unlimited supply.
Each currency has its own monetary policy that regulates the supply side of the currency. Some are self-regulating and automatically burn existing tokens when more are mined to help hinder the supply from growing too rapidly, thereby slowing the rate of inflation for that currency. Others have human teams behind them that regulate the currency while taking other factors, such as real-world events, into account that an algorithm would be unable to incorporate.
Demand for cryptocurrencies can increase as the currency gains visibility. Certain currencies can experience a rise in demand when they are discussed in the media or by public figures. For example, Dogecoin spiked in value when Elon Musk tweeted about the currency and created a huge rise in demand for it.
How does cryptocurrency production affect its value?
Cryptocurrency tokens are produced via a process known as “mining”. Mining uses a network of computers to verify a chain of codes known as a “blockchain”. When a token is mined, the blockchain moves to the next code that must be solved on the chain. Once that block has been mined, a new token is put into circulation.
Mining demands huge amounts of computer power and mining organisations invest in very expensive equipment that uses lots of energy simply in order to mine new tokens. Not only is the financial cost significant, but the mining process also negatively impacts the environment due to its vast energy consumption.
Currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum use a “proof-of-work system” that makes it more difficult to mine a new token when there is greater competition to do so. This then means that the cost of mining becomes even more expensive as the race to find the solution to the next block intensifies.
As the costs of the mining process increase, so too does the value of the cryptocurrency that is being mined. Of course, the miners wouldn’t bother to mine the token if it was worth less than the cost of mining it. So, as production costs of cryptocurrency rise, the value also rises.
How does competition in the cryptocurrency market impact the prices?
There are currently estimated to be nearly 20,000 cryptocurrencies in existence and there are new ones launched every day. Not all currencies make it beyond the initial stages, but there is a low barrier to entry so each does have a chance. The success of a cryptocurrency depends upon the size of the network of users that own that currency.
When a new cryptocurrency begins to gain momentum it grows in value and subsequently results in the depreciation of other cryptocurrencies. The more well-known cryptocurrencies are more stable than the lesser-known ones, but even the value of Bitcoin can fall by thousands of pounds in a single day due to multiple factors. One such factor is the success of its competitors.
This is the same in any market, but because the cryptocurrency market is still new and, as we already saw, there is a low barrier to entry, new competitors can quickly ascend in the right circumstances.
How do real-world events and the media affect the price of cryptocurrency?
Like fiat currencies, the value of cryptocurrency is also impacted by real-world events. During periods of wealth accumulation and strong macro-economic performance, people are more likely to invest in cryptocurrencies as there is more disposable income in the economy.
Other events such as war, trading embargoes, and celebrity influence can have a significant impact on the value of cryptocurrency. We already spoke about Elon Musk’s influence on the value of Dogecoin, but there is also the impact that the former CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey has had on the growing popularity and success of Bitcoin.
How much are cryptocurrencies worth now?
As we have seen, the value of cryptocurrency fluctuates on a daily basis, though some more than others.
At the time of writing, one Bitcoin is worth £16,112. The most it has ever been worth was in November 2021 when it reached a value of just over £56,000.
When Bitcoin started out in 2009 it didn’t cost anything. Within a couple of years, one Bitcoin was worth around £25. It then gradually grew to be worth over £800, before plummeting in value again.
It wasn’t until 2017 that it quickly shot up and became as valuable as it is today. Between June 2017 and December 2017 Bitcoin rose in value from around £1,600 per token to £16,000 per token.
At the time of writing, Ethereum is worth £893 per token, though it has previously reached values of nearly £4,000.
There are still plenty of cryptocurrencies available to buy for just a few pounds and you never know which ones will take off and become the next big thing.
How to know which cryptocurrencies to buy?
Once you understand the law of supply and demand, your judgment on which cryptocurrency to buy should be based on how you think all the other factors that we outlined will either impact the supply side or the demand side of a particular token.
Ultimately, everything we have explored will either affect the demand for a cryptocurrency or its supply. You may notice that the value of a particular crypto is rising quickly, but you should also remember that they have been known to crash by thousands of pounds in just a few days. Try and investigate what factors lie behind the rise in value and think about whether or not the value will be stable over a longer period of time.
As with regular financial markets, live cryptocurrency prices are accessible on crypto exchange platforms. These platforms will always have the value of the better-known cryptos, but you may have to research to find out if they have the real-time prices for smaller ones.
Before you begin exchanging in crypto, it is important to remember that doing so is high risk as the market is renowned for its volatility. Although this does mean you can make big money overnight, it also means there is a high chance of losing money rapidly. So follow our investment advice and only make exchanges when you think the crypto you are buying has stabilised.