Almost 85% Of All Bitcoins That Can Ever Be Produced Have Already Been Mined

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Almost 85% of all possible bitcoins that can exist have already been mined since the introduction of digital currency a little less than 13 years ago.

However, according to some crypto experts, the rest of the bitcoins will take much longer to mine – more than 100 years.   

Recently, the number of bitcoins in circulation crossed the significant milestone of 18 million, and some experts have suggested that no bitcoins will likely be created after the year 2140.

Bitcoin was launched in 2009, and its value has grown by million times since then.

The constant increase in the value of bitcoin is because of the limited number of coins that can be created – the rarity of an item makes its value higher. The astronomical rise of the value of bitcoin is partly because of the limited number of digital currencies that can ever b created – and hence there will always be a supply shortage.

The idea behind the creation of bitcoin by the elusive Satoshi Nakamoto, whose real identity is unknown yet, was to provide a possible store of value based on blockchain technology.

The Nakamoto-created source code for bitcoin has a unique condition – a stiff limit on the number of bitcoins that anyone can ever mine. This finite nature of bitcoin is partially responsible for the surge in its price as it gained popularity and more people wanted to own the digital currency.

In contrast, the traditional paper currency issued by central banks of various countries does not have any limits like bitcoin. Governments have the option of printing as many paper currency notes as needed – albeit at the cost of resultant inflation.

The total number of bitcoins that can ever be produced is 21 million. And 18.77 million of that have already been mined. That amounts to 83% of all the bitcoins that will exist and can be in circulation within just 12 years of its creation.

It is estimated that 97% of all bitcoins will have been mined by the early 2030s — just a decade later from now. However, the remaining 3% of the bitcoins is expected to come into circulation within the next century – specifically by 2140,

The algorithm that was used to create bitcoin actually keeps the supply of newly mined cryptocurrency constant – irrespective of the number of miners.

As of August 2021, only one block that supplies 6.25 bitcoins is produced every ten minutes. Every four years, any new block created gets reduced by half on average. Eventually, by the year 2140, only 0.000000001 bitcoin will be awarded per block mined.

According to experts, post-2140, the value of bitcoin is expected to be held up by trading and transactions even though no new bitcoins are expected to be created.

The jury is still out to estimate the impact of the limited supply of a cryptocurrency, In 2009, each block of bitcoin mined resulted in 50 of digital coins. The value of bitcoin back then was next to nothing, and it was reported that an American programmer had traded 10,000 Bitcoin for two Papa John’s pizzas in 2010. The first ‘halving’ in bitcoins mined happened in 2012 when every block yielded 25 bitcoins. That reduction pushed the value of bitcoin to $200 by the end of 2013.

The second and the third ‘halving’ of bitcoin mining happened in 2016 and 2020, and currently, each block mined yields 6.25 Bitcoins. At the time of the third ‘halving,’ bitcoin’s value has gone past $10,000. The price of digital currency has increased four-fold since 2020.

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