The remaining supply of bitcoin is only 10% of all available bitcoins, after being in existence barely 12 years!
Bitcoin was created in 2009 as a currency for the internet and to help resolve the economic recession. The invention of Bitcoin has created a whole new genre of technology and created many new jobs. It has increased the value of the internet and has surely made transactions on the internet much easier, and in many instances, much cheaper.
Most of us will agree that it has added a great deal of value to the technology space, from faster transactions to limitless, secured exchanges, and more. But what will happen when the supply of bitcoins runs out?
Bitcoin Supply Remaining Only 10%
What is more interesting about the Bitcoin technology is its backbone called Blockchain. The blockchain is the reason for bitcoin’s security and transparency. The Bitcoin blockchain keeps a permanent record of all bitcoin transactions, maintaining a secure ledger of ownership.
This wouldn’t have been possible without the process called mining.
Bitcoin mining is the process of creating new bitcoins by solving mathematical puzzles. Miners are responsible for creating all the bitcoins that we have today, which is a whole lot. The supply is almost full, with only 10% of the total supply left. Once all the bitcoins are mined what happens to the bitcoin miners? Without miners bitcoin transactions won’t be processed and the blockchain won’t be secured.
Blockchain.com recently reported that the total supply of bitcoin is at 18.899 million. In other cryptocurrency markets, this total supply figure is not a big deal. But that is not the case with bitcoin, because of its fixed supply of only 21 million bitcoins. We’re getting close to the end.
The hard cap was set by anonymous creator(s) Satoshi Nakamoto in the source code and it is enforced by network nodes, aka miners, running the Bitcoin blockchain software. Once all the bitcoins have been mined what will be the incentive for miners to continuing processing transactions?
The theory is that miners will continue securing the Bitcoin blockchain and for their efforts they will collect transactions fees only. I believe some miners will discontinue because the incentive will not be a big enough pay off. If that happens, the road will be paved for everyday people to get back into bitcoin mining. In my opinion that would be more healthy for the network, meaning greater decentralization.
The Last Bitcoin
Even though there is only 10% of bitcoins left to be mined, data from Cointelegraph shows that it will take longer to see the very last bitcoin. The data shows that it will take at least 119 years to see the last bitcoin.
This may be a little bit confusing, most especially because about 90% of the total supply is mined in less than 12 years. But to clarify, Bitcoin mining is cut into half every four years. This is done using a pre-determined protocol execution which is called Halving.
Since new bitcoins are created only as a result of rewarding miners for verifying new blocks, fewer bitcoins are being created since the last halving. Currently, Bitcoin miners earn 6.25 bitcoins for verifying a new block. This will be reduced to 3.125 BTC in the next halving, which is set to occur in 2024.
The data from Cointelegraph further predicts that miners will be rewarded only 0.2 BTC by 2040. There will also only be 80,000 Bitcoin out of the 21 million left to be mined by the year 2040.
As a result, bitcoin’s value continues to grow creating even better investment opportunities. Additionally, bitcoin maximalists would say bitcoin’s value as web3 money also grows.
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