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80% Of All Bitcoins Already Mined, Only 4.2 Million Coins Left Until Supply Cap

Via CoinTelegraph:

Jan. 13 marked an important milestone for Bitcoin when 16.8 million bitcoins (BTC), or 80 percent of the entire Bitcoin supply, were mined. This means only 4.2 million bitcoins, or 20 percent, are left to mine until Bitcoin’s 21 million supply cap is reached.

BTC contains the 21 mln cap built into its protocol by Satoshi Nakamoto, first mentioned in their 2008 White Paper, as a way to introduce digital scarcity to cryptocurrency. With such a cap in place, the more bitcoins are mined, the more scarcity is produced on the market.

Scarcity arguably creates demand, which in turns makes the coins more valuable. Once 21 million bitcoins have been mined, it will become even harder to obtain them, also potentially making each coin more valuable.

Miners currently receive a 12.5 BTC reward for every block that they mine, but Nakamoto’s protocol also requires that the mining reward is halved every 210,000 blocks, or approximately four years. The next miner halving will take place within two years, approximately in early June 2020 depending on hashrate, bringing the rewards down to 6.25 BTC per mined block.

Not every digital currency is mineable like BTC. Some cryptocurrencies are created with the entire supply released all at once, in which case the total supply is either held or in circulation and there is no way to “mine” or mint new coins.

Some examples of non-mineable digital currencies are RippleIOTANEMNEO, Qtum, Omisego, LiskStratisWaves, and EOS.

Increasing supply

Skeptics have proposed that it is theoretically possible to increase Bitcoin’s 21 million capped supply of Bitcoin via a 51 percent or a Sybil attack, but so far neither of these manipulations has proven feasible in the case of BTC.

Altcoin Krypton, which is based on Ethereumexperienced a 51 percent attack in August 2016, but no other such attacks have taken place since then.

BTC is still recovering from the Dec. 22 market dip, trading at an average of $14,200 and up about 4.75 percent over 24 hours to press time.

 

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4 comments

  1. sarcrilege

    Well, value of btc better go to the moon because it may so happen with 6.5btc reward and the increasing difficulty of these puzzles to solve, it may not be economical to mine (verify transactions) anymore and the whole btc network becomes useless due to the lack of transactional speed.

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  2. iamme

    Won’t it go to zero, since no transactions will be able to be placed?

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  3. ultramarine

    From what I have read even if they reach the cap the miners can just switch over to some other coin or have a fork for bitcoin that would allow them to mine more. There’s forks for base Bitcoin already, no? Like Bitcoin:Cash and Bitcoin:Gold.

    How scarce are digital currencies if you can simply convert to another one?

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  4. oilerua

    I read that wall street and goldman sachs have been organizing a crash-crush of btc

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