A total of 18.9 million BTC has now been discovered, with 2.1 million BTC left to find between now and 2140.
Bitcoin hit a big milestone on Monday — with 90% of the cryptocurrency's total supply now in circulation.
A total of 18.9 million BTC has now been discovered, with 2.1 million BTC left to find.
Getting your hands on newly minted Bitcoin will be easier said than done — this supply is going to gradually be released between now and 2140.
The true number of Bitcoin that's active is likely to be much, much lower than 18.9 million BTC too. Estimates have previously suggested that up to 4 million BTC has been lost forever.
Bitcoin's limited supply has long been regarded as one of its most attractive attributes — especially because of the aggressive quantitative easing measures embarked on by central banks during the coronavirus pandemic.
Listen to the CoinMarketRecap podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts
As set out in the Bitcoin whitepaper by Satoshi Nakamoto, all the way back in 2008, a unique approach has been taken to distributing this digital asset.
When the blockchain first launched, every block commanded a block reward of 50 BTC — and this meant that half of Bitcoin's total supply emerged within the first four years of its existence.
The first halving event in November 2012 saw this slashed to just 25 BTC, followed by 12.5 BTC in July 2016 and 6.25 BTC in May 2020.
It's expected that the next halving will take place in early 2024.
events have previously been regarded as a crucial catalyst for Bitcoin price rises — with a parabolic bull run occurring 12 to 18 months later — a number of analysts now believe that halvings hold less importance, with bull cycles beginning to lengthen.
The reduction in block rewards is bittersweet for miners. Although they're now receiving a lot less in Bitcoin terms, the dollar rate is much more generous. In 2009, 50 BTC would have been worth cents — but fast forward to 2021, and 6.25 BTC is valued at more than $300,000.
To ensure that miners remain incentivized to secure the network, transaction fees are going to play an increasingly important role in their revenues.