90% Bitcoins mined: What does the future hold for BTC?

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90% Bitcoins mined: What does the future hold for BTC?

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Highlights 

  • In December, BTC announced that 90% of all its 21 million Bitcoins had been mined.
  • Crypto analytics firm Chainalysis estimates 3.7 million Bitcoin have been "lost," with reasons ranging from someone's death to losing one's private keys.
  • Due to the halving schedule, even though 90% of Bitcoins have been mined, the remaining supply will take exponentially longer to mine.

 

The crypto king had been experiencing a bearish path of late. According to CoinMarketCap data, Bitcoin currently trades at US$47,981.51, down from a high of ~US$68,789.63, it hit in November. At present, the largest crypto, Bitcoin, has only gained 110 % in a year, much less than many altcoins that have seen huge gains.

However, in the crypto world, Bitcoin is the largest and most resilient cryptocurrency. In December, BTC reached a new milestone with the announcement that 90% of all its 21 million Bitcoins had been mined.

Before the story moves further, Let's take a look at the Bitcoin mining so far.

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What does it mean that 90% of Bitcoins have been mined?

Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto forecasted that there would be 21 million coins when he launched Bitcoin in 2009.

The logic for tying Bitcoin to a fixed supply was to develop a mechanism that would continuously drive Bitcoin's price. However, as Bitcoin became more popular, the number of miners accelerated, resulting in faster-than-expected Bitcoin mining.

Meanwhile, it is anticipated that not all 21 million Bitcoin will be available for purchase on the open market. Crypto analytics firm Chainalysis reveals a loss of 3.7 million Bitcoins due to various reasons including death to misplacing private keys.

In addition, 1 million Bitcoins are still kept by Bitcoin's mysterious creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, untouched because the anonymous person/s mined the amount.

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What does halving schedule for Bitcoin imply?

Due to the halving schedule, even though 90% of Bitcoins have been mined, the remaining supply will take exponentially longer to mine.

Let’s take a look at the reasons why Bitcoin will be fully mined by 2140.

  • The halving schedule is an inflationary control mechanism that reduces the reward for mining Bitcoin by half.
  • Bitcoin is halved approximately every four years after 210,000 blocks are mined. 
  • According to CoinDesk, at this rate, Bitcoin will not be fully mined until February 2140.
  • The blockchain of Bitcoin is based on the proof of work model, in which miners solve complex mathematical equations to authenticate transactions on the blockchain. These miners are compensated with Bitcoin.
  • Halving schedules reduce their reward by half at certain intervals, discouraging more mining because the energy and equipment cost to mine can be prohibitive.

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Bottom Line

With the supply shortage and growing acceptance of BTC globally, it is currently the number one crypto with respect to market capitalisation. Hence, though many cryptos will emerge in the crypto world, it seems Bitcoin will be difficult to be replaced soon.

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