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How many Bitcoins are left?

remaining bitcoins

January 26, 2021 | 

JOHN K MWANIKI |  0 Comments| 

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In many ways, bitcoins are like gold. They have monetary value, are a store of value, and come in limited supply. Another similarity is that their acquisition is only through mining. Like gold, bitcoin miners generate bitcoin through digital mining. This is done using high-powered equipment and software. While these bitcoins lie inside data blocks, bitcoin miners use very complex mathematical algorithms to unlock them.

There are only 21 million bitcoins available in total. According to various sources, the supply limit of bitcoins reduces its inflationary rate and eventually allows it to align with traditional fiat currency. Due to its unique design and technology, this number will not change. But, there is always a possibility of the initial founder, Sakoshi Nakamoto, to further advance the technology. So, let us take a look at how many bitcoins are left now?

How many of the 21 million bitcoins are left to mine?

There are only about 2.6 million bitcoins left for mining and purchasing in over ten years. Many experts believe that miners will take another 120 years to mine the remaining bitcoins. 

Due to bitcoin halving, for every four years, mining of the remaining bitcoins will become two times slower. Thus, there will be a slower discovery of bitcoin by miners as the years go by. It is also worth mentioning that even though miners mine all the bitcoins, mining will continue. There will likely be more rewards for mining in the form of transaction commissions in the block.

How many bitcoins are in circulation today?

Apart from knowing how many bitcoins are left, it is also vital to know how many are available today. The current supply of bitcoin available is approximately over 18 million. 

There are several ways that you can use to stay updated on the number of bitcoins available currently. You can either opt to consult Blockchain.com, a website that continually updates the number of bitcoin in supply, or the Yahoo Finance App. With this mobile application, you can open up the Bitcoin section and determine how many bitcoins are left in circulation. You can also follow Messari, a reputable Bitcoin tracker that gathers all types of exciting metrics on bitcoin.

Are there any lost bitcoins?

It is difficult to differentiate between a lost bitcoin and one held for the long term. In a recent report, approximately 3-4 million bitcoins are lost forever. So, how do miners and investors lose bitcoin?

Bitcoin miners and traders control this digital currency on their bitcoin address using a private key. This private key to the address is only known to the holder of bitcoin. Thus, if the bitcoin address owner is unable to use the key for some reason or loses it, the bitcoins from that address are considered lost and cannot be withdrawn or used.

Over the years, many people have become careful with their private keys. But, when bitcoin was a new concept and commodity, the owners were far less cautious. Other ways to lose bitcoin include: 

  • Death of the owner without sharing the private key

  • A lost or destroyed paper wallet

  • A lost or destroyed physical device that contains the private key

How long does it take to mine bitcoin?

Generally, it takes about ten minutes to solve the complex mathematical algorithms in bitcoin technology. Upon solving, the miner receives a bitcoin reward and proceeds to solve another block. Currently, the block reward is at 6.25 bitcoins, but it is expected to drop to 3.125 bitcoin due to bitcoin halving. It is also worth noting that 900 bitcoins are mined daily.

What happens when all bitcoins are mined?

After knowing how many bitcoins are left, it is crucial to know what happens after all the bitcoins are mined. Upon generating all bitcoins, there will be no new bitcoins released in the network, as long as the mining protocols remain the same. But, the largest bitcoin cap supply remains at 21 million. So, what are the possible implications of bitcoin reaching its greatest supply limit?

After every successful block mining and verification on the network, miners receive a block reward and incentive fees from every transaction. The bitcoin network pays miners a large amount of money to secure the network and as compensation for their efforts in solving and verifying each transaction. The higher the fees, the more incentives the miners gain, and the faster their transaction is included in a block.

When all bitcoins are mined, there will be no block rewards, and the incentive fees will reduce drastically. Miners will only earn from transaction fees, as collected from every verified transaction. As a result, these fees may not be adequate for miners to offer enough resources.

Likewise, the popularity of bitcoin adds to the miner's transaction fees. As its price continues to rise, so does that of the miner. But, there is no guarantee that this price will continue to increase in the years to come.

Furthermore, bitcoin mining consumes high energy levels, resulting in adverse effects on the environment. But, if the mining process develops to a point where it is more efficient and cheaper, it can be a huge business opportunity. Miners will comfortably secure the network and continue with business for years to come.

Another possible implication of when all the bitcoins are mined is that its supply will become scarce. With this scarcity, the price will eventually rise, which is excellent news for investors. In turn, these investors will make large profits by experiencing extreme price gains.

Conclusion

Regardless of how many bitcoins are left, this digital currency's popularity continues to create wealth for millions of people around the world. No one knows the future of bitcoin and the cryptocurrency field. Through bitcoin halving, the supply of bitcoin will be adequate for another 100 years to come. Thus, there is no reason to worry. So, you should join the crypto bandwagon, if you have not already, and gear up to live the lifestyle of your dreams.

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