Within 13 years of its existence, 90 percent of the 21 million Bitcoins that are meant to arrive have been mined already. But a new report now claims that it will take 120 years for the remaining 10 percent Bitcoin tokens to be mined. Currently, 18.9 million Bitcoin tokens are in circulation, leaving 2.1 million to be mined. As per a report by Blockchain.com, “Bitcoin Halving” is the reason why the last 2.1 million Bitcoins are projected to take over a century to be part of the circulation.
Bitcoin halving refers to a pre-programmed event that occurs every 210,000 blocks, in the present situation that is roughly four years from today. The process cuts in half Bitcoin's inflation rate and the rate at which new tokens enter circulation.
“Due to the regular halving events, the self-adjusting difficulty, and other pre-programmed features, it is estimated that this will take quite some time and that the 21 millionth bitcoin will be created in the distant 2140,” a report by CryptoPotato said, citing the Blockchain.com report.
Bitcoin Halving also cuts down the block reward that miners receive in half. In 2009, this block reward for miners was 50 Bitcoin per block. Currently it has come down to 6.25 Bitcoin.
Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudonym of the unknown creator of Bitcoin who mined its first token in 2009. At the time of Bitcoin's creation, Nakamoto had decided to cap the Bitcoin supply to 21 million tokens. Today, Bitcoin has swelled to be the biggest cryptocurrency with the market valuation of $922 billion (roughly Rs. 70,15,680 crore).
As per CoinMarketCap, 39,738,251 crypto wallets hold Bitcoin tokens. Out of these, 963,625 are active wallets. The top 100 owners own 13.21 percent of Bitcoin's circulating supply.
Nakamoto had also added a mining difficulty adjustment feature to ensure a stable speed of Bitcoin production.
“Essentially, it's a process occurring every 2,016 blocks (two weeks) that makes it either more difficult or easier for miners to do their work,” the report added.
With the block rewards shrinking down and the difficult adjustment getting harder to crack, miners will require to put in extra efforts for smaller rewards.
Now, despite the total supply of 21 million Bitcoins is expected to be mined in the next century, not all tokens will reach the open market. As of now, over 3.5 million Bitcoins have been “lost” due to misplaced private keys or even death events.
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