It is now official, 80% of bitcoin’s supply of 21,000,000 coins has been mined and is in circulation. According to CoinMarketCap, there are now 16,804,275 BTC available. This leaves approximately 4.2 million coins that are yet to be “discovered” by miners. Miners use extremely powerful computers to solve algorithms as teams, or pools, to mine bitcoin. When these algorithms and complicated problems are solved, new units of the cryptocurrency are created and are put in circulation on the blockchain and the mining pool divides small shares, or rewards, between its members.
No more, no less
In the original whitepaper, the creator of bitcoin Satoshi Nakamoto, defined, using a very complicated and precise algorithm, that the supply will be finite and will be equal to just under 21 million coins. That means that there will be no additional bitcoin mined after the final figure. The projected exact supply is 20,999,999 BTC, no more, no less.
Not so fast!
Miners are currently receiving 12,5 BTC per block mined. However, in two years, there will be what is called “halving” of reward and this number will drop to around 6,25 BTC per block. This reward will keep decreasing and will be divided by two every four years. Moreover, the mining difficulty is also set to increase gradually. This means that it will require more computer power, and therefore more miners coming together to mine bitcoin as time goes by. So one can wonder, when will the total supply of bitcoin be mined? Well, according to expert calculations, this day should come in the year 2140. Therefore, there is still a long way to go before each and every bitcoin is mined and in circulation.
What happens next?
With only less than 21,000,000 tokens, it will be interesting to see what will happen once all the coins have been mined. It is certain that owning even one bitcoin will become rare. If the market follows the recent trends, a big price increase can be expected, as demand will keep increasing, while supply will stay the same. More individuals will try to purchase the virtual currency as it becomes rare, considering it will be a “finite” resource.
TLDR: Bitcoin miners have now mined 80% of the total supply of the cryptocurrency. At 16,804,275 BTC in circulation currently, it is expected to reach approximately 21,000,000 in 2140.