George Levy – What happens once we mine all 21 million bitcoins?
According to the monitoring of the Blockchain website, miners have already mined 17.85 million bitcoins, which is 85% of the maximum possible amount. To get the remaining 3.15 million it will take 120 years.
The reward for the closure of new blocks decreases over time (halving), so the extraction of the remains will stretch until 2140. Since the maximum volume is limited at 21 million BTC, soon miners will not be able to support a sufficient level of supply, introducing new coins to the market, which will lead to a shortage.
Formally, there should be 17.85 million bitcoins in circulation, the actual number is much less. This is due to locked coins, access to which is forever lost due to the loss of private keys by users or for other reasons. According to research Chainalysis, two years ago, the volume of coins withdrawn from circulation was estimated at about 4 million, or almost a fifth of their maximum number.
In May 2020, the amount of remuneration will be halved again – from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC per block. It is expected that this will lead to an increase in the rate of the cryptocurrency, as miners will have a greater impact on the market.
In parallel with the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies, their energy consumption is also increasing.. Bitcoin uses twice as much electricity as Ireland, according to a report from the International Energy Agency.
text: Ivan Malichenko, photo: assets.bwbx, graphic: Blockchain