Bitcoin New Milestone: 90% Of All 21 Million Bitcoin Have Been Mined
A new milestone was reached early on Monday morning when the total number of bitcoin in circulation officially accounted for 90% of the digital asset’s total supply. The number of bitcoin addresses in existence has also reached a new all-time high, indicating continued growth and widespread interest in the asset.
The first bitcoin was mined on January 9th of 2009, nearly 12 years ago. Since then, the asset has skyrocketed in both value and popularity, becoming the most talked about technological invention since the dawn of the internet. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have managed to make their way into the most mainstream of arenas, becoming legal tender in certain countries and being increasingly accepted as forms of payment by banks, financial institutions, and businesses worldwide.
For those who don’t know about the coin’s total supply, bitcoin was initially created with a maximum number of coins that could possibly come into existence: 21 million bitcoin. This supply limitation by design makes bitcoin scarce, thus controlling inflation that is often brought on by unlimited supplies. Bitcoin’s proof-of-work network relies on participants (known as miners) to process transactions in order to validate blocks which are then added to the chain. Miners earn rewards for each block validated.
We are expected to reach the total supply of 21 million bitcoin around the year 2140. This estimation is based on bitcoin halving schedules when the reward for mining Bitcoin is cut in half. These events happen when the 210,000th block is mined since the last halving. Miners currently “earn” 6.25 bitcoin for each block mined, this amount would drop to 3.125 bitcoin after the next halving which is set to happen sometime in 2024. Halving has primarily played a significant role in bitcoin’s deflationary nature, and it has greatly slowed down the process of hitting the market cap.
As the number of bitcoin available for mining continues to dwindle, demand and value continue to rise. Despite a tumultuous few weeks, bitcoin prices have managed to recover slightly and currently sit at just above $50,000, up 2.1% over this past weekend and adding $1,040 to its previous close.
This comes after the coin managed to hit an all-time high of $69,000 on November 10, 2021. Analysts and veteran investors have routinely set various price predictions for the coin ranging from $100,000 to $200,000 for 2022. Despite any predictions, institutional inflows have been consistently strong.
This was not the only milestone that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies managed to hit this year, either. Back in November, crypto markets celebrated a momentous occasion as the overall market cap of cryptocurrency topped $3 trillion. To put this in perspective, the global crypto market cap stood at $577 billion in November of 2020 in comparison which means the market experienced 5x growth in roughly 12 months.
To learn more about how bitcoin is mined and bitcoin’s proof of work network, be sure to read up on our bitcoin investor guides that are curated for beginners.