With the seeming growth and better acceptance of cryptocurrencies around the world, “Bitcoin” is a name that is currently gaining more recognition in several quarters around the world. Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency in the world today and is used to facilitate transactions across several platforms. Created by Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin gained global attention in 2008. One important factor that makes Bitcoin valuable is the fact that there is a limited number of BTC in circulation. Although, Bitcoin can be mined.
There are now other cryptocurrencies of interest. These other cryptocurrencies are referred to as Altcoins. Some include: Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Dash (DASH), etc.
How Many Bitcoins Are There Now in Circulation?
Currently, it is estimated that there are 17,964,550 bitcoins in existence. Although, this value is not constant as new blocks of bitcoins are mined almost every 10 minutes. Every new block of Bitcoin mined adds 12.5 bitcoin to the existing number of bitcoins in the world. This makes it practically impossible to get the exact number of bitcoins available in the world at the moment.
It is, however, important to note that a maximum number of bitcoins that can ever exist is 21 million. This implies that all the bitcoins left to be mined are 3,035,450.
How does Mining work?
Bitcoin mining is carried out using special computers. Miners simply solve computational problems that allow them to bring together blocks of a transaction to form a chain. After the process, a miner earns new bitcoins which adds to the number of bitcoins in existence and can be used for transactions.
How many Bitcoins are mined daily?
On a daily basis, about 144 blocks are mined daily. This means on the average, about 1,800 bitcoins are mined every day. Although the number of miners is now increasing with the increasing popularity of bitcoin. Therefore, it is predicted that more than 1,800 bitcoins are created every day.
Currently, 597,164 blocks are estimated to have been mined. This places all the bitcoins currently in existence at 17,964,550. However, some of these BTC have been lost forever. It is, as a matter of fact, estimated that about 3-4 million bitcoins are currently lost forever.
Is stolen BTC lost?
No. Stolen BTC is not lost BTC as the BTC might still be in the hands of the thief and is thus still in circulation. Bitcoin is lost forever when it is totally removed from circulation perhaps due to an inability to access a wallet.
What Happens When All 21 Million Bitcoins Are Mined?
At the point when all existing bitcoins have been mined, there would be a fixed supply as the supply can no longer increase at this point. Demand, on the other hand, can keep growing. This would have some effects on all stakeholders in the Bitcoin business. Even though, experts predict that the miners are the ones that would be directly affected.
Effect on Bitcoin Miners
Once all 21 million Bitcoins have been mined, Bitcoin
miners would then depend on transaction fees to earn from Bitcoin as no new BTC can be created. Although there have been concerns as to whether money made from these transactions would be enough to keep these miners financially stable. But most predictions show a drastic reduction in the number of miners.
Although, in the event that the Bitcoin protocol is changed to allow for a larger supply, the case becomes entirely different.
The Effect on the Value of BTC
Once all bitcoins have been mined, considering that the digital currency is now used in the whole world, it is expected that the monetary value of the BTC would increase due to increased demand and limited supply.
This, of course, makes bitcoins amazing investments for the long-term.
Total Number of Bitcoins
As earlier mentioned, it is difficult to state exactly how many bitcoins exist at the moment due to the millions of miners around the world mining new blocks even now. Although, the total number of bitcoins remains constant at 21 million.
Important Points to Note
• There are 21 million bitcoins in total.
• At the moment, only 597,164 blocks (17,964,550 BTC) are estimated to have been mined.
• The number of blocks mined keeps increasing by the day.
• It is possible for all bitcoins to be mined.
• Once all bitcoins have been mined, the value is expected to increase due to an increased demand an limited supply.
Cryptocurrencies are the next phase of finance in the world. Apart from the fact that they offer a convenient way to transact globally, they are also more flexible and adaptable across several platforms. Interestingly, they also offer a good opportunity for long-term investment; this is why they are called Digital Gold in some circles. You can buy bitcoin with a credit card now to get started.