Crypto Coin Mining Is Harder for Miners Given Bitcoin’s Predictable Limited Supply

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When the mining process for a cryptocurrency is completed, there will be a finite number of that coin available in circulation. This means that each time someone mines it, they are reducing how many more coins can ever exist. For bitcoin as an example, once you mine 21 million bitcoins (BTC), no new ones will enter into existence – meaning miners have to struggle to get any profit out of their work

According to records, 19 million bitcoins have already been mined into circulation. With the supply set at 21 million, only two million bitcoins remain to be mined.

What Happens When All the Bitcoins Have Been Mined?

A watershed moment occurred on the Bitcoin (BTC) network on Friday, April 1, 2022, after records revealed that 19 million bitcoins have now been mined. The milestone occurred at block height 730,034 and there are now only two million bitcoins left.

At block height, there were 19,000,004.68 bitcoins in existence at 7:05 pm (ET). Satoshi Nakamoto set the maximum supply to 21 million bitcoins when the network was created, and research indicates that the number is a hair less than 21 million. 

Based on some estimates, there will be just 20,999,817.31 BTC. According to the bitcoin dashboard at clarkmoody.com, which recorded the 19 million bitcoins mined on Friday, there are only 1,999,781.23 BTC left to find.

Every time a miner finds a new block, the amount of coins issued increases by 6.25 bitcoins ($289656) per block. A new block is found roughly every ten minutes, and the next reward halving should occur around May 3rd, 2024. 

Miners will receive 3.125 bitcoins per block after the next halving, which will occur in 2028.

It is because of BTC’s programmed, mathematical, and ultimately predictable issuance that people can predict when the next difficulty adjustment will occur. 

At the time of writing, the Bitcoin network’s annual inflation rate is 1.74%, and with every halving, the annual inflation rate will decrease.

According to data, there are 19 million bitcoins mined, but no one is certain how many are in circulation. This is because there are an unknown number of unreachable or lost coins.

Satoshi Nakamoto addressed the lost coins issue, though, by saying that unobtainable bitcoins would make the asset scarcer, thereby increasing its value. “Lost coins only increase the value of everyone else’s coins a little bit.” Nakamoto said that when the next halving occurs in 2024, the block rewards system will cease issuing bitcoin by the year 2140, and the miner-reward system will depend entirely on transaction fees.

Records indicate there are approximately 109,966 blocks until the next reward halving, which would occur at 7:05 p.m. (ET) after 19 million bitcoins were mined.

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