Bitcoin Has Passed Another Milestone

According to data from the blockchain tracker, 90% of all bitcoins have been mined as of December 2021. Due to this achievement, 18.89 million bitcoins are currently traded publicly out of a possible 21 million.

Since the first bitcoins were created on January 9, 2009, it has taken over 12 years to reach this milestone. However, based on projections of network activity and the halving dates for Bitcoin, it is anticipated that the remaining supply will not be mined until February 2140.

Gradually, prices have risen in tandem with rising supplies as interest in more recent bitcoins grows. When 10% of the supply was mined at the beginning of 2010, the asset traded hands for less than $0.10, and it was hovering around $7.50 in December 2012, when 50% of the supply was mined.

According to data from CoinGecko, bitcoin is currently trading at about $20,000, down from its peak of $69,000 early last year.

As a proof-of-work network, Bitcoin depends on users on the network known as miners, who continuously process transactions and validate blocks in a process known as mining.

These users contribute their hardware and computational power to the Bitcoin network, doing millions of difficult calculations every second in exchange for bitcoin. The current block reward for miners is 6.25 bitcoin, which will decrease to 3.125 bitcoin after the subsequent halving in 2024.

However, not all 21 million bitcoins are anticipated to be traded publicly. Based on examining address behaviour, the crypto analytics company Chainalysis calculates that 3.7 million bitcoins have been “lost,” with causes ranging from losing one’s private keys to even passing away. Since the amount was mined at the beginning of the network, Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin, still has 1 million additional bitcoin in his possession.

So, where will bitcoin go next? The fact that the currency has lasted this long should reassure investors that it isn’t going anywhere or disappearing. While the new Bitcoin Whitepaper looks to strengthen the network’s privacy, its overall structure will remain unchanged. This is likely so that any major changes to adapt to user requests can be made incrementally.

As Bitcoin adoption increases worldwide, expect new features to be added to the network that enhances privacy and increase user control. Of course, if you’ve been paying attention to other cryptocurrencies, you’re probably familiar with this gradual approach.

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Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.