On Monday morning, one and a half years after the last Bitcoin halving, 90% of the maximum amount of bitcoin had been mined.
On Monday, the number of bitcoins in circulation reached 18.899 million, according to data from Blockchain.com, leaving only 10% of the total supply to be mined. It took around 12 years to mine the first 90% of Bitcoin, but it will take a bit longer to mine the remaining BTC.
Bitcoin has a hard maximum of 21 million coins imposed by its anonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. Because this limit is written into the code, all Bitcoin nodes must stick to it. The hard cap on Bitcoin is critical to the currency’s and asset’s value.
Cointelegraph says that the Bitcoin halving, in which the rate of making new Bitcoins is cut in half every four years as part of a set protocol, means that the mining process will take 119 years to finish.
Since the Bitcoin blockchain only makes new BTC as a reward for miners who confirm new blocks, the halving makes sure that fewer Bitcoins are made as the total amount in circulation goes up. As of May 2020, miners have been paid 6.25 bitcoins for each block they successfully verify. In 2024, the rate will again be halved, reaching a level that will produce 3.125 BTC per block.
By 2040, the block reward will have decreased to below 0.2 BTC, and only 80,000 bitcoins will remain for mining out of a total supply of 21 million. The last bitcoin will take close to 40 years to mine.
Even though the end of the year is drawing near, Bitcoin’s price started the week by rejecting $50,000 again. It is roughly 30% down from its all-time high of $68,789 hit on Nov. 10 at the time of posting.