Over the weekend, the bitcoin No. 16,800,000 was mined, marking a significant milestone for bitcoin miners worldwide. In other words, 80% of the world’s total bitcoin supply has been mined, with only 20 percent to go.
There are just 21 million bitcoins to be mined globally, but the final bitcoin will be mined at some point in 2040.
The number of the digital coins in circulation has been tweaked in recent years through rewards for miners and complex problem-solving systems. Miners that are able to find a solution to hard mathematical problems get nice awards.
The initial reward for miners was 50 coins per solved mathematical problem. In 2012, the reward slipped to 25 coins, while in 2016, the reward was trimmed even further to 12.5 coins. In 2020, the reward system will offer miners just 6.25 bitcoins.
Bitcoin Is Now Perceived as a Store of Value
To make mining even harder, as the value of the rewards decreased, the complexity of problems increased.
- As a result, it is increasingly hard to earn a bitcoin nowadays.
- The system is built so as to create scarcity which is a healthy thing for an economy.
- As scarcity increases, the value of the digital currency will increase exponentially.
Last month, CommerceBlock analyst Nicholas Gregory expressed confidence that the bitcoin will remain relevant even after the last coin gets mined. This will be done through high transaction fees.
Transaction fees for bitcoin operations have indeed skyrocketed in recent months, especially after the cryptocurrency caught the attention of investors and the media. On a single day, miners won $22.7 million from fees alone after bitcoin hit the $20,000 milestone.
Plus, many people now see bitcoin as a store of value since it is so pricey and scarce. This is not the case with other cyrptocurrencies, though.
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