Only 4 Million Of The Total 21 Million Bitcoin Left

Conor Maloney
  • Bitcoin was designed to be deflationary - the low supply keeps the prices high due to scarcity.
  • The last Bitcoin is due to be mined in 140 years. 

The 17 millionth Bitcoin is due to be mined today, leaving only 4 million left in the total supply of 21 million. Bitcoin was designed to mimic the properties of natural resources like gold. The scarcity is deliberate, and designed to maintain and increase the value of the currency.

In fact, the rate of mining is slowing all the time - while at the moment, approximately 1800 coins are mined per day with a new block added every ten minutes, the design causes this rate to half every 4 years, thus creating the supply curve seen below.

How is Bitcoin created?

Bitcoin is "mined" by people running powerful computers called mining nodes. Nodes store the blockchain data and mining nodes verify transactions and keep the Bitcoin network operational. The process is called 'proof-of-work' and it is this expensive 'mining' that truly gives bitcoin its economic value.

Transactions are gathered into "blocks" and added to the blockchain in exchange for rewards - to create a block of data, the miners use computing power to guess the correct answer to cryptographic algorithms, which is also a deliberate feature aimed to distribute power evenly and prevent groups from dominating the network, by making it difficult and expensive to mine.

Currently miners are rewarded 12.5 BTC per block compared to 25 BTC two years ago and 50 BTC in the beginning - the rewards and rates decrease proportionately over time, ideally to match the increase in value so as not to give miners too much wealth at once.

The curency is deflationary, meaning that the scarcity generally contributed to the price increasing. Here's a chart made by r/bitcoin mod BashCo portraying the supply vs the inflation. 

Bitcoin supply curve

It's estimated that the last Bitcoin willl be mined in 120 years (2140), but this won't spell the end of the currency - much as we've seen happen already, the only likely outcome is that the price will increase even further due to the supply turning deflationiary as users lose private keys by accident. 

Billionaire Novogratz: Altcoins Won't Pump Like In 2017 Bull Run, Bitcoin Will Dominate

It appears that cryptocurrency prices have finally begun to recover after enduring an extended bear market which lasted throughout 2018.

As the market capitalization of Bitcoin (BTC) and other major cryptoassets continues to rise, several analysts have been drawing comparisons between what they’re seeing in the current market and what they observed during the historic bull market of late 2017 and early 2018.

Commenting on the recent crypto market price movements via Twitter, Ran NeuNer, the host of the CNBC Africa Trader show, remarked:

The market is running but we still haven’t seen the crazy alt pumps, pumps where coins do 40% in a day...is it coming?

Bitcoin To “Outperform” All Other Cryptos “This Time”

As the bitcoin price begins to recover, there have been many predictions made regarding the anticipated performance of altcoins. Twitter user “Crypto Bitlord” (@Crypto_Bitlord), a widely-followed digital asset market analyst, believes XRP, which currently has a market cap of around $16.3 billion, may trade as high as $10.

However, prominent crypto investor Michael Novogratz believes that digital asset traders are a lot smarter this time, when compared to some of the bad investment decisions they might have made during the initial coin offering (ICO) craze of 2017.

Novogratz, who’s the founder and CEO of Galaxy Digital, a full-service crypto merchant bank, has predicted that in this market run, Bitcoin will “outperform” all other cryptoassets.

On May 16th, 2019, the Bitcoin price surged to a 2019 high of $8,373 according to CryptoCompare data. In response to bitcoin’s recent price movements, Juan Villaverde, the Chief Analyst at Weiss Crypto Ratings, told CryptoGlobe: 

Bitcoin could fall to as low as $4,400. But [if] it does, it will be the best Bitcoin buying opportunity since 2015.

“More Good News For New Bitcoin Users”

Villaverde, an econometrician and mathematician focused on developing various crypto index models at Weiss Ratings, believes bitcoin would be a great buy at a lower price (as suggested above) because of the following reasons:

  • “The usage of Bitcoin is near all-time highs – 450,000 transactions per day. That’s up from a low of 150,000 in April of 2018 and approaching the all-time high of 490,000 in December of 2017.”
  • “Despite the high transaction volume, fees on the Bitcoin network are at their lowest levels since August of 2017 – more good news for users.”
  • “The Bitcoin block size is now greater than ever before, thanks to the Segwit technology upgrade.”

Villaverde further noted that the predictions are “based on studying the time patterns in Bitcoin's rises and falls throughout its 9 year trading history.” He explained that the time patterns have been analyzed by using an “algorithm-based market cycles model.”

The Chief Analyst at Weiss Ratings also mentioned that the bear market “ended on December 15th 2018 and the model confirmed this shift in trend on March 26th of this year.”

He added:

Then, after the rally that took place starting on April 25th, the same model told me a new bull market was now underway. The same model indicated a 30% to 45% correction due as of late April-early May and we seem to be experiencing that right now.