Bitcoin Touches New Milestone With 90% of Total Supply Mined
However, the entire supply won’t get mined until February 2140.
Ninety percent of all bitcoins have been mined as of Monday morning, according to data from blockchain tracker Blockchain.com. The feat means 18.89 million bitcoins – of a maximum of 21 million – are now on the open market.
Reaching the milestone took nearly 12 years since the first bitcoins were mined on Jan. 9, 2009. However, the remaining supply is not expected to be mined until February 2140, based on network activity estimates and Bitcoin’s halving schedules.
Prices have mirrored the increasing supply as demand for newer bitcoin heats up. The asset exchanged hands for less than $0.10 when 10% of the supply was mined in early 2010, and hovered at $7.50 when 50% of the supply was mined in December 2012. As of press time, bitcoin trades at over $49,000, having declined 28% from its peak of $69,000 earlier this year, as per data from CoinGecko.
Bitcoin, as a proof-of-work network, relies on network participants called miners who continually process transactions and validate blocks in a process broadly referred to as mining.
Such participants provide their computing resources and hardware to solve millions of complex calculations on the Bitcoin network each second, receiving bitcoin as rewards. Miners currently receive 6.25 bitcoin for each block they mine, which would drop to 3.125 bitcoin after the next halving in 2024.
Meanwhile, not all of 21 million bitcoin is expected to be available on the open market. Crypto analytics firm Chainalysis estimates 3.7 million bitcoin have been “lost” based on analyzing address activity, from reasons ranging from losing one’s private keys to even death. A further 1 million bitcoin is still held by Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, untouched because the pseudonymous person/s mined the amount in the network’s early days.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.
Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.