Bitcoin Network has reached the all-important 90% mark of all BTC mined. The feat was achieved this Monday (13), according to data from the ByteTree platform.
According to the original cryptocurrency protocol, a maximum of 21 million units of BTC will be issued. Until this Monday afternoon, 18.9 million units had been mined. Therefore, only 2.1 million units remain to be mined.
Predictable and unchanging monetary policy is one of the central aspects that make the BTC attractive, and mining solves that role. Through this process, the amount of BTC gradually increases until it reaches the expected limit.
BTC’s history began almost 13 years ago, when the network was launched on January 3, 2009. The first block, known as the genesis block, was mined by Satoshi Nakamoto.
For a long time, the creator of the BTC almost single-handedly mined cryptocurrencies. At first, the activity provided a reward of 50 BTC per block. This reward is cut in half every 210,000 blocks – the well-known process of halving.
In the process, Satoshi has accumulated about 1.1 million BTC, or just over half of the 2.1 million that remain.
Currently, 6.25 BTC are mined every 10 minutes, which gives an average of 900 BTC per day. In the next halving, scheduled to take place in 2024, that number will drop to 3.125 BTC/block and 450 BTC/day.
It is estimated that the last Satoshi (name of a fraction of BTC) will be mined in 2140, 120 years from now. Thus, BTC mining will eventually come to an end, with miners being paid exclusively from transaction fees.
Lost currencies and real deflation
Although the offer of 21 million BTC will be mined in the next century, not all of them will be able to be traded on the market. That’s because, according to unofficial estimates, around 3.5 million to 5 million BTC are lost forever.
This amount is due to numerous factors, such as loss of private keys or even death events. When a BTC is lost, there is no way to redo the private key, which makes that drive lost forever.
In this sense, many investors came to mine BTC in the early days of cryptocurrency, but were unable to store them properly. With the exponential valuation, these users found themselves with a fortune in their hands without being able to use it.
One such person is German-born programmer Stefan Thomas. In 2011, he produced an exclusive educational video for a fan. Entitled “What is BTC?”, the video received a donation of 7,002 BTC.
At first, Thomas didn’t pay much attention to his new appearances. However, this amount corresponds to more than US$340 million. As a result, Thomas is now desperate to find his password.
Another issue is that with 90% of BTC mined, there are already more BTC lost than to be mined. For Felipe Escudero, creator of the BitNada channel, the BTC became in practice deflationary after this milestone.
“Of the 21 million BTC, only 2.1 million are left to be mined. But we have about 5 million BTC lost, according to estimates. Therefore, in practice, the BTC is already deflationary”, said Escudero.