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Limited supply: Only 10% of Bitcoin left in the world

·Finance reporter
·3-min read
A statue of Satoshi Nakamoto, a presumed pseudonym used by the inventor of Bitcoin, is displayed in Graphisoft Park on September 22, 2021 in Budapest, Hungary. The statue's creators, Reka Gergely and Tamas Gilly, used anonymized facial features, as Nakamoto's true identify remains unconfirmed. (Photo by Janos Kummer/Getty Images)
Satoshi Nakamoto, a presumed pseudonym used by the inventor of Bitcoin. The real inventor of Bitcoin remains unknown. (Source: Getty)

Bitcoin is in short supply, and may not be around for much longer. According to data from Cryptorank, only around 6 per cent of the world's tokens are left to be mined.

Around 1.3 million Bitcoin, or 6.3 per cent of the total supply, is currently held on cryptocurrency exchanges.

Bitcoin inventor, Satoshi Nakamoto, capped the number of Bitcoin at 21 million, meaning there will only ever be 21 million Bitcoin in existence.

On average, these Bitcoin are introduced to the supply at a fixed rate of one block every 10 minutes.

Bitcoin’s strict cap is fundamental to its value, both as a money and an investment. Bitcoin is a successful store of value because it is difficult to increase its supply, much like gold.

Bitcoin halving means that it becomes more difficult to produce every four years, and eventually, it will become impossible.

Bitcoin halving simply means the pace in which new units of the world’s largest cryptocurrency entering circulation is halved.

Additionally, the number of Bitcoin released in each of these blocks is reduced by 50 per cent every 4 years.

Fear not, because at this rate, the remaining 10 per cent that is left will take around 119 years to be mined, reinforcing how scarce the currency is and continues to be.

Following the China mining ban in May of 2021, Bitcoin recovered to hit an all time high.

Bitcoin hits a record high of more than $63,000 as investors await the debut of 'coinbase' on the Nasdaq. Coinbase logos photographed off an iphone 6s and iphone SE 2020.
Coinbase, is an American company that operates a cryptocurrency exchange platform. Coinbase operates remote-first, and lacks an official physical headquarters (Source: Getty)

Additionally, the largest crypto platform, Coinbase, which used to have more tokens in circulation than all other exchanges combined, appears to be losing its control.

The US-based exchange dropped from having 50.52 per cent of Bitcoin’s total circulation in its wallets earlier this year to 40.65 per cent just this month.

Fearing further volatility in the price of Bitcoin, many investors have padlocked their tokens in offline wallets. Analysts say that off-line wallets are considered one of the safest methods for holding Bitcoin, because they are separated from internet access.

Others continue to store Bitcoin on exchanges while not trading them, which means the actual volume in circulation may be even lower than 1.3 million.

It is expected that by 2030, nearly 97 per cent of Bitcoin will be unearthed. The remaining 3 per cent will come into existence over the following century, until 2140.

Quick facts

  • As of Aug, 2021, 18.77 million Bitcoin have been mined, which leaves approximately 2.3 million yet to be introduced into circulation.There are only 21 million Bitcoin that can be mined in total.

  • Bitcoin's network may evolve from its current incomplete state to evolving into a bridge for monetary transactions and trading.

  • Bitcoin the cryptocurrency will have a specific character in the financial ecosystem.

  • Analysts predict that unless Bitcoin passes the $50,000 threshold again, its circulation may drop even lower.

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