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As of Today, There Are 4 Million Bitcoin Left to be Mined

Reading Time: 2 minutes by on April 26, 2018 Bitcoin, Blockchain, News

Data from Blockchain.info shows that the 17 millionth bitcoin is likely to be mined over the next 24 hours, leaving just four million until the cryptocurrency’s maximum supply is reached, anticipated to be sometime in 2140.

Another Milestone for Bitcoin

After reaching 16 million units in circulation during mid-2016, the 17 millionth unit to be mined is another landmark for Bitcoin.

Bitcoin’s design means that there will only ever be 21 million in existence. The code makes sure that only a certain number of new bitcoin can be introduced at set intervals. Miners are rewarded with this scarce data every time they add new entries to the official record.

There tend to be around 1,800 new bitcoins created every day. However, the process is difficult to pin down, and it can not be predicted precisely when the 17 millionth bitcoin will be mined.

Tiny variances are created in keeping the common Bitcoin software in sync, making exact predictions very difficult to make. In fact, some data indicate that the number of bitcoin mined might be entirely off.

Some alleged that, in fact, the 17 million mark is a slight way off. Data from Statoshi indicates that there are still around 70 bitcoins to be mined before it is reached.

Source: Statoshi

Different ways of calculating the block rewards make different outcomes possible, as Statoshi’s creator Jameson Lopp explained:

What does the Milestone mean?

Reaching the arbitrary number of 17 million may not be particularly significant, but some see it as a prompt to appreciate the achievements of the technology to date.

Tim Draper, the venture capitalist and vocal supporter of bitcoin who recently predicted it would hit $250,000 in 2018, commented, “I would bet the founders wouldn’t have imagined how important bitcoin would become in their wildest dreams.”

The Bitcoin Supply Cap

After Satoshi Nakamoto mined the first Bitcoin block and created the first 50 units of the cryptocurrency, the same reward stayed in place for the next 209,999 blocks. After which the first “halvening” took place and the reward were reduced. The reduction in the block reward has happened every 210,000 blocks since. When this interval is reached the network reduces the block reward by 50 percent. The most recent halving occurred in July 2016, and the instant reward is 12.5 bitcoins.

Although it has taken nine years to get this far, and there is only four million bitcoin left to mine. It will take much longer to reach the final supply cap because as the block rewards reduce, the rate of monetary inflation slows. The next block reward halving is expected to take place May 29, 2020.

As long as the protocol is not adjusted, the last, whole bitcoin will not be mined until May 2140, and by some estimates, it would take approximately 34 years to mine:

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