Only 20% of all bitcoin remain undiscovered | finder.com

Only 20% of all bitcoin remain undiscovered

Peter Terlato 15 January 2018 NEWS

There is a supply cap of 21 million bitcoins. This rarity helps boost demand and can increase an asset’s value.

Around 80% of all bitcoin supply has been mined, with 4.2 million coins remaining until the total is exhausted.

Of the 21 million bitcoins that will ever be available for trade, more than 16.8 million (80%) have already been mined, according to international software platform Blockchain.info’s bitcoins in circulation chart.

Chart: Blockchain.info

The data reveals that at this time last year 16.1 million (77%) bitcoins had been mined. Two years ago, this figure was just over 15 million (72%). This means about 8% of new bitcoins were mined in the past two years.

The supply cap was a key component of bitcoin’s propriety, developed by Satoshi Nakamoto and outlined in the company’s 2008 White Paper. It was established as a means of bringing rarity to the cryptocurrency.

“The steady addition of a constant of amount of new coins is analogous to gold miners expending resources to add gold to circulation. In our case, it is CPU time and electricity that is expended,” Nakamoto said in the paper.

“The proof-of-work difficulty is determined by a moving average targeting an average number of blocks per hour. If they’re generated too fast, the difficulty increases,” Nakamoto said.

Proof of work is data that’s generally costly and time-consuming to produce but relatively simple to verify. For a bitcoin block to be accepted by network participants, miners must cover all data in the block in their proofs.

Bitcoin mining: How it works and can I make money doing it?

The scarcity created by this process and the supply cap helps boost demand and can increase the asset’s value.

The current bitcoin mining block reward is valued at 12.5 bitcoins per block. This reward is to be halved every 210,000 blocks, according to Nakamoto’s White Paper. The next miner halving is expected to occur in two years.

While bitcoin is a digital currency that must be mined to unearth supply, others, such as Ripple, release their entire supply immediately. Some coins might be held by the creators while others are circulated for trade.

While a number of countries and central banks are considering the implications of creating and issuing official cryptocurrencies, the United States Federal Reserve is “unlikely” to introduce its own digital currency.

The US Marshals Service announced it will sell nearly 4,000 seized bitcoins at an auction held later this month.

Go beyond bitcoin to discover alternative cryptocurrencies and gain further insight by exploring our guide.

This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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