Huge Bitcoin Milestone Has Been Hit: 18 Million BTC Mined
Since the start of Bitcoin, block rewards have been halving every 210,000 blocks, meaning the mining process slows down every four years. The expected year Bitcoin will be fully mined is in 2140 so you still have time if you want to set up a rig and get earning.
Recently, the 18 millionth Bitcoin was mined leaving only 3 million left of its hard-coded cap of 21 million. Bitcoinhalfblock makes there currently 18,000,775 Bitcoins in circulation at the time of writing this, with 206 days until the next reward drop.
Once all Bitcoins have been mined, it could dramatically increase the price of Bitcoin, or completely destroy it sceptics say. This is because miners will solely rely on transaction fees which are paid by users to transfer coins from one address to another through it’s blockchain.
Currently, each block mined is worth 12.5 BTC in addition to any transaction fees which usually are less than 1 BTC.
This milestone has caused debate in the cryptocurrency space as some believe increasing the supply has to be an answer as we need this system to make Bitcoin work. Without mining, some believe it cannot thrive as a global currency. It is thought by others that an increase to the supply would destroy its value.
In any case, the Bitcoin community needn’t worry about the supply increasing as it is estimated to be fully mined in 120 years from now. Although this milestone is great, arguably it is not as important as the next block halving which sees the block subsidy move from 12.5 to 6.25 BTC.