We already know who will own half of bitcoin’s remaining non-minted supply – at least according to a new report. That repot comes from CoinShares CEO Ryan Radloff. In a blog post this weekend, Radloff cited data to reveal that half of bitcoin’s remaining total non-minted supply has already been “spoken for”.
Confused? That’s okay. Radloff is referencing the idea that a certain number of people have already declared their interest in purchasing bitcoin but have not yet purchased bitcoin. If these people purchase the remaining non-mined supply of bitcoin, then half of the remaining supply is already spoken for.
Based on his research, Radloff was encouraging the crypto industry to get “a new narrative” – similar to how tech companies like Microsoft and Amazon got a new narrative after their stock slumped following the burst of the Dot Com bubble.
Who Will Own Half Of Bitcoin’s Remaining Supply?
Approximately 17 million bitcoins have been mined since 2009. The bitcoin blockchain will continue issuing bitcoins until the year 2140 – assuming we continue with 10 minute block times.
There’s a total possible supply of 21 million bitcoins. According to Radloff’s research, we already can predict who will own at least 2 million of the 4 million bitcoins remaining to be mined. To reinforce his point, Radloff cites data showing a growing interest in cryptocurrencies – particularly among people who have not yet purchased bitcoin.
He cites an ING International Survey, for example, that shows 66% of Europeans, 57% of Americans, and 70% of Australians have heard about cryptocurrency. That same study shows that just 9% of Europeans, 8% of Americans, and 7% of Americans currently own some cryptocurrency, although 25%, 21%, and 15%, respectively, expect to own cryptocurrency at some point in the future.
Another study by the Bank of Canada involving 2,000 Canadians showed that roughly 2/3 Canadians had heard of bitcoin, but less than 3% of Canadians owned any bitcoin.
Using this survey data and other information, Radloff went to work:
“The ING survey caught my eye in particular because the results of expected future ownership can, for the first time I remember, allow me to begin building a data-driven base from which I can answer at least a component of the total addressable market question.”
To create this data-driven base, Radloff looked at the percentage differences between people that own cryptocurrency and those that expect to own it:
“If you multiply the percentage difference between consumers that own cryptocurrency, and those that expect to, with the populations of the respective regions you can get an idea of the number of additional people likely to demand cryptocurrencies in the future.”
The end result is that there are 99 million people across the United States, Australia, and Europe who intend to purchase cryptocurrency but do not currently own crypto:
“Holding at current prices ($6500), if 99 million consumers want to hold as little as £100 in bitcoin, that amounts to an increased demand of ~1.9 million bitcoins.”
Or, said differently:
“These demand numbers indicate that almost half of the remaining non-minted bitcoin supply is “spoken for.”
Remember: Radloff’s analysis is based on each consumer buying just £100 of bitcoin. It’s a conservative estimate.
Bitcoin Needs to Change Its Narrative
Radloff’s research shows that there will be high future demand for bitcoin. At the same time, bitcoin’s technology has continued to advance. So why aren’t current price levels increasing? Why has bitcoin been stuck in a bear market?
Radloff cites interesting data from the Dot Com bubble. He makes two important points:
- It took Amazon 9 years to recover its peak price in the year 2000 ($106). Today, Amazon sits at $1870.
- It took Microsoft 17 years to recover its peak price from the boom ($58). Today, Microsoft sits at $107.
Both of these companies were highly-valuable. However, investors took a long time to warm up to the companies. Ryan Radloff suggests that the delay was because of a difficulty of framing the narrative:
“When you come down from great heights, the “growth story” is harder to see… and most people then (and now) are investing in the (future) growth story.”
Bitcoin, like Amazon and Microsoft in the early 2000s, needs to change its narrative. Bitcoin had an enormous growth story in 2017. Then, that growth story collapsed – like the Dot Com bubble burst. Radloff suggests that now, just like in 2014, bitcoin needs a new narrative.
Then, Radloff links to Nic Carter’s “Visions of Bitcoin” article from earlier this summer when he discussed how bitcoin’s narrative has changed over time. In 2014, for example, bitcoin stopped being regarded as an electronic cash proof of concept or a form of dark web money. Instead, bitcoin’s narrative became “bitcoin as a cheap payments network” or “bitcoin as a censorship resistant form of electronic gold” and “bitcoin as a reserve currency for crypto”.
Where Will Bitcoin’s Narrative Go Next?
We’ve already changed bitcoin’s narrative. In fact, bitcoin’s narrative has been changed numerous times. We’ve moved it from an electronic cash proof of concept to a dark web currency to a form of digital gold.
Where will bitcoin’s narrative go next? What’s the next step for bitcoin if it wants to continue generating demand and retail interest? Ryan Radloff claims we’ve seen a few steps of this process already, including:
- Fidelity integration with Coinbase as an early step to bitcoin in brokerage accounts
- Bitcoin ETPs to democratize access to retail
- Fully deliverable bitcoin futures (like ICE/Bakkt)
- In the future, we’ll have the ability to buy bitcoin via legacy brokers and hold bitcoin alongside the rest of a portfolio
Radloff concludes his data-driven analysis with some interesting points, including:
- Cryptocurrency awareness continues to rise worldwide, and hundreds of millions of people have heard about cryptocurrencies
- 99 million people in western economies are believed to be seeking exposure to cryptocurrencies; if each of these consumers buys £100 of bitcoin at current prices, then that equals demand for 1.9 million bitcoins, more than half of the remaining mineable supply of bitcoin and more than 10% of the current supply
- Major financial institutions are already offering institutional-grade access to bitcoin to millions of clients worldwide
- In all previous bitcoin bull cycles, the bull run was facilitated by increased access points developed in the preceding “build cycle”, making it easier and more convenient for new users to enter the market; “I believe we are seeing this cycle repeat,” explains Radloff, “and yet again in larger magnitude.”
Radloff’s full blog post is worth a read here: https://medium.com/coinshares/half-of-the-remaining-non-minted-bitcoin-supply-is-spoken-for-10df2a45e45d. Remember: his estimate is based on the idea that the 99 million people interested in bitcoin will buy just £100 of the cryptocurrency. It’s a conservative estimate – and that could mean real future demand in bitcoin will be much higher.