Bitcoin has reached a major milestone, the 18 millionth BTC has been mined and we are all the more closer to its hard cap of 21 million coins.
The 600,000 block on the bitcoin network was just mined!
Block after block containing fully uncensored and immutable transactions outside the reach of governmental control.
A milestone in the history and future of money.
— Rhythm (@Rhythmtrader) October 19, 2019
There is now less than 3 million Bitcoin left to be mined, but all of those would be mined in the next 120 years. These 3 million BTC will progress slowly as a result of block rewards halving that occur every 210,000 blocks, roughly four years, reducing the new BTC supply by 50%.
Currently, each day miners are bringing 1,800 BTC into the market and adding to the circulating supply of the cryptocurrency. While the ongoing inflation is 3.72%, after the next halving this will come down to 1.80%.
BREAKING: The 18th million Bitcoin was just mined in the last block of transactions.
— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) October 19, 2019
The final 21 millionth Bitcoin would be mined in 2140.
How Hard is 21 Million Limit?
Once all the BTC will be mined, miners will rely on transaction fees, paid by users to transfer coins through the blockchain.
Currently, miners get a reward of 12.5 newly created BTC worth about $100k, plus any additional fees which usually totals at about 1 BTC.
This, many like Paul Brody, global innovation leader for audit firm Ernst & Young, believes could limit the flagship cryptocurrency’s utility as a global reserve currency as deflationary systems aren’t “necessarily the best thing.”
While a handful of commentators are of the idea that the system will move to increase the hard cap, if enough people make that decision, it’s too soon to talk about as we have more than a century ahead of us still.
Moreover, Bitcoin advocate Andreas Antonopoulos had pointed out that mining rewards have always been “a marginally profitable endeavor” which is adjusted based on the network.
“Nothing magical happens when block subsidy drops to zero. It’s a very gradual and predictable change that happens over a period of 120 years. It’s already happening and every day [miners] make their decisions,” said Antonopoulos.
The Next Reward Having is Upon Us
The next block reward halving is just around the corner, with just 207 days left in the day to arrive at the scheduled date May 14, 2020. This mining reward halving will cut the coin reward in half, from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 coins.
Now as the number of coins to be mined decreases, the competition to the first one to get hold of them increases. As such, the hash rate of the Bitcoin network has been making now records, recently hitting 102 quintillion ashes for the first time in Bitcoin’s history.
Historically, this event has been a bullish one for the BTC price that industry experts and commentators expect to take it somewhere between $50,000 to $1 million.