The Bitcoin Mining Race: Only 20% Remains
As the world’s Bitcoin supply dwindles amid wide-scale mining, the Bitcoin mining race heats up with 80% of the total 21 million coins already in circulation, leaving only 20% for mining outfits across the world to unearth as of January 13.
Implemented by the creator Satoshi Nakamoto, BTC has a finite limit of resource, meaning once the cap is reached no more coins can be procured unless they are traded directly. The argument proposed by Nakamoto in 2008’s introduction to Bitcoin – the now legendary White Paper – is that scarcity will drive its value upwards. The harder it is to procure a coin, the more valuable it becomes.
However, detractors argue that a finite limit on Bitcoins will have the reverse effect, with suspicions that Nakamoto – the person, the group, the mystery – has a stockpile of inactive coins which, once the limit is reached, will act in the same way as a regulatory central bank, decentralising the currency which would in turn create the infrastructure Bitcoin sought to avoid at its volition.
“I think that, like a stock split, we will see a natural initial devaluation per Bitcoin,” Rik Willard, founder and managing director of Agentic Group LLC told CoinDesk. “That said, I expect the price to rise almost to current levels rather more quickly than if it were an actual stock, based on extreme bullishness from the sector.”
The difficulty of mining Bitcoins will continue to exponentially rise. In the beginning, 50 Bitcoins were earned as a reward for mining a single block. This was halved to 25 Bitcoins and then sliced in two again to 12.5 Bitcoins. In two years the reward for mining a block will be 6.25 Bitcoins making mining unprofitable and ultimately lengthening the process of ‘total procurement’.
So, what does this 80% landmark mean for Bitcoin’s current trading price? It’s difficult to tell amidst reports of increased regulation efforts and even banning methods employed in East Asia, but the world’s most famous crypto currency has endured a steady fall since its recent peak of $20k. It is now trading at $11,350 at the time of press.