In a round million milestone, 17 mln bitcoins (BTC) have now been mined as of today, April 26, according to data from statoshi.info. Because of Bitcoin’s supply cap of 21 mln, this means that only 4 mln Bitcoin, or about 19 percent, remain to be mined.
The last time the number of Bitcoin mined hit a round million mark was in late November, 2016. Bitcoin’s code dictates that there is a 21 mln coin cap, created as a way to introduce digital scarcity to the cryptocurrency. The protocol is also designed to make the rate that coins are produced slower over time – every 210,000 blocks the network halves the block reward, meaning that the rate of new BTC creation exponentially slows down.
The most recent halving was in July 2016, and since then, miners receive a 12.5 BTC reward for every block that they mine. Assuming the Bitcoin protocol remains the same – following Satoshi’s halving schedule and block validation every 10 minutes on average – the last newly minted Bitcoin will be in 2140.
Scarcity and mining point towards an analogy with precious metals, chief of all gold, to which Bitcoin has long been compared, including in Satoshi Nakamoto’s original Bitcoin white paper.
Just two days ago, VC tycoon and Bitcoin bull Tim Draper declared that not only is Bitcoin “bigger than the internet”, but that “it’s bigger than the Iron Age, the Renaissance [and] the Industrial Revolution.” Earlier in April, he predicted that Bitcoin would hit an eye-popping $250k per coin within four years.