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How many BTC is currently in circulation? How many bitcoins are left?


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As is well known, the total Bitcoin number is estimated at 21 million BTC.

Meaning that it is capped at a relatively small number compared to the world's population, which is one of the main attractions of BTC.

Unlike fiat currencies, the supply of Bitcoin is limited, which gives the currency a high deflationary characteristic that has become in itself desirable in a world in which the central bank's money printers operate continuously.

Bitcoin was designed mathematically in this way as a decentralized hedge against a flawed banking system that was largely responsible for the major economic crisis, most recently the economic crisis of 2008.

After more than a decade, the global economy is in turmoil again and banks are printing money heavily in order to try to prevent the economy from falling into a financial precipice.

Since nearly 90% of the total supply of bitcoins was actually produced, traded, or lost forever, there is not much of it left.

In this article we will answer the title of the article:

How many BTC is currently in circulation? How many are left?

To understand why Bitcoin was designed in such a limited way, we have to go back a few years to its inception.

A brief history of Bitcoin:

After a number of attempts to produce a digital currency, the last of which was and Bitcoin accepted what was termed “B-money” in 1998.

While the mysterious "Satoshi Nakamoto" began working on the Bitcoin white paper in 2008, that is, 10 years after the "B-money" attempt, and Bitcoin was announced in the same month that the "B-money" coin was announced (October).

The Bitcoin White Paper, which consists of nine pages, defines the design and purpose of the digital currency and what it seeks to achieve in creating a decentralized currency that does not need an anonymous third party.

The Bitcoin White Paper states the following:
What is required is an electronic payment system that depends on the mechanism of proof rather than trust, which will allow any two parties willing to deal directly with each other without the need for a reliable third party.
Satoshi was not a fan of the modern banking system, particularly the fractional reserve banking system where the bank accepts deposits and makes loans or investments with other people's money.

In the early days, bitcoins were sent to and from users out of interest and testing the program.

The first real use of BTC to buy something was actually in 2010 when Laszlo Haniyas ordered a bitcoin-based pizza.

Where “Laszlo” bought two pizza worth 10 thousand bitcoins, 10 thousand bitcoins were valued at 25 dollars at the time (today this amount is estimated at 350 million dollars).

In the first year of Bitcoin's existence, there were no platforms for converting fiat currencies into Bitcoin and vice versa.

This basic requirement was addressed by the “mtgox.com” trading platform, which was the first platform to exchange bitcoin against fiat currencies.

By 2014, mtgox was handling 70% of global bitcoin transactions and its infrastructure was starting to come under pressure.

Then the platform was hacked and lost about 744 thousand Bitcoin, which led to its bankruptcy later.

As Bitcoin has grown in popularity and the currency price has risen, more trading platforms have emerged and Bitcoin has grown in adoption worldwide.

On January 3, 2019, Bitcoin reached ten years and transformed and searched among the most powerful digital currencies present at the global level.

Today the price of Bitcoin is estimated at $ 35,000.

How many Bitcoins in circulation and remaining?

At the time of writing this article, there are 18.6 million BTC in circulation or 88.57% of the pre-set maximum of 21 million BTC.

This means that there are approximately 2.4 million Bitcoins still to be mined.

Given the mathematical model that governs the issuance of Bitcoin, it would take around 119 years to extract the remaining 11.5% of the Bitcoin supply.

The year 2140 is the deadline for the exhaustion of Bitcoin production and mining.

Miner bitcoins are scaled back every four years.

It takes 10 minutes to produce each block and the current mining bonus is 6,250 Bitcoin per block.

In 2024, this will drop to 3.125 BTC per block, 3.125 BTC will be halved, and the split-halving process will continue to happen over and over, every four years until all bitcoins are mined.

Currently 900 Bitcoins are mined daily.

This means that in the Bitcoin split in 2024, this number will decrease to 450 Bitcoin per day, which means more scarcity.

If demand increases and supply shrinks further, this leads to an increase in the currency's value.

Lost Bitcoins:

In 2018, cryptocurrency experts estimated that there were at least 4 million BTC lost or unwilling to move, and 2 million BTC was stolen.

This would reduce the supply in circulation from 18.6 million to approximately 14.6 million Bitcoins.

The Wall Street Journal estimated that about 20% of all Bitcoin is unlikely to move back into circulation.

There are more extreme estimates of lost coins, such as indicated in a research paper published in April 2020 which states that about 1,500 Bitcoins are lost daily, which means that 14 million Bitcoins is the total and total value of existing and non-metal Bitcoin together.

 Bitcoin whales:

Very few individual users carry large amounts of bitcoins, such as “Satoshi Nakamoto” who seized about 1 million bitcoins and kept them in a wallet that Satoshi had not moved one of them for the time being.

While investment institutions carry a large number as well, examples of these institutions are:

Corporation "Grayscale" and "MicroStrategy".

According to the Bitcoin Rich List, there are only 101 titles that contain about 14% of the current supply of bitcoins, which equates to about $ 90 billion, although many of the largest of them belong to trading platforms.

30% of all Bitcoins are held in addresses belonging to bitcoin whales, it is estimated that the size of each Bitcoin wallet is between 1,000 - 10,000 Bitcoins.

If the trend of holding and storing Bitcoin continues, instead of selling it, then this makes the supply of Bitcoin very limited and thus the price rises to record levels.

In conclusion, and as a summary of what we mentioned above, only 2.4 million Bitcoins remained to be mined over a period of 119 years.

This is considered the number of 18.6 million bitcoins inaccurate circulation, as many bitcoins were lost and more than 1 million bitcoins belong to the owner and founder of the currency, who refused to move it until now.