icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Nearly 90% of bitcoin have been mined, and new coin issue unlikely after 2140 – analysts

Nearly 90% of bitcoin have been mined, and new coin issue unlikely after 2140 – analysts
Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, has a capped supply of 21 million coins, with almost 90% already mined. Analysts are now speculating what will happen to the crypto economy when no new coins are being issued.

Unlike other forms of money, including fiat currencies, which can be printed on the whim of central banks, bitcoin has a limited supply capped at 21 million coins by elusive inventor Satoshi Nakamoto. This means there will only ever be 21 million bitcoin in existence. By August 2021, approximately 18.7 million bitcoin was available, with only some 2.3 million left to be mined, data from Investopedia shows.

Also on rt.com Could cryptocurrency boom affect financial stability of emerging economies? RT’s Boom Bust investigates

The supply limit makes the world’s oldest crypto a limited commodity and controls inflation that could otherwise stem from an unlimited supply of the coin. It also puts current estimates for the year in which the final bitcoin will be mined at 2140. This has raised questions about whether bitcoin’s network will remain functional after that time.

Analysts say that bitcoin’s economy has to change to keep the network operational.  

Many predict that the cryptocurrency’s ecosystem might be transformed, just as its identity has been. It was originally introduced as a medium of exchange for daily transactions but later found more popularity as an investment asset instead.

Also on rt.com Bitcoin soars to 5-month high of nearly $55,000

Analysts also say that bitcoin miners could form cartels, much like those that control other commodities, such as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which controls the oil production market.

Another possibility laid out by analysts is that bitcoin could become a reserve asset, which would reduce the number of transactions on the crypto’s network as retail traders and small trading firms are replaced by large institutional and trading players. They would conduct fewer and more expensive trades, stretching the time for the final bitcoin to be mined. 

And, finally, the cryptocurrency’s protocol may be changed to let production go on after it reaches its 21 million limit. But that would decrease the value of bitcoin already mined, which coin holders are unlikely to accept.

Also on rt.com Watchdogs to ‘regulate the hell out’ of bitcoin which has no real value – Jamie Dimon

Currently, however, bitcoin’s scarcity and rising prices have been attracting speculative investors, with their bets leading to volatile price swings which draw serious investors away from the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin’s price this year jumped from its peak value of $60,000 in February to half that amount during the summer and up again to $55,000 per coin this week. Still, some countries like El Salvador and Cuba see potential in the currency, already taking steps to make it legal tender.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.

Podcasts