Bitcoin Circulating Supply Hits 18 Million

October 18, 2019

Bitcoin Circulating Supply Hits 18 Million. Miners have now released the 18th millionth Bitcoin/BTC, leaving only 3 million BTC to complete the total supply of the 21 million available to produce.

Don’t panic though, Bitcoin entered the market in 2009 and so far, 85% of the overall 21 million has been mined. The remaining three million BTC or 14.29% will take miners approximately 120 years to produce.

The number of miners competing for Bitcoin rewards has seen a rise, with BTC hash rate hitting its all-time-high. By making the process of mining new Bitcoins more difficult each time miners have seen their block rewards halving in size. This feature was programmed into bitcoin, and occurs every four years (210,000 blocks). Once that number is crossed, the block reward is cut in half. This process is predetermined and will continue until the last bitcoin is mined sometime in the year 2140.

Since Bitcoins creation in 2009, there have been two halving’s, the first halving occurred November 28th 2012 and the second on July 9th 2016.

Bitcoin halving key events & Block rewards


Event                                Date                      Block number                 Block rewards         Total new bitcoins

Bitcoin launched      3 January 2009         0 (genesis block)              50 BTC                    10,500,000 BTC

First halving              28 November 2012         210,000                       25 BTC                     5,250,000 BTC

Second halving          9 July 2016                     420,000                        12.5 BT                    2,625,000 B

Third halving            18 May 2020                    630,000                       6.25 BTC                1,312,500 BT

Fourth halving          Expected 2024                 740,000                       3.125 BTC              656,250 BTC

Fifth halving              Expected 2028                 850,000                      1.5625 BTC            328,125 BTC


Bitcoin halving will continue every 4 years and occur every 210,000 blocks until around 2140, when all 21 million coins will have been generated.

Historically, Bitcoin has exhibited an extremely positive event for price action in the run-up to and the after effects of halving. In 2012 Bitcoin jumped from $5 to $12 (x2.3%) in those 6 months before the halving.  2016 saw BTC jump from $350 to $650 (x1.7%) and by the end of 2017, with adoption institutional investment and geopolitical effects BTC saw its all-time high of $19,665.39

The Bitcoin halving is when the network’s issuance rate (or inflation rate) is reduced by 50% every four years. Cutting the inflation rate in half not only reduces the amount of new Bitcoin entering circulation, it also increases the mining costs for securing the network. In the past, this has been one of the driving factors behind Bitcoin’s previous bull runs.

Throughout the next few years, the scarcity of Bitcoin will increase as more investors and institutions continue to accumulate the cryptocurrency, which could further reduce the total possible number of individuals that can ever own one whole Bitcoin (1 BTC). It is said that if you own 0.28 BTC and HODL, you can be certain no more than 1% of the current world’s population can ever own more BTC than you.

Even after the end of the BTC mining phase only around 75% of BTC will be available. This is because an estimated 25% of the BTC circulating supply will be lost. Research reveals that the coins already lost constitute nearly 20% of the supply. Consequently, only about 15 million people will be able to own at least one Bitcoin.

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Disclaimer: Nothing in these articles is to be construed as investment advice. Neither the author nor the publication assumes any responsibility or liability for any investments, profits or losses you may incur as a result of information provided on this site.

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