Apr 30, 2018 by Andrei Calina

It is well known that the total amount of Bitcoin is limited, but how many of you imagined that the remaining coins to be mined is this low?

Recently, the 17 millionth Bitcoin has been mined, which means that there are 4 more million left, according to a report from CCN. The built-in artificial scarcity is definitely one essential characteristic of the currency, as it dictates the high price. Or, to put it short, Bitcoin is becoming rare.

Miners, to receive smaller rewards

Currently, a new block is created by miners every ten minutes. We’re talking about a subgroup of people who run computer nodes that keep Bitcoin operational.

Until now, every miner used to receive 50 BTC for each mined block, but once 210,000 blocks are mined, the rewards are halved. Back in 2012, this was reduced to 25 BTC – we’re talking about the halving process – and eventually to 12.5 BTC in 2016. Considering the current mining rate, the next halving is expected to take place in late 2019 or early 2020.

This process is mandatory, as it helps account for the possibility of Bitcoin becoming in time, due to the limited supply. Therefore, the rewards will be kept relatively proportional, while miners won’t be able to control a big part of the supply. Finally, this also means that the rate of mined coins will decrease over the next years, slowing down the process as time goes on.

A new gold, coming soon? Or is it already here?

Technically speaking, we can easily compare Bitcoin mining with gold. Specifically, Bitcoin blocks are encrypted in a way that the miners need to use PC processing power to find the correct numbers, in order to get their rewards.

If the supply of coins is staggered, it can’t fall under the control of one miner or a group and maintain the deflationary price.

According to analysts and investors, who closely watched the current rate of mining, it will take approximately 120 years to mine the last Bitcoin. And this should help calm down a lot of people who believed that the total amount will be over in the near future.