Bitcoin crossed a milestone over the weekend, when the 19 millionth bitcoin was mined by SBI Crypto, according to data from Bitbo. This means that less than two million remain to be mined and brought into circulating supply.
Its scarcity – there will only ever be 21 million BTC in circulation – is a unique feature central to bitcoin’s value proposition.
Currently, a miner earns 6.25 BTC per block mined, and this happens every 10 minutes on average.
While it has taken about 12 years to mine 19 million BTC, it will take until 2140 for the remaining 2 million to be minted, as the block reward is cut in half every 210,000 blocks, or roughly every four years – the next having is set to take place in 2024.
While this means the circulating supply of bitcoin has been increasing over time, reports suggest that instead of selling their bitcoin to cover operating costs, miners are adding it to their balance sheets, meaning that a larger share of the bitcoin supply is getting locked up.
Last week, the price of bitcoin hit a 2022 high of US$47,454.