Just days away from its thirteenth anniversary, bitcoin currency reaches 90% of its maximum supply of 21 million. It is noteworthy that, in a relatively short time, 18.9 million BTC has already been mined and only 2.1 million remain to be mined.
This Monday, December 12 at 8:30 pm (UTC-4) CoinMarketCap registers a circulating of 18,899,743 BTC, barely missing 257 BTC to complete the emission of 90% of the maximum of 21 million. On the other hand, the site bitcoin-supply.com reflects a supply of 18,896,578 BTC, just 0.004% of the 18.9 million BTC that marks the arrival of 90% of the supply.
The limited supply of Bitcoin is one of its most important attributes, as The fact of having assigned a maximum cap gives your cryptocurrency an inelastic offer.
In addition to the absolute limit of 21 million, Bitcoin also incorporates a supply that is exponentially decreasing, which gives disinflationary characteristics. Every four years, the reward in BTC for each block generated is reduced by half, in events known as halvings. These occur every 210,000 blocks.
The first implication of this rule is that the total number of BTC mined in the four years following each halving is half of those issued in the previous period. For this reason, although only 10% of BTC remains to be mined, the fact that in each four-year period half of the BTC of the previous period is issued, considerably lengthens the number of halvings required to reach the ceiling of 21 millions.
In other words, the objective of this scheme of exponential reduction of the reward per block and of the BTC issued for each period post-halving, is to guarantee that there are still BTC to be issued for many years. The last BTC will be issued approximately in the year 2140.
As an example of limited supply growth, at the time of the first halving, circulating was 50% of the total supply, 10.5 million BTC. Then 25% and 12.5% were added in the two successive periods. At this time, it reaches 18.9 million BTC, while the 1.1 million to reach 20 million BTC will require a time of more than eight years, since that milestone will be reached in 2030.
From then on, the issuance of the additional 1 million BTC needed to complete the maximum supply will require more than a century, exactly 110 years.