Bitcoin mining is still one of the hotly debated parts of the blockchain. Miners are undoubtedly making a good amount of money on blocks mined given the current BTC price. But mining difficulties have also increased as more BTC is mined.
In its decades of history, over 18.6 million of the total supply of 21 million Bitcoin have been mined. This makes up almost 90% of all of BTC’s offerings. This leaves just over 10% of the BTC to be mined. Currently, around 2,250 million coins still have to be mined.
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At the current rate, it is estimated that the last bitcoin will be mined in about 120 years. This is due to the halving of events that happen every four years, reducing the supply of BTC that is circulated every four years.
Bitcoin mining in 2009 compared to mining in 2021
The cryptocurrency, which first hit the market in 2009, rewarded the miners with 50 bitcoins for every block they mined. This was back when a user was able to mine Bitcoin using an old laptop with a crappy graphics card. At the time, Bitcoin was worth next to nothing. Many miners have either forgotten their coins or sold them very cheaply. Bitcoin’s price development up to this point is an interesting time.
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In 2021, three halving events since the introduction of the digital currency caused the rewards for mining blocks to drop dramatically. The first halving took place in 2012. At this point, the reward for a block was 25, which was cut in half. The next halving came in 2016, reducing the reward to 12.5. The last halving took place in 2020, reducing the number of bitcoins received per block mined to 6.25.
The reward will continue to cut in half every four years until all 21 million BTC are mined. Each halving reduces the rewards for mined blocks by half each time. The rewards for mining blocks get smaller while at the same time the mining difficulty increases as the miners scream to get the rewards for the mining blocks.
BTC growth over the years
The pioneering cryptocurrency didn’t attract too much attention until the Silk Road bankruptcy occurred. Before the Silk Road was launched, BTC was only used by people who were there for the technology. The returns weren’t really significant at this point. This one from BTC on the Silk Road as a way to literally buy anything from drugs to guns has really got law enforcement to focus on the coin.
BTC started to see significant growth in 2017 | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com
The price of BTC remained largely unchanged during this period, despite its increasing popularity thanks to the Silk Road bust. The most notable bull run took place in 2017-2018. At this point, many investors had heard of Bitcoin. The bull market has brought BTC to the fore as a strong asset.
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In 2021, it is estimated that around 10% of the current world population will be invested in either BTC or Altcoins. Current numbers are estimated at between an estimated 51 and 52.4 million crypto investors worldwide. This is tremendous growth compared to an estimated 2.9 to 5.8 million in 2017.
Featured image from OptinMonster, chart from TradingView.com