As the world’s largest and most expensive cryptocurrency, Bitcoin has a limited and finite supply. For this reason, there will only be 21 million Bitcoins ever produced. On average, they are introduced to the Bitcoin supply at a fixed rate of one block every ten minutes, while the number of Bitcoins released in each of these blocks is reduced by 50% every four years.
According to data presented by Block Arabia, the world’s leading cryptocurrency hit nearly 90% of its maximum supply in June, with more than 18.7 million coins circulating in the crypto space.
More than One Million New Bitcoins in Circulation in Two Years
Twelve years since the initial launch of the Bitcoin network, there are only 2.3 million Bitcoins to go. Although it might seem like we are in the final stages of Bitcoin mining, this is only partially true.
The Bitcoin mining process rewards miners with a chunk of Bitcoin upon successful verification of a block, and it has changed over time. When Bitcoin was first launched in 2009, the reward was 50 Bitcoins. After the first Bitcoin halving in 2012, it dropped to 25 Bitcoins. In 2016, it halved again to 12.5 Bitcoins.
As of May 2020, miners gain 6.25 Bitcoins for every new block mined, equal to around $250,000.00 based on its price from the last week.
The Bitcoin mining reward will continue to halve every four years until the final Bitcoin has been mined, which is unlikely to happen before the year 2104. Still, the Bitcoin network protocol may be changed until then.
The Blockchain data showed that in January 2016, there were 15.5 million Bitcoins in circulation. In the next two years, their number rose to 16.8 million. By January 2020, the total number of Bitcoins in circulation amounted to 18.2 million.
Statistics indicate the number of Bitcoins currently in existence has not been dramatically influenced by price surges in 2020 and 2021. As of June 2021, there were a total of 18.7 million Bitcoins circulating in the crypto space, a one million increase in the last two years.
XRP Has the Highest Supply Among the Top Cryptocurrencies, Litecoin and Cardano Closest to Maximum Supply
Compared to other leading cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is not the only digital coin close to its maximum supply.
The CoinMarketCap data showed Litecoin reached nearly 80% of its maximum supply with a total of 66 million coins in circulation. Cardano follows wits 31 billion coins in circulation or 71% of its maximum supply.
However, XRP ranked as the digital coin with the highest maximum supply among the top 20 cryptocurrencies. Statistics show there were 46 billion XRP coins in circulation as of last week, out of 100 billion in total.