The 19 millionth bitcoin has just been mined, data from bitcoin tracking dashboard Bitbo shows, leaving less than two million BTC remaining for miners to put in circulation.
According to the dashboard, in block 730002, mined by SBI Crypto, the 19-millionth Bitcoin entered circulation.
SBI Crypto earned 6.32 BTC, roughly $293,000 for the trouble in transaction fees and block reward.
Bitcoin has a 21 million supply limit, meaning at some point, all the bitcoin would have been mined. However it is going to be a take a much longer period of time to mine the remaining 2 million bitcoin with the last Bitcoin expected to be mined in the year 2140.
The supply limit coupled with rising demand have driven up the value of Bitcoin in the 13 years of its existence, with a single bitcoin selling at $46,277 on 3rd April 2022.
By comparison, currency supplied by central governments does not have hard limits and governments are free to print any amount of fiat they want, an issue which drives down the value of fiat currencies across the world.
For bitcoin, its fixed issuance schedule is one of the more intriguing features of the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin inventor, Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous name used by the creators of the bitcoin cryptocurrency, designed the digital asset essentially as digital gold and capped the Bitcoin maximum supply to mimic the finite quantity of physical gold.
New bitcoins are added to the bitcoin supply approximately every 10 minutes, which is the average amount of time that it takes to create a new block of bitcoin. By design, the number of bitcoins minted per block is reduced by 50% after every 210,000 blocks, or about once every four years.
Bitcoin mining fees will disappear when the bitcoin supply reaches 21 million. Miners will likely earn income only from transaction processing fees rather than a combination of block rewards and transaction fees.