Bitcoin achieves new feat: 90% of 21 mn tokens have been mined already

Bitcoin achieves new feat: 90% of 21 mn tokens have been mined already
Photo Credit: Pixabay
14 Dec, 2021

Bitcoin, arguably the world's most prominent cryptocurrency, has hit a key milestone. On December 12, statistical data from multiple cryptocurrency trackers suggested that 90 percent of the world's entire Bitcoin supply has already been mined. This means that as of now, over 18.9 million of the world's eventually to-be 21 million Bitcoin tokens are now in circulation. 

Mining or cryptomining is the process of validating a transaction on a blockchain -- the underlying technology of any cryptocurrency. Blockchain, by nature, is decentralised -- which means that the ledgers that record these transactions are distributed across the world.  

To 'mine' a Bitcoin, miners use high-power computing rigs -- which validates a cryptocurrency transaction on the distributed Bitcoin ledger. This action brings a Bitcoin into circulation, after being validated across the blockchain. 

Read more: Bitcoin Mining generated as much e-waste as some countries last year

As of December 12, data tracker Glassnode showed that a total of 18,899,210.25 Bitcoin are now in transaction -- hence bringing up the total tally of circulating Bitcoin up to 90 percent. The latter will eventually have a finite supply of 21 million Bitcoin, of which reports claim that at least 1.5 million Bitcoin are believed to be permanently lost. Lost keys to crypto wallets could be a major reason for why chunks of Bitcoin may never be recovered again. 

The finite supply nature of a Bitcoin is one of the reasons why experts believe that the price or value of each Bitcoin will eventually continue to inflate. However, central banking authorities -- which control centralised or fiat money -- have voiced concerns regarding the very nature of cryptocurrencies.  

Many figures have stated that the lack of central governance or link to tangible commodities as a controlling factor behind the value of a cryptocurrency is a volatile factor to contend with. 

The milestone comes at a time when cryptocurrency has seen a surge of mainstream uptake by users across the world.  

India, at present, stands at the precipice of adopting its first official cryptocurrency law.  

Reports have so far stated that the Indian government is set to treat cryptocurrencies as an asset -- and prohibit the potential use of Bitcoin and other crypto tokens as a way to transact.