88 per cent of Bitcoin has now been mined

Only 2.5m BTC is left to be mined, according to Blockchain.com

According to analytics firm, Blockchain.com, the total number of mined Bitcoin in circulation surpassed 18.5 million over the weekend.

With a finite supply of only 21 million, this means that more than 88 per cent of the world’s leading cryptocurrency has already been mined.

This scarcity has been one of the key factors in Bitcoin’s appeal and its rise to prominence in the last half-decade.

While central banks can simply increase the fiat money supply through quantitative easing and the like, no more BTC can ever be created. Such limited supply has led to the cryptocurrency being characterised as a potential hedge against inflation, a digital equivalent to gold.  

Crypto ‘billionaires’ Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss recently made headlines after they pointed to the stars in order to back up their argument that Bitcoin is even better than gold.

The famous twins argued that the metal’s appeal as a scarce store of value could disappear  in the future, should entire planets of gold be discovered by interstellar miners. Bitcoin meanwhile would remain capped at 21 million.

Although less than 2.5 million Bitcoin remain to be mined, this process will not be completed anytime soon, owing to the hardcoded ‘halving’ feature in the Bitcoin blockchain.

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The amount of Bitcoin a miner receives halves every 210,000 blocks. The most recent such event took place in May, when the block rewards fell from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC.

Thus far the process has occurred roughly every four years and, by current estimates, will continue for another 120 years, until the very last unit is mined.

Bitcoin continued to trade up on Monday. After 63 consecutive days, the crypto has enjoyed its longest period above $10,000  (£7,770, €8,580) on record. By mid-afternoon it traded up by 1.4 per cent at $10,906.55.

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