Bitcoin falls below $48,000 as 90% of total supply mined

18,899,856 of the 21,000,000 bitcoin in existence has been mined

Around 90% of all the bitcoin that will ever exist has been mined.

The world’s first and largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation has a maximum supply of 21,000,000 BTC. 

Only 13 years after its inception, Bitcoin’s total supply now stands at 18,899,856.

New bitcoins enter into circulation through the solution of highly complex mathematical problems by computers. 

Mining race

As cryptocurrencies have become more appealing both to institutional and retail investors, investment into mining has ballooned with miners racing to develop the most efficient hardware. 

With a market capitalisation of $905bn (£683bn), according to CoinMarketCap, the early days in which bitcoin could be mined from a laptop have long passed. 

Indeed, the combined market capitalisation of the world’s three largest publicly traded cryptocurrency miners, Power & Digital Infrastructure Acquisition Corp, Marathon Digital Holdings and Riot Blockchain now stands at more than $7.5bn. 

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Hashrate and difficulty

China once led the world in cryptocurrency mining. However, the Chinese government’s crackdown on the practice in May of this year sent miners fleeing to Russia, Kazakhstan and the United States, among other countries. 

Bitcoin’s hashrate, which measures the processing power of the Bitcoin network, sank following the announcement. 

In the past week, however, the metric has recovered, reaching a new all-time high of 194 exahash per second. 

Bitcoin’s mining difficulty, which measures how hard it is to mine new coins, also reached a new record high of 24.45 in the past week. This is thought to demonstrate increased competition in the mining field as more parties seek to participate in the burgeoning sector. 

By 15:00 (GMT), bitcoin traded down by 3.6% at $47,985, 30% below the $68,789 all-time high reached in November.

Further reading

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