Today, on Friday, the 18 millionth bitcoin is set to be mined. That means there are only three million BTC units left to extract after this.
Bitcoin Will Become Harder to Get
The mining process behind bitcoin has been a rather controversial activity. For one thing, China says that it is damaging to the Earth’s environment. The country has long been considering a ban on bitcoin and crypto mining in the future.
Second, there have been huge concerns regarding a bitcoin 51 percent attack from enterprises like Bitmain, arguably the largest bitcoin mining operation in China. In addition, many acknowledge that there are only 21 million bitcoins in existence, but everyone seems to differ on the actual fate of the currency once every unit is extracted or mined.
Some claim that bitcoin is likely to become useless, or at least only as valuable as everyday cash. Since there are no new coins to earn, BTC will somehow lose its stamina and price and be equal with something like the U.S. dollar.
However, others present a different argument. They state that the currency will somehow become more valuable in that since there are no more new coins to mine, BTC will become infinitely rare. Many will be looking to get their hands on the coins that are currently out there, and the fear and struggle that will ultimately come with trying to get those coins will make BTC the prime target of hardcore investors.
As it stands, about 14 percent of the bitcoins that have been mined have been lost forever, either through poor storage or lost passwords. This 14 percent amounts to roughly three million coins. This is a very dismal fact when one really looks at the situation. However, it is likely to add to bitcoin’s rarity. While there will be 21 million in existence, several cannot be found or accessed, which will ultimately make the currency even more rare.
In addition, several BTC have also been stolen by hackers, while several hundred thousand are stored away in a wallet address somewhere owned by bitcoin’s anonymous creator who simply goes by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. There are quite a few coins out there, but only a few can really be accessed.
What Will the Halving Do, Exactly?
Several days ago, EO Finance explained on Twitter:
In just a week, the 18 millionth coin will be mined on the bitcoin network. It will take another 120 years to get the remaining 14.3 percent of the total supply. In May 2020, the bitcoin halving will take place, doubling the mining difficulty.
While we’d all like to believe the halving will have a strong and positive effect, Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu isn’t necessarily convinced that the event will produce the stellar price results so many enthusiasts are looking for.