So far on January 13, 2018, 16,800,000 BTC have been mined and there’s only 20 percent left for miners to acquire. When Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the bitcoin protocol to the public by launching the codebase in 2009, the cryptocurrency came with a capped supply. The supply will never be increased and Nakamoto set the number to 21 million bitcoins ever to be found. So far the creator’s plan and miners securing the network have successfully secured this rule from changing with hashpower. Theoretically, however, skeptics believe there could be a way to increase the supply through manipulative tactics such as a 51 percent or Sybil attack. As the digital asset’s life approaches a decade no one has been able to break the rules of 21 million supply cap.
This weekend marks a milestone for bitcoin as 80 percent of the currency has now been mined into circulation, this means there’s only 20 percent left to mine. Satoshi Nakamoto’s protocol was one of the first to introduce digital scarcity and soon enough the digital asset will become even harder to obtain.
With Satoshi’s Proof-of-Work in the original bitcoin protocol, the economic measure makes it difficult to attack by making threats to the network costly, and time-consuming. For the first time ever in the world of digital computing, Satoshi introduced an asset that couldn’t be copied or double spent. And at the same time, he limited the supply which also introduced digital scarcity like no other technology before it.
Another thing to consider while observing the vast blockchain environment is that Satoshi’s creation unlike the 1,300 other cryptocurrencies in existence has only 21 million. Other digital currencies have billions already in circulation and billions more to come using other less tested consensus mechanisms like Proof-of-Stake. So in essence bitcoin’s inventor created something unique and different than the digital goods we all swap today. Unlike your MP3s or digital movies, bitcoins cannot be copied, and this weekend 16.8 million of them have been mined, hoarded and a large number of them have been lost. To many cryptocurrency investors, this makes Satoshi’s invention a very valuable digital asset, unlike anything the world has ever seen.