Bitcoin (BTC) is so in vogue today that most people desire to partake in it. The popularity of the coin does not mean it is readily available. Yes, Bitcoin is rare, and it is a wise move to find out how many are in circulation and how many are left.
What Amount Of Bitcoin Is Available?
The maximum cap of Bitcoin is 21 million, and it is yet to be fully mined. But right now, out of the 21 million, 17 million are already in circulation and then every four years, the total supply of coins halves. Taking this into consideration it can be deduced that come the year 2140, Bitcoin mining will end, and there won’t be an extension after that based on the limit put in place by the Bitcoin protocol.
Now to the 17 million BTC in circulation…wait for it… a good number of it has been lost. So, in essence, the amount we think we have in circulation is not completely active.
Number Of Bitcoins Left
As a result of how rare Bitcoin is, the information concerning the amount of Bitcoin that is in circulation and the amount that is remaining tends to cause an excitement in the crypto community.
Based on recent findings, about 4 million bitcoins can no longer be retrieved because they have been lost. So the actual number of Bitcoins remaining are 3 million out of the 17,246,188 million that have already been mined. These figure takes into account lost coins resulting from lost private keys and the coins locked by Satoshi.
An IT worker named James discarded a hard disk which contained keys to 7500 Bitcoins. Another person, the editor of Gizmodo, did the same thing in 2012 and 1400 Bitcoins were lost as a result.
The Number Of Bitcoin Left To Be Mined
Now the good news is this, about 3.7 million coins remain and are waiting to be mined despite all the lost coins. The Mining of the remaining coins is expected to take more than 100 years to achieve. From the previous events, more coins are expected to be lost too, but investors are becoming more careful and mature in handling Bitcoins; therefore the rate of loss of BTC is expected to decrease.
The Fate Of The Lost Bitcoins
I suppose you might have wondered about this too. Anyway, it is sad to know that no one will be able to lay claim to the lost coins on the network because what is lost is the keys to them and without the keys, the coins cannot be accessed. Therefore, the lost coins will forever be on Bitcoin address, untouched.