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90% of Bitcoin’s Total Supply is Now Mined and in Circulation




Bitcoin Cash Mining Rigs

About 13 years ago, when Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin, he created it with a mining mechanism that was designed to slowly release the coin’s total supply into circulation. The terms were simple – for every solved block, the Bitcoin’s mining community will get 50 BTC.

After 210,000 blocks, however, that amount will be cut in half, and so will the new amount of 25 BTC per block, after another 210,000 blocks are solved. The process would continue until all coins have been released into circulation. But, due to this so-called halving, the first 13 years of mining BTC have released 90% of its supply. The rest of it will take a lot longer – around 120 more years, according to calculations.

Bitcoin price continues to grow alongside supply and demand

As of this Monday, December 13th, 2021, 90% of Bitcoin is out in circulation. Since the coin’s total supply is 21 million BTC, that means that 18.89 million bitcoins is now being used, bought, sold, stored, and more, out there in the world.

It took nearly 13 years to reach this milestone, while the remaining coins will not be mined until February 2140. These estimates are based on the average network activity and the halving schedules that Bitcoin experts have managed to come up with by calculating the time needed to mine the next 210,000 blocks.

So far, the prices have mirrored the increasing supply well, as demand for new coins is growing. Back in 2010, when only 10% of BTC was mined, the coin’s price was only $0.10. By the time 50% was mined, which took place in December 2012, the coin’s price surged to $7.50. Now, with 90% of the supply out and about, Bitcoin’s price is at $49,000, although this value comes after a major correction caused by the coin reaching a new ATH at $69,000 per unit.

A large portion of Bitcoin’s circulating supply is not actually circulating

Following the latest halving, which took place in May 2020, each Bitcoin block now yields 6.25 BTC to the project’s miners. After the next halving takes place in 2024, that amount will drop to 3.125 BTC per block.

However, not all 21 million BTC will likely be available on the open market, since some estimates say that 3.7 million coins have already been lost, potentially forever, judging by the analysis of bitcoin addresses and their activity over the last 13 years. In some cases, the owners have simply lost their private keys and are unable to reach their coins.

In other instances, the owners may have even passed away, with no one having access to their cryptocurrencies. It is also worth noting that Satoshi Nakamoto himself still holds around 1 million coins, but since his real identity remains unknown, nobody knows whether Satoshi himself is still alive, and whether or not they plan to ever use these coins again.

Ali is a freelance writer covering the cryptocurrency markets and the blockchain industry. He has 8 years of experience writing about cryptocurrencies, technology, and trading. His work can be found in various high-profile investment sites including CCN,, Bitcoinist, and NewsBTC.