Bitcoin: what happens after the last mined BTC?

News hardware Bitcoin: what happens after the last mined BTC?

Like gold, the amount of Bitcoin is limited. This amounts to 21 million digital coins (BTC). When the miners mine the last Bitcoins from the network, what will happen to the cryptocurrency?

Summary

  • 21 million Bitcoins and not one more
  • Bitcoin mining is getting faster as it goes on
  • Increasingly small bitcoin rewards
  • The last bitcoin will be mined for over 100 years
  • Possible scenarios after mining the last Bitcoin

21 million Bitcoins and not one more

Almost 14 years ago, Satoshi Nakamoto explained all the technical details of his project in a whitepaper (a complete report). In it, the anonymous creator of Bitcoin shows, among other things, the limited number of Bitcoin and its importance.

To create a true digital currency, Satoshi had to rely on various foundations of the classical monetary system, including scarcity. In this sense, the Bitcoin code was initially programmed to issue 21 million coins and not one more.

This aspect makes Bitcoin especially desirable in the eyes of investors. In fact, Bitcoin is better than gold in limiting its supply because everyone knows the final number of coins even if they have not been mined. On the contrary, if an unknown gold mine is discovered, then it will inevitably increase the total supply of Gold on Earth.

In addition to the limited number, the more we progress in time, the more rare these pieces will become…

Bitcoin mining is getting faster as it goes on

To generate Bitcoins, the network mainly relies on miners’ wages. When an individual uses the computing power of his hardware (graphics cards, ASIC, etc.) to validate transactions, he actively participates in the operation of the network.

By validating block transactions, miners are rewarded with Bitcoin (BTC). This is called a proof-of-work (PoW) validation system. This is how miners constantly issue new Bitcoins into circulation.

Only, over time, the difficulty of mining the Bitcoin blockchain is getting stronger. This increasing difficulty of the algorithm creates a large cost in the cost of electricity and in the choice of equipment to be mined (graphics cards, processors, ASIC, etc.). As a result, most miners develop their infrastructure in such a way that they can continue mining Bitcoin.

Increasingly small bitcoin rewards

This decrease in profits has a name: the emergence. Bitcoin has experienced 3 halvings since its creation in 2008, the last of which began in May 2020. Halving means halving in English, and as its name suggests, approximately every four years (210,000 blocks ) – the written protocol of bitcoin code halves the rewards given to miners.

At the launch of the Bitcoin network, the mining profit for one block was 50 bitcoins (which represents approximately 1 million euros at current prices). After the first halving in 2012 the reward increased to 25 bitcoins per block and more…

The last bitcoin will be mined for over 100 years

Currently pegged at 6.25 bitcoin, the next halving is estimated to take place in March 2024 – bringing the number of BTC issued per block to 3.125. With this decrease in profit increase, the last bitcoins are desired…

So, while 19.2 million Bitcoins were mined in 11 years, the next ones are harder and harder to generate. It is estimated that the last bitcoin will be mined around 2140 to reach the highest milestone of 21 million coins.

Possible scenarios after mining the last Bitcoin

All Bitcoin users rely on mining. Bitcoin price and network usage are largely driven by miner interest. So what happens if the profit associated with this activity becomes zero?

Well that’s not going to happen. In fact, mining will not end after the year 2140. Miners will continue to receive payment thanks to the payment of transactions validated by the network. This is the reason that after the last mining of bitcoin, it is likely that the majority of miners will continue to mine the network.

If Bitcoin continues to be adopted by many organizations then it will also be interesting to see the demand for a currency whose supply is completely finished, unlike the euro or dollar.

However, we are not there yet. Currently, the network is still in its infancy. Because of this, it is possible that Bitcoin will experience some major innovations or changes if the network players build a consensus.

Also, in 100 years, there may be many negative events that will affect Bitcoin and its use. Among the conceivable intrigues, Bitcoin could be replaced by a cryptocurrency that is considered more efficient, or worse, banned in many countries. China has already tried by banning minors from their territory, but it doesn’t seem to have any effect.

All this without regard to the many economic, political and social events of the next 120 years. So see you in 120 years to see the result…

About Bitcoin

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is first and foremost a payment network that allows its users to exchange peer-to-peer currency. It is based on a digital currency called Bitcoin (BTC).

Thanks to blockchain* technology, Bitcoin offers the possibility of making decentralized payments, ie without third parties or trusted authorities. With this in mind, Bitcoin was originally created to be an alternative system to banks.

What is Blockchain?

The blockchain (literally chain of blocks) is in a way the digitization of trust. Specifically, his code allows web users to exchange peer-to-peer value in a decentralized validation system. All actions performed on a blockchain are anonymous but transparent.

Mathematician Jean-Paul Delahaye explains that we can imagine this great archive as “a very large notebook, where everyone can read freely and without charge, where everyone can write, but it is impossible to erase and not destroy” .

Who Runs Bitcoin?

If everyone knows the name behind Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, no one really knows the identity of the creator. Either way, it doesn’t matter because Satoshi has some power over his code.

In fact, Bitcoin is decentralized, so it does not depend on any entity. Its network does not belong to anyone because it is the consensus of its users that allows its protocol to change. Developers can only make changes if miners and network nodes agree to the selection.

How does bitcoin work?

The Bitcoin network works thanks to its users. To enable user transactions, Bitcoin operates on its blockchain. Concretely, each miner puts their machines (graphics cards, ASICs) in competition to solve an equation to verify the authenticity of the block. Thus, the Bitcoin network ensures to issue secure transactions that are verified by multiple binary intermediaries.

How to get Bitcoin?

Mining
Anyone who uses their hardware computing power (graphics card, ASICs) is paid in BTC according to their involvement in the network.

Exchange platforms
In addition to mining, Bitcoin can be acquired on cryptocurrency exchange platforms against fiat currency and others (euros, dollars, etc.).

Where to put bitcoin?

Like cash, Bitcoin can be stored in virtual wallets, commonly called wallets. There are several types of wallets:

Hot wallet
Hot wallets are Internet-connected private key storage solutions. In software form, these portfolios can be applications, extensions or even websites.

Cool wallet
Cold wallets are a safer alternative for cryptocurrencies. In fact, the private keys of these wallets are not stored online, so it is very difficult for a hacker to access them. These wallets usually take the form of a thumb drive or even paper.

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