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Of the 21 million Bitcoin that will ever be available to be mined, there are only two million Bitcoin left that aren’t in circulation. The 19th millionth Bitcoin was mined on Friday, hitting a milestone for the cryptocurrency. While the remaining 2 million Bitcoin will still take a long while to be mined, as the process becomes more difficult as more coins are mined, the event of the 19th million Bitcoin is still one to note.
What is Bitcoin mining?
Bitcoin mining, as an industry, refers to the process of creating new Bitcoin tokens. It’s a process that consists of using specialised computing systems and equipment to solve algorithmic puzzles that verify Bitcoin transactions. The first miner that is able to solve a puzzle is rewarded with Bitcoin. Approximately four years, this reward is halved to ensure the supply of the market is not flooded with new Bitcoin. At the time of writing, the reward for Bitcoin mining is 6.25 Bitcoin. The mining process also confirms the transactions that take place on Bitcoin’s blockchain and makes them trustworthy, verifying and creating new tokens at the same time.
Founder of Bitcoin Takeover Vlad Costea noted that there is still approximately 118 years until the last block has been mined. This is because of the increase in difficulty in the process of Bitcoin mining. The first 19 million Bitcoin took 13 years to mine, the time since the launch of the Bitcoin blockchain, but the process slows down significantly and exponentially as the reward decreases. The next halving, where Bitcoin miners reward is sliced in half, is scheduled to take place sometime in 2024 when the network hits a certain number of blocks mined.
I ran the numbers, we’re at block height 729903 and the BTC supply is 18.999.185
In 130 blocks (approximately 21 hours), block 730033 is going to reward the lucky miners with the 19 millionth bitcoin.
— Vlad “BTCTKVR.com” Costea ⚡️ (@TheVladCostea) April 1, 2022
The 19 millionth Bitcoin and global crypto adoption
The Bitcoin miners and crypto community overall sees the 19 millionth Bitcoin as an indicator of how scarce Bitcoin is with its 21 million BTC hard cap. As noted by the Human Rights Foundation CSO Alex Gladstein, the stark reminder of the limited supply of Bitcoin, emphasised by the milestone of 19 million BTC mined, puts the demand and adoption of Bitcoin into perspective. As he notes, it is remarkable that there are only 2 million Bitcoin still to be mined and we still stand at the beginning of adoption.
Truly amazing that 19 million of a total of 21 million bitcoin have been issued and globally distributed and yet we are only at the very dawn of nation-state adoption. https://t.co/8MsqbWDapb
— Alex Gladstein 🌋 ⚡ (@gladstein) April 1, 2022
As it stands, there is only one country that has adopted Bitcoin as legal tender. El Salvador has been hailed by some, and critiqued by others, as a driving force for Bitcoin adoption. Other countries, such as Uruguay and Brazil have indicated that they might follow suit with Bitcoin adoption as legal tender. More and more countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, have started to implement regulations for the industry, making cryptocurrency an easier industry to implement with drawn legal parameters. Meanwhile, other countries still, such as China and Egypt, have slapped a blanket ban on the industry, claiming the space as one strife with illicit possibilities.