On December 13, 2021, a significant event took place in the cryptocurrency sphere. Bitcoin mining overcame a symbolic line: in the morning of that day, 90% of all coins were mined. The total offer of the largest digital asset reached 18.89 million. Recall that the total emission is 21 million BTC.

An interesting fact: the extraction of almost 19 million bitcoins took just under 13 years. The rest will take much longer to get. A mathematical calculation showed that the last token will be received in 2140, that is, no less than 119 years later.

The creators of BTC have set a hard emission limit. It’s impossible to bypass it. This is written in the cryptocurrency code and provided by network nodes. The end supply is one of the factors that helped Bitcoin reach its current levels. On December 13, 47.5–48 thousand dollars were given for a coin.

How many BTC were mined in the first year of their existence?

The Blockchain network and Bitcoin itself appeared on January 3, 2009. Then the creators and a narrow circle of interested persons showed interest in the coin. The commission for processing transactions reached several bitcoins. For 1 day it was possible to become rich if you recalculate at today’s rate.

In the first year of BTC’s existence, about 10% of the total supply was mined – 2.1 million coins. Satoshi Nakamoto owns most of them. The rest are distributed among the participants of the network of that time. Recall that the creator (group of creators) has not yet used their tokens. Only trial transactions were made from his wallet to evaluate the capabilities of the new payment method. At that time, Bitcoin was worth $0.10. However, it’s hard to believe now.

Bitcoin mining will take another 120 years.  Photo: Karolina Grabowska / PexelsBitcoin mining will take another 120 years. Photo: Karolina Grabowska / Pexels

When did you get 50% of the total BTC supply?

After the success of the first transactions, the price of the first cryptocurrency began to grow rapidly. The community has grown exponentially. As a result, by 2012, the rate of one coin reached $7.50 – an increase of 75,000% in 2 years.

By that time, half of the total emission had already been mined. As a result, there were about 10.5 million bitcoins in circulation. Many investors believed that the potential of the cryptocurrency has been exhausted. Its high current rate was explained by hyperinterest in the new product.

Around the same time, a series of curious events took place. For example, an early cryptocurrency user bought two pizzas for 10,000 BTC (about $470 million at current exchange rates). Another case: a resident of the UK threw away a hard drive with 7,500 BTC. The owner later looked for it in a junkyard and stated that he would buy a Lamborgini if the search was successful. 

There is also a known case when a man stopped mining in 2011-2012. He did this because his girlfriend was disturbed by the noise of a running PC. In the end, the couple broke up anyway.

The Role of Halving and Decreasing Bitcoin Mining Rewards

The Bitcoin network operates on a PoW system (translated from English as proof of work). Miners provide their own equipment, which processes millions of operations every second. For this, they are paid a reward in BTC, and a new block is added to the Blockchain.

The creators of the first cryptocurrency programmed it so that every 210 thousand blocks the size of the reward received was reduced by 50%. This is called halving. The last time it happened was in the spring of 2020. As a result, the block reward dropped from 12.5 to 6.25 bitcoins.

The next review will take place in 2024. Then block number 840000 will be mined, and the reward will be 3.125 BTC. In 2040, the reward will drop to 0.2 coins per block. After that, it remains to extract 80 thousand coins. It will take about 40 years to mine the last of them.

What happens after mining 21 million bitcoins?

Analysts say: when the last bitcoin gets the owner, the miners will not turn off the equipment. On the contrary, they will continue to process transactions. Then it is not the Bitcoin network that will pay the reward, but the users in the form of a commission. Naturally, by then it will increase.

They also suggested that by 2140 it will be possible to re-mine coins that were previously lost, are located on wallets with forgotten passwords or on destroyed equipment.

According to the assumption of Satoshi Nakomoto himself, by that time bitcoin will become a means of transnational payments. Commissions will ensure the operation of the network, and the reward for the mined block will come to naught.

How many Bitcoins are irretrievably lost?  Photo: Daniel Dan / PexelsHow many Bitcoins are irretrievably lost? Photo: Daniel Dan / Pexels

How many bitcoins are irretrievably lost?

In the early years of the existence of cryptocurrency, no one in the world took it seriously. Because it is not customary to value a trifle in your pocket somehow. The main advantage of Blockchain is decentralization. Users process transactions, so they do not need the services of third-party companies. This means that the network works independently. However, in case of a problem, writing to the support service and recovering the password after the loss will not work.

To access a cold wallet, you need to know the seed phrase, which consists of 12 words. She only shows up once. It needs to be written down or memorized. Most newbies didn’t care.

By 2021, about 20% of the coins of the current issue have been lost in the amount of about $125 billion. They cannot be used, as they are located on wallets whose passwords have been lost, or on destroyed hard drives.

In the summer of 2021, Mircea Popescu died in Costa Rica. The circumstances of the death of this man are still unknown, so the event is considered mysterious. It is noteworthy that he had about 1 million BTC in his wallet. According to some reports, the owner did not share the password with anyone. As a result, the total emission of cryptocurrency lost 4.76%.

These facts favorably affect the value of bitcoin, for this reason, the supply becomes even more limited, demand grows, and with it the price.



Bitcoin mining will remain relevant for more than a century. Even after mining the last block, he still won’t die. As a result, network members will continue to receive rewards.

Undoubtedly, by that time there will be many new coins. They will be more functional than BTC, will be able to skip millions of transactions per second, and the commission will be $1–2 for a $1 million transfer