Bitcoin’s 17 millionth coin was just mined recently, meaning that over 80 percent of all bitcoins that will eventually be created are now in existence. Bitcoin’s cap of 21 million coins is expected to be reached in 2140.
Many of the bitcoins currently in existence are not being or cannot be used. That includes the one million or more bitcoins believed to be held by Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto, as well as bitcoins that have been lost over the years by users who lost or disposed of their private keys. That means that the effective supply of available bitcoins is less than 17 million right now and will almost certainly be less than 21 million at the conclusion of Bitcoin creation.
But just because there will be fewer bitcoins than expected doesn’t mean that most people won’t be able to own any Bitcoin. For one thing, each bitcoin is able to be divided into 100 million satoshi, the satoshi being the smallest monetary unit able to be transacted on the blockchain. That means that there could be a total of 2.1 quadrillion monetary units available within Bitcoin. That’s 280,000 satoshi for every man, woman, and child currently alive today. And some payment systems that are outside the blockchain can even break that down into millisatoshi, 1/1000th of a satoshi, meaning there are 280,000,000 for every person alive today.
There may be enough of the monetary units to go around, but the fixed supply of bitcoins combined with increasing consumer and investor demand means the price of each bitcoin will increase in the future. The more people demand Bitcoin, the higher the price will go, and that’s great news for Bitcoin IRA investors.
Despite the growing interest in Bitcoin, only a tiny fraction of its potential has been realized. Compared to mainstream investment products such as stocks or Treasury securities, very few people are involved yet in investing in Bitcoin. That means that those who get in early will stand to benefit the most when Bitcoin finally enters prime time.
(Photo by Marco Verch. Obtained from https://www.flickr.com/photos/30478819@N08/)