How Many Bitcoins Exist?

How many bitcoins exist? Do they really have a limited supply?

For those who do not know, Bitcoin is one of the few cryptocurrencies with limited supply. Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto limited the number of Bitcoins to 21 million, to make the cryptocurrency scarce and control the inflation that could result from unlimited supply.

The total number of existing Bitcoins is currently (as of Dec. 6, 2022) 18,628,600. The total number of Bitcoins that will exist is limited to 21 million, and the last Bitcoin is expected to be mined in 2140. The limited supply is a key feature of Bitcoin and is intended to control inflation and ensure that the cryptocurrency maintains its value over time. As more Bitcoins are mined, the mining process becomes increasingly difficult and requires more computing power, which helps maintain the overall supply of the cryptocurrency.

How many bitcoins can be created?

The maximum amount of bitcoins that can exist is 21 million.

This limit, known as the hard cap, is encoded in Bitcoin’s source code and enforced by the network nodes. To be precise, a total of 20,999,999,9769 bitcoins will be created in total.

Who are the miners?

Bitcoin is “mined” by miners who solve mathematical puzzles to verify and validate blocks of transactions that occur in its network. This is a process of adding new Bitcoins into circulation. After successfully executing a series of transactions, the miner receives a block of Bitcoins.

To be rewarded with Bitcoins, the miner must solve a complex mathematical problem that is extremely difficult to solve but easy to verify. The complexity of this increases as the number of Bitcoins mined increases over time.

The first miner who solves this task receives the reward and passes on his solution to the other miners in the network. The other miners check whether or not the solution is correct by comparing it with their own solutions, and if they confirm that it is correct, they accept it and start working on the next block of transactions.

Why has the number of Bitcoins been limited?

The number of existing Bitcoins is limited to 21 million to control inflation and ensure that the cryptocurrency maintains its value over time. This limited supply is built into the Bitcoin protocol and is designed to mimic the scarcity of precious metals such as gold. By limiting the total number of Bitcoins that will be created, Bitcoin’s creators wanted to create a currency that was more resistant to inflation and would hold its value better than traditional fiat currencies. This limited offering is also intended to incentivize users to keep their Bitcoin rather than spend it, thus helping to support the overall value of the cryptocurrency.

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Source: Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System