Bitcoin is moving along at an alarming rate. The currency is now trading at over $9,800 USD, and all seems right with the digital world (touch wood). People are making money, feeling secure, and looking confident.
What Happens at the End?
But not everything’s coming up roses. Bitcoin’s sudden rise to riches is still a reminder that not all is said and done, and that we should enjoy a good thing when we can and while we can.
Bitcoin is no exception. As many of us know, BTC is a finite cryptocurrency.
That means there will soon be an end to the amount our miners can produce. According to a recent report, over 2.7 million bitcoins have been “lost” and all 21 million BTC available will be mined by the year 2140. Sure, we still have about 122 years to go before that day comes, but when it does, there will be no more bitcoins to uncover.
Accordingly, the price and value of the cryptocurrency is likely take a major dip and trade for much lower than what we’re used to when that happens.
Making Some Final Stops
It is estimated that there are approximately 16.4 million bitcoins currently in circulation, which leaves us with only five million more to go before we hit the finish line.
Furthermore, the number of bitcoins being mined is halved each year, which means that fewer new ones are entering the scene with each pass, and the supply is already shorter than we may have originally thought.
More Bitcoin Will Be Lost
Many bitcoins that should be available are not presently available.
As many as four million bitcoins have already been “lost” – frozen in oblivion, never to appear again. This is likely due to the behavior of “hodlers”, or long-time bitcoin enthusiasts that hoarded their stashes for too long. Eventually, the very old bitcoins fell out of commission and exited the trading arena without a trace.
In the future, more bitcoins are slated to vanish. Out of 21 million bitcoins, up to four million have already run their course and dissipated. That leaves as little as 17 million left to enjoy before the clock officially runs out.
Don’t Get Scared Just Yet
This is not meant to start a panic, nor is it meant to deplete the hype surrounding bitcoin or suggest it’s a fraudulent currency in any way.
If anything, it means that now is the time to enjoy bitcoin and stock up while you can. With the price increasing nearly every day, there’s too much fun to be had (and a lot of money to be made), but it’s important to always keep one portion of our brains focused on the future – thinking about how to take care of ourselves and each other.
Don’t give up on bitcoin or turn your back on it. Instead, offer it the respect and attention it deserves without going crazy. Aim for a little diversity in your portfolio, and you’re likely to avoid a sudden (and certain) end.
Do you see bitcoin staying strong all the way to 2140? Post your comments below!