What happens when all 21 million Bitcoins are in circulation?

There will never be more than 21 million Bitcoin (BTC) in circulation. The counter currently stands at around 19.5 million BTC, but the absolute upper limit will not be reached until 2140. Issuing new Bitcoins serves as a reward for BTC miners who keep the network running. This immediately raises questions about the situation when all Bitcoins have been mined. In this article we look ahead to the Bitcoin world from the year 2140.

BTC miners activities and earnings

Bitcoin miners compete with each other with the goal of adding a new block of transactions to the Bitcoin blockchain. Approximately every ten minutes a new transaction block is added to the chain, and miners use the computing power to “discover” a new transaction block by solving complex mathematical algorithms.

Currently, miners make money in two different ways. First, the happy miner irons the so-called Block reward At. This reward was equivalent to 50 BTC at the beginning of the Bitcoin network, but is halved approximately every 4 years with the BTC halving. More specifically, the reward is halved every 210,000 transaction blocks.

The block reward is currently 6.25 BTC and 900 new Bitcoins come into circulation every day. After the next halving, which will take place in April next year, the reward will decrease to 3,125 BTC.

Additionally, miners receive all transaction fees paid in exchange for adding a new transaction block to the blockchain. If someone wants to make a transaction on the Bitcoin network, they have to pay transaction fees. These fees are paid directly to the lucky miner.

Bitcoin network from the year 2140

Currently, the transaction fees paid only make up a small portion of miners’ total revenue. Currently, a miner earns on average around 0.14 BTC per transaction block in transaction fees. At the current Bitcoin price, this is equivalent to around $3,600.

Starting in 2140, miners will have to maintain these paid transaction costs. However, there is still a very long way to go before all Bitcoins are put into circulation, and so Bitcoin still has many years to grow as a network. As the ecosystem grows and network usage increases, transaction costs will ultimately increase.

You may remember the huge hype surrounding Bitcoin Ordinals from earlier this year. The network was extremely busy and network costs exploded as a result. Back then, to get a place in a transaction block, you had to spend a lot of money. For a short time, the revenue from transaction costs even exceeded the block grant. It is a perfect example of how Bitcoin can continue to function beyond the year 2140.

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