Is the number of Bitcoins in circulation real? | S. Hakan Özel

According to the official data, more than 18 million Bitcoins  have been released so far; however, blockchain intelligence platforms and investigation reports point out another reality.

  1. Hakan Özel
    Cryptocurrencies and Security Specialist

Because of its software, the total number of Bitcoins (BTC) cannot exceed 21 million. It is estimated that all Bitcoins will have been released by 2140. As of June 18th, 2020, 18,407,856 BTC appear to have been released. This number corresponds to a little more than 87% of 21 million BTC, which is the total number of BTC that can be supplied.

First of all, let’s answer the following question: How is it possible that a period of more than 100 years is envisaged for Bitcoin to reach its 21 million limit even though almost 90% of the entire supply has already been released?

The primary reason is the “halving” of the Bitcoin block reward, which occurs every four years.  Once each block is verified by mining, the BTC amount is halved every 4 years. After block reward halving in May, the block reward for each verified block decreased from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC. As this will gradually slow down the supply rate of Bitcoin, it will take longer to release the remaining limited amount compared to the speed in the case of 18 million BTC, which have been released so far.

Lost Bitcoins

Although it is said that more than 18 million Bitcoins are in circulation, the reality seems to be different as there is another fact that changes these statistics.

According to the reports of blockchain intelligence platforms and investigators, more than 15% of BTC on the market are lost since their owners have no access to these cryptocurrencies.

The main reason is that the owners failed to store their BTC safely and carefully as they had not paid any attention to this cryptocurrency until it achieved this price performance. On the Internet, you can come across a lot of tragicomic stories. For example, a user threw away his computer together with its hard disk containing 7500 BTC because the computer had broken down.  There are also people who bought considerable amounts of Bitcoin many years ago when its material value was ridiculously low, but then they forgot that they had made such an investment or could not remember where and how they had stored their Bitcoins.

How to store cryptocurrencies?

Lost BTC stories prove once more the importance of proper and secure storage of cryptocurrencies.

Within this context, cryptocurrency investors have two options:

1- You can store your cryptocurrencies on a reliable, corporate digital assets trading platform, where you trade, deposit or withdraw your cryptocurrencies whenever you want.
2- You can transfer your cryptocurrencies to your personal wallet and store them there with their special keys.

If you choose to store your cryptocurrencies in your personal wallet instead of a platform, then you should pay attention to the following:

1- Do not forget your investment.
2- Keep your special keys in a way that is accessible when required.
3- Even if the cryptocurrencies in which you invested may not have a significant material value today, do not disregard the fact that they may become valuable in the future.

The stories about Lost BTC indicate that secure storage of digital assets is as important as investing in such assets. For this reason, it is important to bear in mind that digital assets may become more valuable in the future. You must be extremely careful not to let your digital assets rank among the lost cryptocurrencies.

Bu içerik en son 26 October 2022 tarihinde güncellenmiştir.


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