85% of All Bitcoin Have Been Mined: Does Scarcity Create Value?
Despite the fact that Bitcoin is 50% down from its all-time high of $20,000, the project has continued to set milestones.
As noted by countless
cryptocurrency Twitter users on Wednesday, the number of Bitcoin that has been mined has officially surmounted 17,850,000. This means that 85% of BTC’s 21 million supply cap has been spent.
For some reason or another, Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous coder (or group of coders) behind Bitcoin, decided to place a supply cap on his creation. Unless a hard fork takes place, the number of BTC in circulation will never surmount 21 million (fun fact: the real number is actually marginally lower than 21 million).
Although 21 million seems arbitrary, with Satoshi never explaining the reasoning behind this number or the concept of a supply cap itself, there have been some theories about the predicate of this move.
According to Interchange (now owned by
Blockchain.com) co-founder Dan Held, formerly of Uber, the supply cap is part of Satoshi’s attempts to make BTC a purpose-built store of value.
In a thread covered by this outlet earlier this year, Held explained that per Satoshi’s comments, in which he, she, or they mentioned gold, long-term growth, and Bitcoin’s commodity status, it is clear that the Bitcoin creator believes that the asset’s “scarcity gives it value… as an SoV”.
Held subsequently explained that Bitcoin was conceived to become an alternative to banks, hence the iconic headline that Satoshi embedded in the Genesis Block’s coinbase, not a new version of Visa. To back his claim, he drew attention to the network’s cardinal rules — 21 million BTC supply cap, ten-minute blocks, and block size caps — claiming that Satoshi could have altered these values to push the digital money narrative.