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The end of Bitcoin? What happens when the last Bitcoin is mined?
How much do we know about Bitcoin? How much do we not? Regardless of the answers to these two questions, Bitcoin's future remains uncertain every second, or does it really?
THIS ARTICLE
For Basic Users

The mysterious creator of Bitcoin - Satoshi Nakamoto, made Bitcoin available to the public; however, neither his, her, or their identity(ies) is(are) yet to be discovered, just like the original Bitcoin & cryptocurrency purposes are yet to be known. While the broad implementation and numerous researches on Bitcoin have brought light on the majority of the Bitcoin aspects and features, there are still plenty of those to find their true purpose yet, leaving much room for uncertainty about Bitcoin's future.

One of such Bitcoin features, which might be the most interesting one, is that Bitcoin supply is actually limited, however, is yet to reach its cap level. The reason behind such a stipulation included in the source code is unknown. On the other hand, we do know that only 21 million bitcoin tokens will be produced, if ever. What is more, such a supply cap is not random, as it appears. The creator has thought through the process of releasing new Bitcoins to the smallest detail. Currently, we know that there is a new blockchain block or bitcoin block introduced every 10 or so minutes (on average). This fixed-rate helps to maintain and control the circulation of tokens in the ecosystem. However, not only new blocks are introduced at the fixed-rate, but also the amount of Bitcoin, which is awarded to its miner, is halved every four years. Just for the record, the current Bitcoin supply is estimated to be at 18.5 million, with a 6.25 BTC reward per mined block. Experts say that assuming such rates and blockchain protocols remain unchanged, the very last Bitcoin will not come into existence until around 2140. While this is still a long way to go, the concerns around Bitcoin mining, its profitability, and the future of Bitcoin itself are at an all-time high. With such a kind of meaningless ending of Bitcoin, many cryptocurrency experts are constantly discussing the possibility of the Bitcoin protocol change.

Effects of Finite Bitcoin Supply

While the finite supply of Bitcoin is a long way from even starting to affect its basic end-user in any of the bitcoin-friendly fields (online betting, trading, etc.), the ones who truly depend on the cryptocurrency like, for example, Bitcoin miners already have to start thinking about what's coming up next for them. The constantly decreasing block reward already does not sound like an appealing incentive to continue the rigorous and costly mining process. Thus, expecting miners to continue to support the network after the release of the last token is doubtful. The effects of miners stepping down from their mining activities will basically destroy Bitcoin. This is all because mining is not just the action of introducing new tokens but also the main mechanism of blockchain maintenance and support. If miners are to stop mining, the decentralization and trustless concepts of blockchain will vanish.

Well, this is only one way, which things might go. Mining might still continue, and, what is more, even increase after the release of the last Bitcoin. The reason for that is the small transaction fee attached to every single Bitcoin transaction. If that is to happen, the «small» transaction free, which currently ranges around a couple of hundred dollars per block, is going to spike to several thousand, especially in the conditions of increased transaction volume and Bitcoin price. This potential future will make Bitcoin a closed economy, where such fees will fulfill the role of taxes.

For all crypto enthusiasts out there. Keep the above information in mind and expect Bitcoin to change completely in the quite near future. However, do not forget that any changes within the Bitcoin ecosystem will take tons of effort and time to be enforced! Stay crypto and come back for more educational and information Bitcoin content.

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