Over 18.9 million bitcoins have been minted by miners, which accounts for 90% of 21 million total supply codes into the Bitcoin network.
Although less than 10% of BTC’s maximum supply is still available, the last coin will likely be mined by 2140.
One analyst says Bitcoin’s scarcity could see a supply shock that pushes the crypto towards overtaking gold by market cap in the next ten years.
Bitcoin continues to attract the attention of some of the world’s largest institutional investors, even as enthusiasts and analysts predict its price will increase long-term to hit over six figures.
Bitcoin’s maximum supply is 21 million bitcoins, with new coins added since its inception in 2009 when Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto mined the genesis coin.
Since then, bitcoins have steadily increased in supply, surpassing the 18.9-million mark on Monday.
This means that 90% of the coins are now created and available for purchase, Marcus Sotiriou (an analyst at GlobalBlock, a UK-based digital asset broker GlobalBlock) noted Monday.
Sotiriou stated that Bitcoin has reached the milestone and only 10% (or 2.1 million BTC) of 21 million coins remain to be mined. He said that although the remaining percentage of Bitcoin is smaller than the total 21 million, the last BTC will still be mined in 2140.
Halving cycles and Bitcoin’s scarcity
Bitcoin’s underlying technology allows for a systematic reduction in the number of coins entering supply every time a block of transactions are processed.
Each four year, the process is reversed. This means that less coins will enter the market, making Bitcoin scarcer, and therefore increasing demand.
“Bitcoin’s scarcity is one of its most attractive aspects as an investment, which is what many people, institutions, and governments are starting to catch on to,” Sotiriou added.
The analyst thinks such a fundamental factor could help cement Bitcoin’s attraction to investors and with fewer coins coming into supply, a supply shock will catalyse its price surge over the next several years.
The BTC’s price could rise significantly and the digital asset could flip gold once it reaches a market capital of $10 trillion.
“I think Bitcoin’s scarcity will lead to a supply shock for Bitcoin to help it overtake gold’s market cap over the next 10 years, which is around $10 trillion. This means Bitcoin has the potential to rise to a price of $500,000 in the future,” he explained.
BTC price drops amid stock correlation
Bitcoin’s value against the US dollar rose to $69,000 in November, outperforming gold and with predictions of it hitting the $100,000 mark in 2021. The outlook has changed as bearish pressure pushed BTC/USD to below $50,000 in the past weeks.
According to Sotiriou, Bitcoin’s price movement is highly correlated to that seen in the stock markets, with the S&P 500 trading in red on Monday after a positive close last Friday. But despite the potential for further losses given the Omicron variant situation and this week’s central bank monetary policy statements, the analyst believes a rebound could still happen and push BTC higher.
“If we see a Christmas rally in stocks, which historically tends to happen, then Bitcoin could see a move higher into year end,” he said.
According to CoinGecko data, Bitcoin trades at around $47,597 as of the time this article was written.