Will Bitcoin’s 21 Million Limit Create A Deflationary Spiral?

Understanding Bitcoin’s 21 Million limit will help you appreciate how it works. The total number of bitcoins in circulation will never exceed 21 million. The Bitcoin protocol, the rules that make bitcoin work, says miners can create only 21 million bitcoins. But if we reach the point where the last bitcoin is mined, what happens then? Will this create a supply shortage as we compete for a smaller pool of coins? Or will demand to keep going up? In this article, I’ll explore how Bitcoin’s supply cap affects the market and what it means for investors like you and me.

What Happens After All 21 Million Bitcoins Are Mined?

Bitcoin is a digital currency, like cash or gold. They can be used to buy goods and services from vendors who accept them as payment. Like cash, they’re also a store of value. The value of one Bitcoin fluctuates over time but has been consistently increasing since its introduction in 2009. And this makes sense: if people see Bitcoins as valuable enough to hold on to (and spend), then it must be worth something!

But what makes Bitcoin uniquely special is its scarcity. Bitcoin’s 21 Million limit gives it value in the first place. There will only ever be 21 million Bitcoins (and we’ve already mined over 80% of them). In fact, at current production rates, no more than another 4 million coins will be produced by 2024.

In the future, Bitcoin will be a scarce resource to store value and satisfy transactions. We can use it as a medium of exchange, like gold or silver. It will also be used for investment purposes and speculation.

What is Bitcoin Mining?

Bitcoin mining is the process of adding transaction records to Bitcoin’s public ledger of past transactions. This ledger of past transactions is called the blockchain, as it is a chain of blocks. The blockchain confirms transactions to the rest of the network as having taken place. Bitcoin nodes use the blockchain to distinguish legitimate transactions from attempts to re-spend coins that have already been spent elsewhere.

Mining is intentionally designed to be resource-intensive and difficult so that the number of blocks found each day by miners remains steady. Individual blocks must contain proof of work to be considered valid. This proof of work is verified by other Bitcoin nodes each time they receive a block.

The primary purpose of mining is to allow Bitcoin nodes to reach a secure, tamper-resistant consensus. Mining is also the mechanism to introduce Bitcoins into the system: Miners are paid any transaction fees and newly created bitcoins for generating new blocks via Proof-of-Work (PoW).

The history of Bitcoin’s supply

Did you know that Bitcoin was introduced in 2009? If not, that’s because its creator Satoshi Nakamoto is still unknown. The first block was mined on January 3rd, 2009, and within a week, the first bitcoin was mined by Satoshi Nakamoto using CPU power.

The first transaction took place on January 12th and occurred between Nakamoto and Hal Finney (who provided him with feedback when he needed it). In this transaction, 10 bitcoins were sent from one account to another; the recipient created an address after receiving the bitcoins but didn’t use them immediately. It wasn’t until 2010 that many people began using their accounts to send and receive bitcoins.

The first block reward was 50 coins per block mined by miners who contributed their resources to verify transactions on the blockchain network via Proof-of-Work consensus algorithms such as SHA256 (SHA stands for Secure Hash Algorithm).

The Math Behind Bitcoin

Bitcoin mining is a process that creates new bitcoins, but it’s not the only way to do so. Currently, miners are rewarded with 12.5 BTC for creating one block of transactions, which means that every 10 minutes, approximately 12.5 BTC gets added to the bitcoin supply. However, this will be halved in 2024 and again at every 210,000 blocks (approximately every four years).

In addition to being rewarded with newly created bitcoins for mining blocks on the blockchain, miners also receive transaction fees in exchange for recording valid transactions on each block they add to the chain. The amount of money made from these rewards and transaction fees varies depending on several factors, including how much power is being used during mining operations and how much competition there is among miners currently trying to solve puzzles before others do so successfully.

What is the block reward?

The block reward is the incentive for Bitcoin miners to maintain the network. It is halved every four years and currently stands at 12.5 bitcoins per block, which means that if you were a miner in 2009, you could have earned 50 bitcoins by solving a single block.

This reward will be halved again in 2024 (resulting in 6.25 bitcoins per block), but after that, it won’t be cut any further; there will never again be more than 21 million coins mined. The inflation rate has been slowing down over time: because each successive halving reduces the number of new coins being created by half, less new supply inflates prices as time passes (though other factors influence this as well).

What happens to the Bitcoin price?

Bitcoin’s 21 Million limit has implications on the price of Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a deflationary asset, meaning its value increases over time. Two primary factors influence the price of bitcoin:

  • Demand for Bitcoin
  • Supply of Bitcoin

What happens to the network?

The network will continue to grow.

The number of transactions will continue to increase, as well as the number of users, miners and full nodes on the network. These factors have grown consistently every year since Bitcoin was created. This trend is expected to continue at least through 2021 until all 21 million Bitcoins are mined. The growth rate of Bitcoin’s network has been consistent over time; in 2012, it was around 5% per month, while today, it is closer to 10% per month.

What happens to Bitcoin miners?

As the mining process becomes more difficult and less profitable, miners will have to switch to other cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin is one of many blockchain protocols that use a specific function called “proof-of-work” (PoW) to verify transactions on the network. The PoW protocol works by having computers solve complex math problems to add new data blocks at regular intervals to the blockchain. This ensures that transactions are valid and cannot be tampered with once they have been added.

However, other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Monero use different methods for verifying transactions on their blockchains. These methods include proof-of-stake (PoS) and delegated Byzantine fault tolerance (DBFT).

What happens to Bitcoin miners?

Bitcoin miners will still get rewards for their work. But miners won’t receive bitcoins anymore for producing new blocks but only receive transaction fees for their work in the network. This is because every transaction needs to be verified by miners before it becomes valid.

Could this be a problem for Bitcoin adoption?

If this is a problem for Bitcoin adoption, it’s a problem all digital currencies will have to face. The only exception would be if we create another cryptocurrency that offers faster transaction times and lower fees, but that’s not happening anytime soon.

Bitcoin has grown in popularity over the years, and many businesses and individuals are adopting it; however, its value has fluctuated wildly since its creation. According to CoinMarketCap data from March 2019, Bitcoin’s market cap was around $67.9 billion at the beginning of 2019 but rose to approximately $541 billion by December 2020, a 500 percent increase.

As such, many people who own bitcoins would prefer not to sell them right now if they can help it because they’re afraid their value could go up again soon after they sell them off. 

March 2019 Data For Bitcoin

Bitcoin's 21 Million Limit

December 2020 Data For Bitcoin

Bitcoin's 21 Million Limit

The total number of bitcoins will eventually cap out, but not for a long time.

You can expect Bitcoin to continue to grow for years after the last block of Bitcoin’s 21 Million Limit is mined. The main reason is that there will be a block reward until the last Bitcoin is mined, around 2041. When the block reward halved from 50 to 25 BTC per 10 minutes, it caused an increase in price because people were worried that they wouldn’t receive their share at all.

Once it halves again (to 6.5 BTC per 10 minutes), we’ll see another huge rise in price followed by another drop as speculators sell off their holdings before they lose more money than they made on previous spikes like these ones.


As we can see, many factors will determine how Bitcoin mining will work and how it will affect the network. The most important factor will probably be how much demand there is for bitcoins in the future. If demand stays high as more people use them, miners will continue making money off their computers for transactions. However, suppose demand drops significantly due to Bitcoin’s 21 Million Limit, some economic crisis, or other events. In that case, Bitcoin could lose value quickly because it would no longer be worth enough money per coin to make mining profitable enough for people who own hardware.

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