More than 80 percent of the total number of Bitcoin has already been mined, according to a new report.
There is a finite amount of Bitcoins – 21 million in total and more than 16.8 million of those are already in circulation, the Bitcoin News reported.
That means that there are just over 4 million left to mine, which is a relatively low number in the grand scheme of things, with the self imposed scarcity of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency one of the reasons the price of Bitcoin has surged over the past 12 months.
Because Bitcoin is not linked to any central bank or financial institution, nor is it regulated by any state, the supply of Bitcoin occurs through something called mining.
For each Bitcoin transaction, a computer belonging to a Bitcoin miner solves a complex mathematical equation, which takes huge amounts of processing power.
The person mining the Bitcoin then receives a small percentage of the Bitcoin’s value as a reward.
Interest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has skyrocketed, despite financial experts warning about an imminent crash.
This week, the price of Bitcoin dived to a low of $9,199.59, a drop in value of almost 50 percent of its record high reached in December last year.
The fall in price was linked to reports about regulation in countries such as China and South Korea.
“Focus has shifted to negative regulation with headlines out of South Korea, China, and even minor headlines from France and the U.S.,” Ari Paul, chief investment officer at cryptocurrency investment firm BlockTower Capital, told CNBC.
“These headlines are having an outsized effect because cryptocurrency as a whole was overbought and sentiment reached exuberant levels, setting the stage for the violent correction that we’re seeing.”