Everyone has made a mistake: the total number of bitcoins is no more than 21 million

Everyone has made a mistake: the total number of bitcoins is no more than 21 million

Recently, the price of bitcoin has risen again and broken the historical record. The highest has reached 64,800 USD. And it has remained the high level of more than 60,000 USD. This has led to the hot discussion in the whole world to bitcoin.  

The total number of bitcoin is often mentioned. People think the total number is 21 million. In fact, it is not right. The total number of bitcoin is less than 21 million. The precise total number is 20,999,999.97690000.

How do we get to that number? It owes to the bitcoin principle. 

You can understand it like this: suppose there is a factory manufacturing bitcoins. It manufactures bitcoins once every 10 minutes. And there is a rule that manufacturing bitcoins for 210,000 times is one cycle.

In the beginning, in the first cycle, once the factory manufactures, it can produce 50 bitcoins, which has kept producing for 210,000 times. In total, it has produced 210,000 * 50 bitcoins.  

In the second cycle, the factory can produce 25 bitcoins every time it manufactures. In this way, it has completed the task of manufacturing bitcoins for 210,000 times. In total, it has manufactured 210,000 * 25 bitcoins.  

In the third cycle, the factory can only produce 12.5 bitcoins every time it manufactures.

So, once the factory completes the task of producing bitcoins for 210,000 times, it enters a new cycle. And the number of bitcoins the factory can manufacture every time has to be halved.

But will the new manufactured bitcoins always be halved like this? No. In the beginning when bitcoin appeared, there has been a bottom line. The smallest unit of bitcoin is satoshi. 1 bitcoin is equal to 100 million satoshi, which means during the 33rd “production cycle”, the factory will find that it can no longer halve the bitcoins it produces.

Then the manufacture of new bitcoins ends. There shall be no appearance of new bitcoins.  How many bitcoins will have been produced up to now in total? The answer is 20,999,999.97690000. Therefore, that will be the total number of bitcoins.


Author Bio

Xiaoyu Ma, mainly writes about bitcoin-mining companies based in China.

Publication date: 
04/17/2021 - 21:30

The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not reflect the views of Bitcoin Insider. Every investment and trading move involves risk - this is especially true for cryptocurrencies given their volatility. We strongly advise our readers to conduct their own research when making a decision.