The 19 millionth bitcoin has just been mined, data from Bitbo shows, leaving less than two million BTC remaining for miners to put in circulation as the Bitcoin network tick-tocks its way through a fixed issuance schedule until it reaches the 21 million supply limit and doesn’t create any new bitcoin ever again.
The milestone demonstrates how Bitcoin’s creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, was able to join together decades of research in different areas of computer science to achieve scarcity in the digital realm, a unique feature central to Bitcoin’s value proposition.
Before Bitcoin, digital cash suffered from the flaw of double spending. Until its creation, the only way to ensure a party wouldn’t spend money twice was through a central authority that had to keep track of coins being sent and received thereby updating users’ balances – much like the traditional financial system. However, Nakamoto’s invention, through the usage of the Proof-of-Work (PoW) mechanism in a distributed ledger, enabled computers running a piece of software to enforce strict spending conditions that prevented a digital representation of value to be spent twice for the first time – or at least made it prohibitively expensive to do so…
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