It’s about to happen — in the next day or so the 17th million Bitcoin will be mined, making the resource even more limited, given that only 21 million Bitcoin are available. That’s the current rule anyway.
The information comes from Blockchain.info that tracks the number of Bitcoins in circulation and it represents a milestone in the cryptocurrency’s history. It is noteworthy because it reminds us that the technology’s core computer science achievement is this: digital scarcity created and enabled by shared software.
The Bitcoin code ensures that only a set number of new bitcoins are introduced to its economy at intervals. Miners are rewarded with them every time they add new entries to the official record in its blockchain.
Unfortunately, we can’t say exactly when it will be minded, or who the miner will be who creates the 17th million BTC, but as Coindesk points out, there are some ways in which we can predict the event. It reports: “Each Bitcoin block produces 12.5 new Bitcoin, and as Bitcoin blocks occur roughly every 10 minutes, about 1,800 new Bitcoin are created each day.” You will need to go to the Blockchain.info site to make your calculations.
Tim Draper, the venture capitalist who bought millions of Bitcoin seized by the U.S. government at auction in 2014, said of the coming milestone: “I would bet the founders wouldn’t have imagined how important Bitcoin would become in their wildest dreams.” He also added about the imminent event: “I think it is awesome.”
Others suggest the milestone is one that should be considered as an opportunity for more education about Bitcoin other cryptocurrencies in the general sense and eliminate all the myths that surround the digital currencies.
So, as it stands, once the 17th million Bitcoin is mined, there is only another four million to go. If you want to read more about Bitcoin scarcity read this Bitcoin wiki, which explains the concept of controlled supply.