In fact, there are only 21 million bitcoins that can be mined in total. The Bitcoin source code determines how many bitcoins are left. The remaining bitcoins that are not in circulation are given to miners as a reward for maintaining the integrity of the network. With only 21 million Bitcoins ever to exist, this means that there are around 13 million bitcoins left in circulation. As of today, the number stands at 2,868And this accounts for coins lost due to the loss of private keys, Satoshi's blocked coins, and due to the death of the HODLer.
One of the main characteristics of the Bitcoin currency is its limited supply, so it is important to know how many Bitcoins are left. After 64 total halves, there will be no more Bitcoins left to reward miners and all 21 million Bitcoins will be in circulation. Once the 21 million Bitcoins have been minted, Bitcoin miners will still be able to participate in the block discovery process, but will not be incentivised in the form of Bitcoin block rewards. The Bitcoin blockchain was designed around the principle of controlled supply, which means that only a fixed number of new Bitcoin can be minted each year until a total of 21 million coins have been minted. Bitcoin miners will be able to continue earning block rewards until a total of 21 million BTC have been minted, after which no new Bitcoin will enter circulation.
It is true that switching to a bounty structure based purely on transaction fees would almost certainly decimate the mining network now, as few Bitcoin miners would be able to mine Bitcoin profitably if they received only
6.In addition, it is important to remember that every four years, Bitcoin undergoes a halving event, which reduces the supply flow of newly minted Bitcoin. Cyber attacks on Bitcoin exchanges and hackers flee with more Bitcoin than they could possibly spend. Because of this, the last bitcoin will be minted in the year 2140 and after that, no new bitcoins can be minted according to the Bitcoin protocol limit. It is impossible to know an exact number, as a lost Bitcoin looks exactly the same on the blockchain as one that has not been lost. There is no real limit on the total number of ETH that can arise as in the case of Bitcoin.
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