What Happens When the Last Bitcoin is Mined?

what keeps blockchain running after all bitcoins are released

Christina Comben Jun 03, Over 83 percent of all bitcoins that will ever exist have already been minted. Over 99 percent will be mined by So, what happens when all the bitcoins have been mined? One of the key features of Bitcoin is its hard-capped finite supply at 21 million bitcoins.

This means it is entirely impossible to print out of thin air like fiat currency which makes it a deflationary currency by nature. Yet, since Bitcoin is sustained by a network of miners who are compensated in block rewards, many people wonder what happens when all the bitcoins have been mined?

What will miners do once the 21 million hard-cap has been reached? How will they make their living and what will incentivize them to keep the network secure? The short answer is transaction fees. Currently, when a new block is created, miners receive a block reward, which contains both newly minted bitcoins and transaction fees.

This reward incentivizes miners to behave correctly and protect the network. Once all the bitcoins have been mined, and miners have to rely on transaction fees alone, will that be enough to remain financially operational?

If not, could that lead to a contraction of miners that would centralize and potentially collapse the network? Not according to research by Interchange and Awe and Wonder. Looking at the below chart, you can see that by the year , transaction fees start to represent a much higher part of the block reward.

Once the fees make up over 50 percent of the block reward, miners transition to surviving on TX fees more than BTC. The answer to that question is that no one is entirely sure how things will play out. However, there is sufficient evidence to suggest that yes, transaction fees will be enough to sustain miners and thus the Bitcoin network.

After all, as the value of Bitcoin rises, so do the fees. There are some concerns about whether rising fees will deter people from using Bitcoin. However, fees will still remain significantly lower than transferring fiat around the world.

Just consider how much a fiat wire costs now, or the commission on purchasing a home for example. As Interchange points out:. Since Bitcoin miners will be earning transaction fees over time, and BTC will gain value over time, so will the fees.

This will make it economically viable for them to continue securing the network. Interestingly, Alex Sunnarborg pointed out that only the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains have sufficient transaction fees in place to compensate miners in a non-inflationary environment. The change from relying on transaction fees for income over mined bitcoins is not going to happen overnight.

There are also plenty of factors that may change between now and then, giving miners plenty of time to adjust to the new model and for the Bitcoin network to remain secure. What do you think will have when all the bitcoins have been mined? Share your thoughts below! Could you be next big winner? I consent to my submitted data being collected and stored. Nvidia has urged a US judge to dismiss a case brought by investors who say it misled them over crypto mining revenues.

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what keeps blockchain running after all bitcoins are released

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Bitcoin is like gold in many ways. Like gold, bitcoin cannot simply be created arbitrarily. Gold must be mined out of the ground, and bitcoin must be mined via digital means. Linked with this process is the stipulation set forth by the founders of bitcoin that, like gold, it must have a limited and finite supply. In fact, there are only 21 million bitcoins that can be mined in total. Once miners have unlocked this many bitcoins, the planet's supply will essentially be tapped out, unless bitcoin's protocol is changed to allow for a larger supply.

How Does Bitcoin Mining Work?

Why use blockchain technology? While there are certainly a lot of advantages to a distributed ledger, it may not be applicable to all companies or individuals—not yet, at.

The second what keeps blockchain running after all bitcoins are released people usually ask when they hear about blockchain is—why use blockchain? Why use a distributed ledger? Why not use a regular database or legacy system as a system of record in this already digital world?

After all, in many cases for business owners, updating existing infrastructure with blockchain technology may be costly, labor-intensive and not really worth it. In this article, we examine what a blockchain really is, what blockchain applications are, what they can do and—most importantly—why use blockchain? In reality, they should be talking about blockchain technology also known as Distributed Ledger Technology or DLT or blockchains in the plural, since there are many different ones, including public permissionless and private permissioned blockchains.

Examples of public blockchains and distributed blockchain technology include the Bitcoin blockchain, the Ethereum blockchain, the NEO blockchain, and many. This means that changing the data in one block would mean having to reverse all previous blocks before it, making it very hard to tamper with—very hard, although not entirely impossible. This is true see more Ethereum, Bitcoin, and any other cryptocurrency that runs on blockchain technology using the proof-of-work consensus algorithm.

To get a concise sense of the nature of blockchain and what blockchain offers, check out this explainer video below:. The data sent to each block on the distributed ledger is based on encrypted Merkle Trees, which is a technical way of saying that no fraudulent transactions can be recorded. If any transaction what keeps blockchain running after all bitcoins are released does not follow protocol rules is detected by the network nodes, it is expelled immediately.

This inherently secure nature of distributed blockchain technology means that it prevents damage to the entire blockchain shared database and can cut off a hacking attempt at one block. The most well-known blockchain is that of the Bitcoin network where every transaction that follows the protocol is recorded and included in a block.

Once a transaction is broadcasted to the network and confirmed by miners, the action cannot be reversed, nor can it be tampered with in any way.

The same is true of Ethereum, which is responsible for smart contract technology. This open-source public ledger displays a history of all transactions and transaction data ever. Most blockchains are sustained by miners. In the case of the Bitcoin blockchain, for example, it is the job of miners to confirm a Bitcoin transaction to the rest of here Bitcoin network by including them in blocks.

Ethereum transactions on the Ethereum network work in the same way. These public blockchains are global and decentralized, visible to all. W hile many believe blockchains to be a system of record, they are not actually an effective means of storage, but verification.

Simply put, blockchains ensure that everyone is click the following article the same page and no single person can change the ledger for anyone else—if they did, the network would reject the attempt. This means that when one person sends bitcoin or ETH funds to another, the transaction data is public. This is a key quality of blockchain technology that makes it so efficient when it comes to record verification and industries which require transparency.

However, a decentralized public ledger where payment amounts are visible to all is not necessarily practical or useful in cases where privacy is necessary or desired. There has been a lot of marketing hype over what blockchain can do and what blockchain offers. To be sure, it is a life-changing technology that will bring great things over the years to come. The very ability to transact peer-to-peer on the distributed ledger without a trusted middleman makes blockchain technology revolutionary.

However, there have been plenty of fraudulent or over-exaggerated claims about what blockchain is for and what it can. This is especially true through initial coin offerings where companies raise vast amounts of money often claiming to be able to use blockchain to realize their ambitious ideas.

These pitches could be almost anything from transforming real estate to managing drone traffic. It may be complicated right now to purchase real estate using smart contracts on blockchains, but the potential is there once legislation catches up.

Many companies and business owners are examining the use of blockchain for their business processes. Walmartfor example, traced produce around the world through the supply chain with successful results and has registered several blockchain patents indicating its interest in the technology moving forward. The supply chain, in fact, is a great example of where blockchain technology can be particularly useful.

Here, cross-border payments must be made and transaction fees are high, along with currency conversions and plenty of intermediaries taking their cuts. Since blockchain can ensure the data is tamper-proof and immutable, the digital identity becomes indisputable. This holds enormous potential to cut out not only trusted third-parties but also corruption at different points in the supply chain. There is also the chance for companies and individual members in the supply chain to pay using one standard cryptocurrency thus removing conversion fees while reducing transaction fees and times.

Beyond the supply chain, though, any industry that requires record-verification and transparency can benefit from blockchain—from real estate to financial services. Capital markets and venture capital have already been changed forever by the decentralized nature of blockchain technology. As has the concept of digital identity. Permissioned blockchains, however, may not share all of these properties. More on that later. Unlike typical databases or IP addresses that are controlled by one central authority, blockchain cannot be what keeps blockchain running after all bitcoins are released down because it is run across a network of nodes.

Just consider countries where censorship is a problem and the government shuts down certain pages and channels, such as China with Wikipedia or Google. With blockchain technology and a blockchain application, this would be impossible on the protocol level. Here are some of the advantages that blockchain offers over a regular database or other existing technologies:.

Immutability — Thanks to its Proof-of-Work system, blockchains can offer near-immutable transactions. When data decentralized on a blockchain is verified, it makes it practically impossible to roll it back and tamper with the data.

This gives blockchain tech a strong use case in industries where records need to be verified and accurate, such as medical records, land deeds, birth what keeps blockchain running after all bitcoins are released, or social security numbers. Security — Blockchain technology is especially secure when compared to centralized databases. This means that it is much less likely to be the target of a hack as there is no one single point of failure. If one block is hacked it will be rejected from the system and nipped in the bud before any damage is.

The more nodes and hash power the network has, the more secure it is, making the Bitcoin blockchain generally considered to be the most secure public blockchain today. Redundancy — Using distributed blockchain technology, you have the same set of data distributed in multiple places around the world, which means that the data is extremely secure and practically impossible to lose. When you consider this type of advantage for a large and small business that have suffered data leaks and hacks, blockchain offers a huge advantage.

Cost Reduction — By using distributed blockchain technology that runs over a network of nodes, you no longer need the additional staff members to maintain a DevOps.

A small business can make significant cost savings by using blockchain technology and smart contracts to cut out middlemen for administrative tasks or financial services. Accountability — With all of the above characteristics, businesses and individuals alike can be sure that the data is true and that no banking insurance or additional verification is needed—the digital identity of each contributor is clear.

This makes it easier for companies to hold people accountable for any attempt at entering wrongful data into the. So, can blockchain be hacked? Well, the hacking of exchanges that we see on a common basis has nothing to do with blockchain technology but with secondary software weaknesses, such as exchanges, vulnerabilities in smart contract code, and wallet providers.

Blockchain is extremely safe when you consider its decentralized nature and the fact that a hacker or bad actor cannot enter the system easily and cause a disaster like with Equifax.

Hacking a blockchain as large as the Bitcoin blockchain would require resources, power, coordination that outstrip the GDPs of many small countries. But, it is possible for blockchains to be hacked. With smaller, permissioned blockchains, a hack is easier to pull off, but with a network such as the Bitcoin, this is almost impossible.

The Bitcoin blockchain is the most resistant to this type of attack today. On a more complex network such as the Ethereum network, the attack surface is potentially bigger. This lead to the creation of Ethereum Classic as a separate cryptocurrency was derived from the code override. Public blockchains allow anyone what keeps blockchain running after all bitcoins are released take part and are visible to all.

This type of decentralized application strengthens the Ethereum network and means that more people add to its creativity and security. Perhaps one of the most memorable to date was CryptoKitties. This decentralized application congested the Ethereum blockchain causing transaction fees what keeps blockchain running after all bitcoins are released soar as the demand was so high yet at the same time, drew more people to the network.

With permissioned blockchains also called private blockchains the exact opposite is true. The only people auditing and transacting on the blockchain are the ones read more the classification and access to do so. There is a central entity and the actions can be deleted and overridden, which makes sense for corporations, or a large or small business that needs control.

Immutability does not apply to permissioned blockchains, and as such, they are more vulnerable to hacking than a public blockchain. The benefits of permissioned blockchains are obvious in that they can keep certain classified information secure, and they are much faster than public blockchains. Many people make the distinction as Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Bitcoin Cash being the digital currency and blockchain the technology that runs underneath.

However, the separation is somewhat arbitrary. Cryptocurrencies are digital assets in which the value is transferred peer-to-peer with no need for centralized authorities or trust. There are currently more than 2, cryptocurrencies available and not all are created equal. Cryptocurrencies allowed for the rise of initial coin offerings, a peer-to-peer way of raising startup funds that eclipsed venture capital funding in early innovation last year.

Recently the Ethereum price dropped sharply, taking it from its position as the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, to the third, beaten in market cap by XRP. Ethereum price, Bitcoin price, and all major cryptocurrency prices have taken a tumble recently, proving how sensitive they are to outside speculation and external market pressures.

This cuts out the need for a middleman and essentially for a bank or bank insurance. Cryptocurrencies are really just a subset of the broader range of applicabilities of blockchain technologies. While many people try to separate cryptocurrencies from blockchain, tarnishing cryptocurrency as a tool for criminals while painting blockchain as a respectable technology, is disingenuous in many ways.

What really gives rise to all these opportunities in any industrial sector is the notion of the smart contract and its decentralized computation. Which brings us to our next question…. Smart contracts are automated agreements that allow us to transfer money, data, property deeds, shares, or anything else of value in a transparent way.

Smart contracts are a game changer in the blockchain world since they allow us to cut out the intermediaries. They are set up between two or more parties and self-execute based on a set of predetermined conditions. When it comes to making a trade, for example, traditionally you would need to pay a broker to do it for you.

With smart contracts, you simply load your escrow with cryptocurrency and carry out the trade.

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