As we all know, the total number of Bitcoin (BTC) to be issued is limited to 21 million. The withdrawal of all Bitcoins is estimated to be around 2140. New BTCs will not go into circulation after all of the bitcoins have been removed, and this will bring major changes for miners.
Approximately every ten minutes, Bitcoin miners are discovering a new block. This block is filled with selected transactions based on the size of the transaction fees, which are waiting in the Bitcoin memory pool and are usually an additional source of income for miners.
In exchange for discovering a block, miners receive a fixed Bitcoin block reward per block. When Bitcoin was first launched, the reward was set at 50 BTC. However, the amount of reward given in every 210,000 blocks is periodically halved. This happens roughly every four years, and the amount of rewards has been reduced to 255 BTC, then 12.5 BTC, and finally to 6.25 BTC, with the half-time event on May 11.
Bitcoin miners will continue to take their share of block rewards until they reach a total of 21 million BTC, and a new BTC will no longer join the network. Bitcoin has entered the 18.4 million BTC network since its inception. However, due to the decrease experienced every four years due to the halfway, the emergence of the last Bitcoin will take place 120 years later.
What Will Miners Do When All Bitcoins Are Found?
Once 21 million Bitcoin is completed, Bitcoin miners will still be able to participate in the block discovery phase, but they will not receive the Bitcoin mining reward. However, this does not mean that they will not be rewarded.
In addition to block rewards, Bitcoin miners also earn revenue for transactions on each block discovered. Currently, transaction fees are a small part of miners’ incomes. Because miners are adding 900 BTC to the network today, but their income from transaction fees ranges from 30 to 50 BTC. These transaction fees account for only 3.3% of miners’ income. In 2140, this rate will rise to 100%.
Transaction fees also vary over time. Especially in 2017, Bitcoin transaction fees peaked with the bull run experienced, and miners’ revenues also increased in this direction. During the summit in December 2017, when Bitcoin rose to $ 14,000, the total transaction fee for miners rose to 1,495 BTC daily. This corresponds to $ 21 million with the value of that time. Compared to today, miners were making substantial gains from transaction fees in 2017. This means that a similar situation may occur again in the future.
Finally, as the CMO of the crypto trading platform NewsCrypto says Luka Boškin, there may be a change in the Bitcoin reward mechanism before the last block is removed. Although many people in the crypto community argue that with the decrease in the number of BTC, there will be significant changes in the protocol of Bitcoin, they have no evidence about this issue.