bitcoin

The supply of Bitcoin has now surpassed 80% of all the coins that will ever exist. It's a landmark achievement for the cryptocurrency, which was founded in 2009 by an anonymous person or group of people under the name Satoshi Nakamoto.

The figures come from the blockchain.info site which tracks the total supply of bitcoin. The milestone was reached on Thursday morning, according to data available on the site. Blockchain.info's data shows that the 90% threshold was passed at around 6am UTC, with US$6,831,476,975 in circulation.

Data from Blockchain.info and Coin Dance show that the current supply of Bitcoin is 18,877,637 BTC. This means that 90 per cent of the maximum supply of 21 million coins has now been mined. The supply cap is designed to ensure that no more than 21 million bitcoins will ever be created. The remaining 10 per cent of bitcoins that will ever exist will be mined by 2140.

This is an important event for two reasons not related to this milestone itself. First, it means that a small part of the cryptocurrency's supply cap has been achieved. Secondly, it means that there's a new wave of scarcity about to come about as the supply will continue to be halved several times in the coming years. The halving is set to eventually reach a point where it's up 81.9% mined – still far above today's figure, but getting increasingly close.