The 21 Million BTC limit

Satoshi’s Genius: Unexpected Ways in which Bitcoin Dodged Some Cryptographic Bullets

“One somewhat controversial property of Bitcoin is its fixed currency supply. There are currently 25 BTC being generated every 10 minutes, and this amount cuts in half every four years. All in all, there will never be more than 21 million BTC in existence. On the other hand, each bitcoin can be split into 100 million pieces (called “satoshis”), so it will not become difficult to use Bitcoin if its value goes up the same way it would become problematic to trade with dollars if each penny was enough to buy a car. Thus, all in all, the total number of currency units that will ever exist stands at 2,100,000,000,000,000: 2.1 quadrillion, or about 250.899. In choosing this figure, Satoshi was much luckier, or wiser, than most people realize. First of all, the number is considerably less than 264 – 1, the largest integer that can be stored in a standard integer on a computer – go above that, and the integers wrap around to zero like an odometer.”

Why 21 Million


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