Although it’s been bitcoin’s worst week for months, there’s a silver lining which could see the blockchain’s price skyrocket.
Even as bitcoin is experiencing a horror few weeks with major price plunges, there are hopes that an important number will jack up interest in the digital currency.
There is less than 10 per cent of Bitcoin left to mine as the cryptocurrency passed a major milestone this week.
Data from Blockchain.com showed 18.9 million out of a possible 21 million of the virtual coins have been mined, The Sun reports.
Bitcoin is the world’s first entirely virtual currency and new currency is created by mining, a complex online process that uses computer code.
It involves using a computer to solve a mathematical problem with a 64-digit solution to create new coins.
For each problem solved, one block of bitcoins is processed. The miner that is first to solve the problem is rewarded with a new bitcoin.
These new coins are then stored virtually through an online database called the blockchain.
The maximum amount of bitcoins that can ever exist is 21 million.
Bitcoin was created in 2009 by an unknown computer wiz using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto.
Data from Blockchain.com on Monday showed 18.9 million of the 20,999,999 possible bitcoins had been mined.
It’s a milestone that took 12 years to reach.
Experts believe the last bitcoin will be mined in February 2140.
No new bitcoins will enter circulation after the mining of the last one.
One bitcoin is currently worth around US$48,000 (A$67,000).
Value could shoot up as the coins become more scarce.
This article originally appeared in The Sun and was reproduced here with permission.