How many bitcoins are there?

Kai Vollmer
Kai Vollmer Author
Crypto Expert

How many Bitcoins are there? This question comes up quickly when dealing with the topic of Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency first introduced by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. It is the very first cryptocurrency to be launched. This is a decentralized currency that helps make payments in exchange for goods and services. However, due to strong price fluctuations, Bitcoin is also often viewed as an investment object. This article is about the creation of a bitcoin, how many pieces will be available in the future and how this could affect the price.

Bitcoin Logo

Number of total Bitcoin

We established at the beginning that there is a limited number of bitcoins in the world. Only 21 million Bitcoin can exist in total. Currently, (November 2022) around 18.9 million bitcoin have been mined, with around 2.1 million still missing. So, the bitcoin currently in circulation has already been mined. Bitcoin mining is getting harder and harder.

On the one hand, this is because fewer and fewer bitcoins are available, and on the other hand, more and more people are certainly taking part in this process. Since it is ultimately about computing power, a correspondingly strong hardware is a basic requirement. For a private individual with effective mining hardware, it currently takes around 4 to 5 years on average to mine one bitcoin.

If you are interested in digitally mining Bitcoin yourself, you will have to expect a high investment right from the start. The necessary hardware is currently difficult to get hold of and relatively expensive at the same time. However, if the Bitcoin price continues to grow strongly, this could still be a lucrative business.

Can New Bitcoins Enter Circulation?

It is projected that by 2040, the total supply of 21 million Bitcoins will be reached. The fact that many of these Bitcoins are permanently lost is inconsequential to this milestone.

It's unlikely that new Bitcoins will enter circulation beyond this point. An increase in the maximum supply would only be possible through a uniform and widespread change to the protocol. Such a change would require the unanimous support of the entire Bitcoin community.

Given that the limited supply is a fundamental tenet of Bitcoin, it's improbable that such an alteration will ever occur. To date, there are no indications from the community suggesting a raise in the upper limit is on the horizon.

Can Lost Bitcoins Be Recovered?

Over the years, it's estimated that about 20% of the bitcoins in circulation have been lost due to various reasons, from damaged hard drives and forgotten passwords to lost keys. As Bitcoin continues to gain popularity and its quantity steadily decreases due to halvings, many wonders whether these lost bitcoins can be recovered.

Unfortunately, the answer is no. Recovering lost bitcoins is nearly impossible, especially if they are not personally yours. If they are your own, there might be a chance to recover lost keys or regain access in other ways, but such instances are quite rare.

Bitcoin as a Deflationary Currency

Bitcoin stands as a beacon of deflationary currency in a world dominated by fiat currencies. Unlike their traditional counterparts, Bitcoin's supply is rigidly fixed at 21 million coins. This characteristic comes with a host of advantages, including:

Given these multifaceted advantages, the surging embrace of Bitcoin comes as no surprise. Yet, it's essential to note that Bitcoin is far from the solitary player in the realm of limited-supply cryptocurrencies. The cryptocurrency landscape is rich with innovation, where various digital assets proudly sport their own unique qualities and aspirations. As the future unfolds, these currencies, including Bitcoin, will continue to carve their distinct paths, collectively shaping the financial landscape of tomorrow.

What is Bitcoin Halving?

The Bitcoin Halving, a pivotal event occurring every four years, is an integral facet of the coin's monetary policy. During this event, miner rewards are cut in half, resulting in fewer Bitcoins being received for the mining of a new block. This reduction also influences the total number of newly minted Bitcoins.

Bitcoin Halving

The amount of Bitcoin awarded decreases exponentially with each halving event until the maximum limit of 21 million Bitcoins is reached. Since the average time it takes to mine a block is 10 minutes, this limit is expected to be reached by the year 2040. Initially, the reward for mining a block was 50 Bitcoins. This reward was reduced to 25 Bitcoins in 2012, to 12.5 Bitcoins in 2016, to 6.25 Bitcoins in 2020, and to 3.125 Bitcoins in the last halving in April 2024.

When is the Next Bitcoin Halving?

The next halving event is expected to occur in April 2028. At that time, the reward will be reduced from 3.125 to 1.5625 Bitcoins.

While the impact of this event is uncertain, many cryptocurrency enthusiasts are eagerly awaiting it with great anticipation. It's certain that this won't be the last Bitcoin halving. In the coming years, we can expect the following events:

Since the total quantity of 21 million Bitcoins will have been reached by the year 2040, there will be no eighth halving. At that point, the reward per block will be reduced to zero. This is to ensure that the maximum quantity is not exceeded and that Bitcoin remains a deflationary currency.

Impact of Bitcoin Halving on the Crypto Market

Before the last halving on April 20, 2024, we saw a significant price increase, which ultimately led to a new all-time high. We've created a chart that analyzes the price effects of the last halvings:

Bitcoin Halving Price Analysis

You can quickly see that the price has risen sharply in the year following each halving. Therefore, despite the currently high price (April 2024), it could be a good time to consider investing.

Although patterns can be observed in Bitcoin prices in relation to halvings, past performance should not necessarily be considered an indicator of future results. Many people have been burned by relying too heavily on past trends when trading on the stock market.

Other Cryptocurrencies with Limited Supply

Beyond Bitcoin, several other deflationary cryptocurrencies have established their presence in the market. Among the most popular are:

However, it's important to note that not all well-known cryptocurrencies adhere to a deflationary model. There are also inflationary digital currencies that enjoy widespread popularity. The most prominent example is Ripple (XRP), often dubbed as the “Bitcoin of the banks.” While Ripple doesn't have a fixed upper limit on its total supply, it still ranks among the cryptocurrencies with the largest market capitalization. Many experts predict that XRP will play a significant role in the financial industry in the years to come.

This projection is bolstered by its numerous partnerships with major companies such as Banco Santander, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, and Western Union. Given these collaborations, the potential for Ripple to shape the future of finance is indeed an intriguing possibility.


The maximum number of Bitcoin that can ever exist is 21 million. So far, the community has managed to mine 18.9 million of them, with miners trying day and night to mine the remaining 2.1 million.

However, it is assumed that around 20% of all Bitcoins have already been irrecoverably lost. This can happen due to the loss of the private key or the death of an owner.

If you want to enter the mining business yourself, you should inform yourself in advance and be aware of the costs and risks.

Investing is an easier way to get Bitcoin quickly and profit from possible price increases. If you do not have the financial means to do so, the aforementioned no deposit bonus and faucets are a risk-free option.

Kai Vollmer Author
Crypto Expert

Kai is a crypto guru at, specializing in cryptocurrencies and financial technologies, who promotes the understanding and safe use of digital currencies through his extensive knowledge and practical advice.

Last updated on 04/23/2024 um 1:13 p.m.