How Many Bitcoins in Circulation

Bitcoin is a fast-growing digital currency and it is also called decentralized digital currency. The amount of bitcoins in circulation is determined by the network’s algorithms, which are programmed to create a set number of new bitcoins every X minutes. This number is halved every once in a while to keep the supply of bitcoins growing at a steady rate, but not too quickly. As of 2 January 2024, there are approximately 19.59 million Bitcoins in circulation. This number does not include unspendable coins or lost coins.

Bitcoin Lost

A large percentage of bitcoins have been lost over time due to various reasons. Many people have lost their coins due to various security breaches, computer malfunctions, or human errors. Others have lost their coins intentionally by throwing them away, or by forgetting where they put their private keys.

Bitcoin Unspendable

The 21 million bitcoin supply has been calculated by taking into account only the spendable coins, but the actual number of bitcoins in circulation is significantly lower than expected. This is due to a large number of coins that have been identified as unspendable.

Factors Influencing the Supply of Bitcoins

The number of bitcoins in circulation is determined by a few factors.

  1. The first factor is the algorithms that have been designed to create new coins and distribute them among users.
  2. The second factor is the number of bitcoins being lost over time and the number of coins being unspendable.
  3. The third factor is the price of bitcoin since a rise in price leads to an increase in demand.

However, the supply is not fixed, and new coins are created every 10 minutes on average.


Bitcoin’s algorithms determine how many coins are created and how they’re distributed. The first algorithm created too many coins, leading to a price crash. Current algorithms aim to create a steady supply of new coins and account for lost coins.

Numbers of Lost Coins

The more time passes, the more coins are expected to be lost. This is due to some reasons, such as people losing their private keys or forgetting where they put them, or fraud and security breaches. Estimates suggest that around 6 million BTC, 30% of Six million $Bitcoin’s supply, are lost forever. Crypto hunters can track wallets with blockchain ID and password guesses to recover lost Bitcoin.

Unspendable Coins

A large number of coins have been identified as unspendable for a variety of reasons. These include coins that have been sent to the wrong or invalid addresses or coins that have been tainted by a hack or fraud. The algorithms used to determine the supply of coins take this into account, though, so we’re expected to have around 2.1 million unspendable coins.

The Halving Event

A halving event in Bitcoin occurs when the creation rate of new coins is cut in half. This event takes place every 4 years, and it greatly affects the number of Bitcoins in circulation. When the halving event occurs, it is expected to cause the price of Bitcoin to rise since the supply is cut in half while the demand remains the same. The next halving event is expected to take place in 2020, which is the 10th anniversary of the Bitcoin network.

Bitcoin Mining and the Difficulty Adjustment

Bitcoin mining involves solving complex equations and verifying transactions to create new coins, while also contributing to network security. The difficulty of the equations is adjusted every 2 weeks to maintain a steady rate of creation. The 21 million supply is expected to be reached by 2140, but mining will continue with transaction fees as the reward.

Bitcoin’s Maximum Supply and the Future of the Currency

By 2140, the maximum supply of Bitcoin will be reached at around 21 million. After that, no more coins will be added to the network. Bitcoin will continue to be used as a store of value, much like gold. However, it is still expected to grow as an everyday currency in the years leading up to 2140.


In conclusion, the total number of bitcoins in circulation is 19.59 million as of 2 January 2024, with a maximum cap of 21 million. The limited supply of bitcoins is a significant factor contributing to their value and attractiveness to investors. Given the increasing demand for cryptocurrencies, the finite supply of bitcoins makes it a potentially profitable investment. Therefore, comprehending the present circulation of bitcoins and their future supply is crucial for anyone seeking to invest in the cryptocurrency market.


Can Bitcoin go to zero?

Bitcoin is a volatile but resilient asset that has gained widespread acceptance in the digital economy. While it can go to zero, its value has survived multiple crashes and fluctuations. Though investing in Bitcoin carries risks, many experts believe it will remain an important part of the digital economy. Do your research and understand the risks before investing in it.

Why are there only 21 million bitcoins?

The limit of 21 million bitcoins in existence is a built-in feature of the Bitcoin protocol to create scarcity and prevent inflation. Supply is controlled by mining, which becomes more difficult as more people mine, keeping the value stable. The finite supply of Bitcoin means it cannot be devalued through inflation like traditional currencies.

What happens if all Bitcoins are mined?

The total number of bitcoins that can be mined is limited to 21 million. All bitcoins are expected to be mined by 2140, after which miners will only receive transaction fees. Existing bitcoins may become more valuable as demand increases. The Bitcoin network will still function and users can transact with each other using existing bitcoins.

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