Bitcoin, the world’s largest and most famous cryptocurrency, has a limited supply of 21 million coins, with almost 90 percent of them already mined.
Analysts are already considering what fate will befall the crypto-economy once new coins are not issued.
Unlike other forms of money, including decree money, which can be printed at the will of central banks, Bitcoin has a limited supply of 21 million coins.
This means that there is or will be a total of only 21 million Bitcoins.
By August 2021, approximately 18.7 million Bitcoins were available, and only 2.3 million remained for mining, according to Investopedia data.
Supply restraint makes the world’s oldest cryptocurrency a restricted commodity and controls inflation that could otherwise result from an unlimited supply of coins.
Also, such a situation leads to an estimate that the year 2,140 will be the time when the last Bitcoin will be mined.
If this is taken into account, the question arises whether the Bitcoin network will remain functional even after that time.
Analysts say that the economy of Bitcoin must change in order for the network to remain operational.
Many predict that the cryptocurrency ecosystem could go through a process of transformation, just like its identity.
It was originally introduced as a medium of exchange for daily transactions but later found greater popularity as a means of investment.
Analysts also say that those who mine Bitcoins could join cartels, similar to those that control other commodities, such as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which controls the oil market.
Another possibility presented by analysts is that Bitcoin could become a reserve asset, which would reduce the number of transactions on the crypto network because retailers and small trading companies would be replaced by large institutional and trading players.
They would run a smaller number of larger transactions, which would extend the time to find the last Bitcoin.
Finally, the protocol that applies to cryptocurrency can be changed to extend production once it reaches the 21 million mark.
However, that would reduce the value of already found Bitcoins, which coin owners will probably not accept.
Currently, however, Bitcoin scarcity and rising prices are attracting speculative investors, whose actions have led to value changes that discourage serious investors from cryptocurrency.
The price of Bitcoin this year plummeted from its highest value of $60,000 in February to half that amount over the summer to rebound to $55,000 per coin this week.
Still, some countries like El Salvador and Cuba see potential in the currency and are taking steps to make it a legal tender.