Bitcoin enthusiasts are busy celebrating a new milestone that has been achieved recently by the world’s most valuable crypto network. Even though many critics and experts have cited environmental concerns regarding the pioneer cryptocurrency and have gone as far as predicting its ‘death’, it appears that the token continues to have a strong demand. On September 11th, the largest crypto network in the world produced its 700,000th block, amid increasing predictions that the cryptocurrency will eventually die out because of environmental concerns and the introduction of newer and more environmentally sound alternatives. The time taken for creating blocks of Bitcoin could be an indicator of demand.
On October 18th, 2019, the network had reached 600,000 and this was just 2 years after it had reached 500,000 in 2017. This indicates that the demand for Bitcoin has remained quite consistent in the past few years. A bitcoin block is similar to a page on the ledger of transactions that occur on a network. Blocks are validated by bitcoin miners when they are able to solve complex mathematical problems. Every time a miner completes a block, the transactions are added to it. These blocks are essentially immutable and if the overall transactions taking place on the network are on the high side, they are created faster.
But, if miners are unable to create blocks quickly, it would mean that a greater number of bitcoin transactions would end up in a queue and this will take them longer to complete. New bitcoins are awarded to the miners when they complete a block, which then becomes part of the current circulation. After the 700,000th block was created, it means that 18,812,806 bitcoins, which is about 89.5% of the total that will ever be produced, are now in circulation. Every four years, the rewards given to the miners for mining the crypto are halved and there will never be more than 21 million Bitcoins.
Every two weeks, there is an increase in the difficulty of the mathematical problem that has to be solved for creating a block. According to current estimates, all 21 million bitcoins will be in circulation till the year 2140. All of this data cannot be altered by anyone because it is hard-coded into the Bitcoin network. In 2019, the price of Bitcoin was around $8,000 when the 600,000th block had been mined. Upon the 700,000th block’s mining, the price of the cryptocurrency has reached $45,000.
Documenting Bitcoin, a popular Twitter account that posts important events pertaining to the network, posted a quote from an early Bitcoin collaborator named Hal Finney. Many had speculated that he was Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious founder of the first cryptocurrency. Finney had said that each day that bitcoin survives and doesn’t collapse increases the chances of its success and brings new information to the market. It also justifies a higher price for cryptocurrency. Of course, this price tag of $45,000 is lesser than the highest peak of the cryptocurrency, as it had managed to go past the $60,000 mark in April.