Let's delve into the Bitcoin hard cap and explore whether there will be more than 21 million coins in circulation

The 21 Million Bitcoin Myth: Understanding the Code Behind It

Team Bitwage
Team Bitwage

Table of Contents

Bitcoin's supply limit is a hot topic among Bitcoin enthusiasts. Many believe that there is a hard cap of 21 million Bitcoins, but the truth is a bit more complex than that. Let's break it down in simple terms.

The Bitcoin Code

The code that controls Bitcoin's supply is a set of rules that determine how many new Bitcoins are created with each new block. That's it. That is the hard cap.
This code includes a function called "GetBlockSubsidy," which calculates the maximum subsidy a miner can claim at a given block height, as a reward for their work. This exact function controls Bitcoin's inflation schedule and how many new Bitcoins are created.

The 21 Million Approximation

While you often hear the "21 million" limit, it's more of an approximation. The code doesn't explicitly set a cap at 21 million. Instead, it defines how many new Bitcoins are created every 210,000 blocks (about every four years).

Here's how it works:

  • The first 210,000 blocks when Bitcoin started allowed miners to claim up to 50 Bitcoins in subsidies for each new block.
  • The next 210,000 blocks allow 25 Bitcoins per block.
  • This pattern continues, with the subsidy halving approximately every four years.
  • After 33 halvings, the subsidy for miners becomes 0

The Real Limit

When you add up all these subsidies over time, the result is approximately 20,999,999.9769 Bitcoins, not exactly 21 million.
This represents the theoretical upper limit, assuming flawless operations where miners collect all rewards without errors or anything else. The actual figure is lower, but delving into those details warrants its own dedicated blog post. If you're feeling extra curious or a bit skeptical, it might be time to don your metaphorical tin foil hat and explore the intricacies here.
The Bitcoin code contains a constant called "MAX_MONEY," which is set at 21 million Bitcoins. But this is more of a safety check than a strict limit.

Bitwage was founded in 2014, when the miner subsidy was 25 Bitcoins, after the first halving that slashed the reward from the initial 50, down to 25. Current mienr reward is 6.25 and we are expecting a next halving in April 2024.

In Simple Terms

In simple terms, Bitcoin's code controls how many new Bitcoins are created, and it's designed to slow down the rate of creation over time. This is why it's often said that there will only be 21 million Bitcoins. However, due to the way the code works, the actual number is slightly less than 21 million, after you add up all the rewards from the start to the final 33rd halving.

So, while the 21 million figure is a good approximation, it's essential to understand that Bitcoin's supply isn't fixed at that number in the code itself.

Remember, Bitcoin's code is open for everyone to see and verify, which is one of the things that makes it so trustworthy. It's all about transparency and decentralization.

If you want to read the original post, that was the inspiration for this blog article, written by none other than Bitcoin core developer Pieter Wuille, please click here.

Experience Bitwage Today - Get paid in Bitcoin today

At Bitwage, we offer innovative solutions, global reach, unparalleled customer support, diverse input and output options, non-custodial security, and an unwavering commitment to privacy. Whether you're an individual or a company, Bitwage empowers you with the tools for efficient, hassle-free payments.
It's time to experience Bitwage for yourself – visit our homepage, sign up for our service, and put it to the test with your very next payroll.
You can get paid in Bitcoin, regardless of who you work for. Companies? Yes, we can make your International payroll easy and seamless with a click of a button.

Your very next salary/wage could be in Bitcoin, with the rest sent to your bank account. NO, you do NOT need an employer to be onboarded.

Embrace the future of payments with Bitwage now that you know you can get a percentage of your paycheck in the hardest money ever created, with the rest sent to your local bank account.

Get Paid By Using Bitwage Today: Sign for free right now!

Contact us or come and say Hi here:‌‌
‌‌Twitter - Twitter Latam - IG - Email - Slack - LinkedIn - Web - Latam web

Team Bitwage Twitter

Get paid in #Bitcoin and #stablecoins, regardless of your employer. No permissions needed. Our payroll, invoicing, and benefits solutions are tailored for the decentralized age, making payroll simple.