Jan. 13 marked an important milestone for Bitcoin when 16.8 million bitcoins (BTC), or 80 percent of the entire Bitcoin supply, were mined. This means only 4.2 million bitcoins, or 20 percent, are left to mine until Bitcoin’s 21 million supply cap is reached.
BTC contains the 21 mln cap built into its protocol by Satoshi Nakamoto, first mentioned in their 2008 White Paper, as a way to introduce digital scarcity to cryptocurrency. With such a cap in place, the more bitcoins are mined, the more scarcity is produced on the market.
Scarcity arguably creates demand, which in turns makes the coins more valuable. Once 21 million bitcoins have been mined, it will become even harder to obtain them, also potentially making each coin more valuable.