In April 2018, the 17-millionth Bitcoin was mined. The milestone was significant because the cryptocurrency was only created in 2009, when its mysterious creator, known only by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, published the white paper establishing it. The total supply of Bitcoins is capped at 21 million, which means that it has taken less than 10 years to mine 80 per cent of all the Bitcoins that will ever exist. At the time of writing, roughly 50,000 new Bitcoins are being mined every month. To the miners, the spoils However, Satoshi designed the system so that it would get harder to mine Bitcoins as the number in circulation increased. New Bitcoins are created by ‘mining’ – the process by which transactions on the network are also verified. Since cryptocurrencies are decentralised, there is no central bank or other third party to verify that a transaction is legitimate. Instead, this process has
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