Block after block, Bitcoin highlights the power of programmable monetary policy even as calls for its death grow louder.
Bitcoin (BTC) miners officially produced their 700,000th block on Sept. 11, marking a major milestone for a network whose detractors claim it has died 428 times since 2009.
It took Bitcoin less than two years to produce 100,000 more blocks after reaching the 600,000 milestone on Oct. 18, 2019. At the time of the last 100,000-block milestone, the BTC price was worth less than $8,000. Today, one Bitcoin is worth over $45,500.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin’s total supply was 18,812,806, or 89.5% of all the coins that will ever be produced. On average, new blocks are generated every ten minutes, though production time is impacted by mining difficulty. Bitcoin’s mining difficulty is adjusted roughly every two weeks, a process that resets how hard it is for miners to mine the digital asset. At the current pace of block production, the final Bitcoin will be mined around the year 2140.
Bitcoin was programmed to be a self-regulating market with hard coded monetary policy that does not depend on any outside parties. Unlike the United States Federal Reserve, for example, which can affect the size and growth rate of the money supply at will, Bitcoin maintains a hard cap on supply and cannot be created without the massive energy input of miners.
Thanks to Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies have grown to become a more than $2 trillion asset class. Bitcoin’s share of the overall market is 41%, or $857 billion, at the time of writing.