A milestone that was expected 13 years ago. The 19 million bitcoins were born. On Friday, April 1st at 5:35 PM, block 730,003 bitcoin number 19,000,000 was mined. An important moment for the world’s first cryptocurrency. There are only 2 million more coins left and the maximum number of bitcoins has been reached.
The 19 millionth bitcoin has been mined by SBI Crypto bitcoin mining aggregator. The reward for finding the correct block was 6.32 bitcoin (block reward). This equates to approximately $293,000. Given the maximum number of bitcoins available – 21 million – bitcoins are scarce. This flow will only decrease over the coming years
Lost over 20% of all bitcoins
According to Chainalysis, a blockchain analytics organization, about one-fifth of bitcoin has been lost in the world. This is partly due to negligence on the part of the buyers themselves. When someone makes a bitcoin transaction, they pay for it through their personal wallet. There is a password on this. To access the wallet, the buyer uses his “private key”.
This is a code with at least 21 numbers and letters. If you don’t store or record them properly, you can whistle their bitcoins. In fact, no bank can take back the token, given the decentralized nature of the blockchain. Research by Chainanalysis shows that 20 percent of all bitcoins are lost because of this.
With the current supply of 19 million, this would equate to 3.8 million bitcoins that will never be traded again. Since the New York Times article is from January 2021, this percentage could have already increased.
The last bitcoin will be mined around 2140
Every 4 years, the reward for Bitcoin mining is halved. At the moment, miners receive 6.25 bitcoins for every block they mine, in 2024 this will actually be 3.125 bitcoins. At the moment, 6.25 bitcoins are added per block, in about 10 minutes.
In the bitcoin algorithm, it is proven that the last bitcoin will be mined around the year 2140. So the current mining of the two million will spread over 118 years. It is traded by people who mine bitcoins, and this is also the only way to make bitcoins.
This reward halves, and this split continues until the last bitcoin. As a result, there will be a situation where miners will have to take 40 years – from 2100 to 2140 – to mine one whole Bitcoin.
The halving happened
The block reward found halves over the years. To be precise, this so-called halving event occurs after every 210,000 block. As a result, miners received a reward of 50 bitcoins in 2009 and that is 6.25 bitcoins today.
The last bitcoin will be mined around the year 2140. So in the next 118 years it will be the turn of the remaining 2 million bitcoins. After that, no more new bitcoins have been created, and we have to deal with the number in circulation. But this does not mean that miners are no longer needed. From this point on, miners can approve bitcoin transactions and receive transaction fees as a reward. As a result, miners remain useful, even though nothing has been mined.
Fortunately, each bitcoin can be divided into 100 million satoshis. Compare it to a pound that can be divided into dimes. In the end, there are 2.1 quadrillion satoshis that can be spent in the world.
Effect on price
Such a milestone of 19 million bitcoins could give a boost, but it wouldn’t be disastrous. In October 2019, during the “18 million milestones”, the price was hardly affected. On a psychological level of 20 million bitcoins, or 21 million in 2140, this may have an even greater impact.
To better understand what this news means, it’s a good idea to put these 19 million in perspective:
Britain’s population is now around 67.22 million. At the moment, every Brit could theoretically own just 0.28 bitcoins. However, this will only decline over the centuries. Due to immigration and old age, Trend Deck estimates that in 2041 there will be around 72 million people living in the UK.
The comparison with millionaires is another interesting angle. It is estimated that there are about 56 million millionaires on this planet. There are now 19 million bitcoins on the planet, so suppose that every millionaire wants to get one bitcoin, it will be impossible.
One-quarter of the global populace is going to be spending at least an hour a day in the metaverse by 2026, according to tech consulting firm Gartner, for shopping, gaming, education and more. But at some point, people are going to have to demonstrate that it’s really them behind the avatar.
That’s just one reason many believe that decentralized identity (DI) is likely to play an increasingly important role in Web3’s evolution. And even if DI has been generally overlooked by mainstream media, recent events suggest that is about to change.
Consider that in July, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) announced a new standard for decentralized identifiers, culminating years of mostly quiet work and deliberations in this area. In August, Gartner proclaimed DI a “must-know” emerging technology, where people can “control their own digital identity by leveraging technologies such as blockchain […] along with digital wallets.” Earlier this year, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin proposed Soulbound Tokens (SBTs), which would include many DI elements in a non-transferable NFT format.
Sometimes called self-sovereign identity (SSI), decentralized identity can play a key role in mitigating fraud, data breaches, social engineering and theft in the expanding metaverse, say technologists, but perhaps more importantly, it may impact broad and diverse sectors of human endeavor, including education, healthcare, law, travel and employment.
“I believe that SSI will be revolutionizing how we perceive identity management in the upcoming years,” Adam Gągol, co-founder of Aleph Zero, tells Magazine, while others suggest it is on course to disrupt traditional identity management.
“I’m not sure I would say ‘disrupt’ as much as ‘catalyze,’” Scott Kominers, an associate professor at Harvard Business School who has written about DI, tells Magazine. “My hope is that decentralized identity solutions will make existing sources of information on individuals’ background, activity history and interests more powerful and useful than before.”
“An NFT of a diploma in your crypto wallet, for instance, would turn into a permanent academic certification,” Kominers and Jad Esber wrote recently in a Future article.
Decentralized identity won’t necessarily exclude a bit of fun along the way, either. “With public histories, it would be possible to prove that you were early to a trend or active in a project before it took off — like, say, being into Taylor Swift before she was popular,” Kominers and Esber noted.
Recent events, like the collapse of the FTX crypto exchange, suggest other possible uses for DI/SSI, which can be applied to organizations as well as people. Fraser Edwards, CEO and co-founder at Cheqd, envisions “audit opinions issued as VCs [verifiable credentials], where the focus is less on sovereignty and identity but more on trusted data and reputation — i.e., ‘Do I operate in good faith?’ Or simply, ‘Am I trustworthy?’” he tells Magazine.
Decentralized identifiers and verifiable credentials
DI has two main components: decentralized identifiers (DIDs), which are like traditional identifiers — a legal name, an email address, a social security number, etc. — with the key difference that DIDs are controlled and sometimes even issued by individuals. An example would be an Ethereum account. You can create as many Ethereum accounts as you like and share them with whomever you like. There is no central repository. They reside on an encrypted decentralized digital ledger — i.e., a blockchain.
The second component is verifiable credentials (VCs). These can be derived from familiar credentials such as diplomas, library cards and passports, but again, they are not held on a centralized repository with a single point of control or failure, but on a blockchain where they can be read by machines. They offer familiar benefits like persistence and accessibility, but also more technical ones like cryptographic verifiability (your identity is more secure because it is encrypted) and resolvability — i.e., it’s possible to discover metadata about a user from that person’s DID.
Kim Hamilton Duffy, director of identity and standards at Centre Consortium, offers this example of how decentralized identifiers and credentials might work in an education and employment context:
A fictional “Sally” earns a master’s degree from the University of Oxford for which she receives a “digital diploma that contains a decentralized identifier she provided. This digital diploma is signed using a decentralized identifier which has been published and verified by the University of Oxford.”
Over time, Sally updates the cryptographic material associated with her DID, adding biometric protections and also a quantum-resistant algorithm. “A decade after graduation, she applies for a job in Japan, for which she provides her digital diploma by uploading it to the prospective employee’s website.” A decentralized identifier authenticates that she is the actual recipient of the degree. Moreover:
“Cryptographic authentication provides a robust verification of her claim, allowing the employer to rely on Sally’s assertion that she earned a master’s degree from the stated university without having to contact the university directly.”
Generally speaking, DI has grown with the expansion of blockchain technology, and almost all DI use cases involve a cryptographically secure blockchain at some point. DI is also developing along with zero knowledge technologies that, for example, “enable individuals to prove they own or have done something without revealing what that thing is.” A person applying for a mortgage, for example, would be able to prove that their income falls within a certain approved band without revealing to the bank their actual salary.
An important milestone?
The DI movement has arguably been flying under the radar, but the recent agreement on DI standards makes for faster progress. “The announcement of DID Core as a W3C recommendation is a very important milestone, something that many DI and SSI projects have been waiting for,” Markus Sabadello, CEO at Danube Tech, tells Magazine. It’s a signal to the whole ecosystem that the technology is ready, “not just for experimentation and proofs of concept but for serious solutions to real-life projects.”
“The W3C DID standard’s importance is on par with phone numbers or email address standards’ vitality,” Rouven Heck, decentralized identity lead at ConsenSys Mesh and executive director at the Decentralized Identity Foundation, tells Magazine. “A high level of interoperability becomes possible once every provider uses the same specification.”
Today, Big Tech players like Microsoft are conducting pilots, and even some governments, including the United States, Canada the European Union, Germany and Finland, have been looking at DI “as a tool to improve state-backed identity solutions,” notes Heck.
Still, the movement is arguably waiting for its first big use case. Pilots are happening at the fringes and are often modest in scope.
Germany, for instance, recently launched a private/public DI pilot for the travel and hospitality sector. Data from government ID cards and employee certificates were extracted and merged to create a single verifiable credential so that when a company employee checked into one of the 120 German hotels participating in the project, the front desk operator learned immediately from a swipe of the QR code on the guest’s mobile device that “this is really a traveler from that corporation and is allowed to use whatever services we have in in the contract,” reports Florian Daniel, chief information officer of Deutsche Hospitality, who added that the trial will soon be expanded beyond Germany’s borders.
It may seem surprising that pilots like these are happening in areas like travel rather than in healthcare or education or other places where the need for DI/SSI solutions seems more urgent. But cases like the travel example “are more straightforward to pilot, as less sensitive data is involved,” Heck tells Magazine.
Distributed identity’s impact in healthcare
Healthcare is one sector where DI could really change things. It sometimes defies common sense that a person’s health records are stored for years within a single hospital. At a minimum, decentralized identifiers would make it easier for individuals to change health service providers and platforms, but challenges remain.
“For clinicians, DIDs are much more of a sure thing because they enable better reputation registries and reduce the dependence on hospitals and other institutions as keepers of a clinician’s reputation,” Adrian Gropper, a medical doctor and chief technology officer of Patient Privacy Rights — a national organization representing 10.3 million patients — tells Magazine.
How close is DI to mainstream adoption in the healthcare sector? “It will take many years,” says Gropper, explaining:
“The single biggest obstacle is that clinicians have allowed hospitals to control their access to patient records, and hospitals have little incentive to break their control… and risk disintermediation from the clinician-patient relationship.”
DI solutions may be closer to fruition in areas like retail business. The convenience store sector has developed a DI solution called TruAge that’s aimed at curtailing underage purchases of products like alcohol and also restricting the amount of certain other products that can be purchased, Peter Steele, vice president of research at The Pinnacle Corporation, tells Magazine.
The system allows consumers to carry digital proof of their age on their mobile phones, “which can be scanned at a POS [point of sale] to approve age-restricted purchases,” says Steele, adding:
“It might be possible for an ‘adult’ to purchase a large number of vape products and then give them to kids. But with TruAge, they will be restricted from purchasing a large quantity — and that restriction is across all stores, not just one type of store, or a single store.”
TruAge is now being implemented by POS suppliers, adds Steele, but “it will take a few years before it becomes ubiquitous.”
Government’s role in decentralized identity
Many governments are also following DI progress. State agencies are likely to remain the primary issuers of many identifiers like driver’s licenses, birth certificates and social security numbers, even though DIDs and related technologies will eventually give governments less control over them, says Sabadello.
“I think it will take a few more years, but there are already several governments investing into DID technology,” he says. “The EU Commission has been promoting the EBSI/ESSIF infrastructure — which is based on DIDs — as a key building block of a European digital identity framework.”
The U.S. government is also looking into DI solutions. As reported, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security contracted with Danube Tech several years back to develop blockchain security solutions for digital documents like passports and green cards. Eventually, military commanders could send orders to troops in the field across decentralized digital networks, Sabadello tells Cointelegraph, and the soldiers could verify the order using DI solutions.
“In many EU countries, we already see the exploding popularity of gov-tech solutions allowing users to identify themselves using a smartphone app,” says Gągol. One-time Know Your Customer protocols replacing repeated uploads of passports, drivers licenses, health certificates, etc. should prove popular, though this will require “much more privacy-aware solutions, as typically a lot of sensitive data is passed around in the KYC process,” Gągol adds.
Questions about SBTs
Buterin created something of a stir in SSI quarters with his May paper on non-transferable “soulbound” tokens. Does the future belong to privately controlled digital wallets that contain one’s education and employment credentials, but also some social identifiers like “fanships” and recent travel destinations?
After the World Gold Council (WGC) third quarter report showing central banks buying a record amount of gold, data released by the World Gold Council shows central banks buying more gold during the fourth quarter of 2022. Statistics show that the gold they hold The world’s central banks are at the highest level since 1974.
Central banks continue to acquire gold in the fourth quarter, and the United Arab Emirates buys the largest amount of gold bars in October
Central banks around the world buy massive amounts of gold and during the first week of November, the World Gold Council (WGC) Report It showed that central banks bought a record amount of bullion. WGC data for the third quarter of 2022 indicated that central banks accumulated nearly 400 tons in the third quarter, the highest quarter ever in terms of gold purchases.
WGC also noticed a mysterious gold buyer during the third quarter and China as well Suspect To be the secret buyer of gold. New stats From the WGC, published after the Q3 2022 report, it shows that during the month of October, central banks around the world acquired 31 tons of gold. The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) bought most of the gold in October, adding another 9 tons of gold to the country’s stockpile.
Data from the World Gold Council indicates that the UAE obtained 18 tons of gold during 2022. At present, the total amount of gold obtained by central banks around the world is at its highest level in 47 years, or since 1974. Measures show that Uzbekistan has accumulated another 9 tons of gold to its reserves after buying the precious metal for seven consecutive months. Uzbekistan bought 37 tons of gold this year and gold represents 60% of the country’s total reserves.
The data also shows that the National Bank of Cambodia managed to buy two tons of gold in September, and Kazakhstan acquired three tons of the precious yellow metal in October. Central banks obtain the precious metal gold to diversify their foreign reserves. Basically, it is believed that the precious metal can reduce the overall risk of its reserves because gold has been considered a safe-haven asset for thousands of years.
The central banks of the world traditionally obtain gold from large commercial banks or directly from gold mining companies. Gold has performed well over the past two weeks, and as of Wednesday, an ounce is currently trading for $1,778 per unit. Since November 3, 2022, gold has increased by 9.15% against the US dollar, from $1,629 an ounce to the current value of $1,778 an ounce on Wednesday, December 7, 2022.
What do you think about central banks buying record amounts of gold in 2022? What do you think of the recent central bank purchases of gold in October? Tell us what you think about it in the comments section below.
Jamie Redman is the Chief News Officer at Bitcoin.com News and a financial and technology journalist based in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 6,000 articles for Bitcoin.com News about disruptive protocols emerging today.
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Bitcoin remains stuck in a narrow range as the market sentiment drops from optimistic to bearish and market participants prepare for a potential impact. Cryptocurrency has been booming due to the possibility of a positive change in the macroeconomic landscape. Did the bulls rush into the trap?
As of this writing, Bitcoin (BTC) is trading at $16,800 with sideways movement in the last 24 hours. In the past week, the cryptocurrency has held some gains, but there is a possibility that the upward trajectory will retrace to yearly lows.
Bitcoin miners will contribute to negative price action?
On the macro scene, the Federal Reserve (Fed) is the biggest hurdle for Bitcoin’s future earnings. The financial institution tries to reduce inflation by raising interest rates. This monetary policy hurt risky assets.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has hinted at a monetary policy adjustment, but that possibility could become less likely. Recent strong US economic data may provide support for further interest rate hikes.
The market is pricing in another 75 basis points to raise for the month of December. In addition to the Fed’s tightening, the war between Russia and Ukraine is adding to the uncertainty in the market. The conflict recedes back into the mainstream media headlines, but hostilities escalate.
#RussiaPutin says the threat of nuclear war is on the rise. Putin says Russia views nuclear weapons as a response to an attack. He says Russian nuclear weapons are a deterrent factor in conflicts. pic.twitter.com/5RMIc7UK6A
On the local scene, data from CryptoQuant was shared with NewsBTC from the latest Bitfinex report It indicates that BTC miners are “moving large amounts of Bitcoin out of their wallets.” These transactions are often bearish indicators for the cryptocurrency.
Miners take BTC to sell in the market and cover the costs of their operations. This selling is contributing to the bearish pressure on Bitcoin. Bitfinex noted the following while sharing the chart below:
On the other hand, when the value of the index decreases, this indicates that miners are withdrawing coins from their wallets. This trend could be bearish for Bitcoin since miners can move their coins out of their wallets in order to sell them on exchanges. Bitcoin exchange flows also increased slightly over the past week after declining significantly over the previous few weeks.
Other factors to consider
In addition to distressed miners, the market sees bitcoin holders selling their coins at a loss. The SOPR indicator stands above one, which means that investors are giving up and cashing out due to the current macro conditions.
Bitfinex highlighted the increase in retail investors holding bitcoin as a positive step from this data. These investors add to their equity while price trends are down. The report claims that these classes of investors are “resilient in the face of price declines” and could finally put a floor in the Bitcoin price.