Bitcoin Q&A: The 21 Million Supply Cap

What determines the supply of bitcoin? A probabilistic, geometrically declining supply function meant to simulate the issuance of precious metals. Every ten minutes, new bitcoin are created. Every four years, the block reward cuts in half in what is known as “the Halvening.”

0:00 Where does supply of bitcoin come from?
0:57 Less and less is issued overtime
1:46 21 million bitcoins
2:30 If there’s going to be a widespread adoption, do you think the supply of bitcoin is going to be sufficient?
3:24 The new Bitcoin 1%

Will the supply cap at 21 million bitcoins cause problems for adoption? If there is demand, the bitcoin already issued will circulate in the market and create velocity in the economy. We will see different monetary policies for other cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin is unequally distributed and it may make a new 1%, but it may also make you part of the new 0%. The fundamental difference is that the new Bitcoin 1% got there through being rewarded for taking risks on a new and relatively untested currency, whereas the traditional 1% got there because their grandfather killed more people than my grandfather.

Watch the rest of the presentation:

The first question is part of a talk which took place at the Singularity University’s Innovation Partnership Program (IPP):

The second question is part (Q&A-3) of a keynote talk which took place on October 19th 2016 during the Bitcoin Wednesday Meetup at the Eye Film Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands:

Event Info:

Presentation Info:

Watch the full talk here:

Divisibility and deflationary monetary policy –
The rules of Bitcoin (part 1) –
The rules of Bitcoin (part 2) –
Global financial crisis (GFC) –
The revolution in trust –
Who determines the value of bitcoins? –
The end of vampire-squid financing –
The Stories We Tell About Money –
Fake News, Fake Money –
Is Bitcoin a democracy? –

Andreas M. Antonopoulos is a technologist and serial entrepreneur who has become one of the most well-known and well-respected figures in bitcoin.

Follow on Twitter: @aantonop

He is the author of two books: “Mastering Bitcoin,” published by O’Reilly Media and considered the best technical guide to bitcoin; “The Internet of Money,” a book about why bitcoin matters.




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Music: “Unbounded” by Orfan (
Outro Graphics: Phneep (
Outro Art: Rock Barcellos (
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