The supply of Bitcoin is fixed at 21 million BTC, and as a hard coded monetary policy of the protocol, the fixed supply of the dominant cryptocurrency cannot be altered.
Former Google Product Director Steve Lee stated that only 1 percent of the world’s population can own more than 0.28 BTC, due to the fixed supply of Bitcoin.
In late 2017, Chainalysis, a blockchain forensics company that monitors and investigates cryptocurrency transactions, revealed in a research paper that up to four million BTC are permanently lost on the blockchain as a result of theft, loss of wallets and private keys, and the dormant wallet of Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, which experts have said is no longer accessible.
Kim Grauer, Senior Economist at Chainalysis, said at the time, that the lost supply of BTC is not taken into consideration by the market cap.That means, the real price of BTC could be substantially higher, as 4 to 6 million BTC are estimated to be lost.
Based on the estimate that the supply of Bitcoin is around 17 million, only 0.8 percent of the world population can own more than 0.28 BTC and less than 0.2 of the world population can own more than 1 BTC.
The 0.28 BTC figure introduced by Lee assumes the supply of Bitcoin to be 21 million, as it divides 21 million by 0.28 and divides the outcome of that by the world population that is 7.442 billion. If the research of Chainalysis is accurate and that 4 to 6 million BTC are lost on the blockchain, the supply of Bitcoin should be closer to around 16 to 17 million
The fact that any investor in the global market can be within the 1 percent of the world population with a $1,830 investment demonstrates that the cryptocurrency market is still at its early phase, and in terms of adoption, market development, infrastructure, and regulation, the sector can still grow significantly in the mid to long-term.
- Bitcoin WhitePaper Daybitcoin, white paper
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