Bitcoin is a very scarce asset, due to its maximum supply being capped at 21 million BTC. Following the recent market momentum, concerns over a potential shortage of BTC have arisen. Demand for the world’s leading cryptocurrency already outweighs production, a trend likely to continue for some time to come.
Scarcity is a Complex Aspect
At the core level, Bitcoin is a lot more scarce than people give it credit for. More specifically, there will only be 21 million BTC in total at its peak. That doesn’t mean there are 21 million Bitcoin in circulation today, as the way this supply is created works very differently.. At the time of writing, there are 18,552,043 BTC in circulation, with 6.25 BTC being added every 10 minutes.
With this figure in mind, one would be inclined to think obtaining Bitcoin is easy. Again, that is not necessarily the case. Of the 18.5+ million BTC in circulation, a lot of them are not even available for purchase. Several wallets on the network hold vast amounts of Bitcoin that have never moved or been put up for sale. Additionally, there are thousands, if not tens of thousands of BTC that are simply “lost forever”, effectively reducing the supply even further.
Furthermore, one has to keep in mind there is a genuine institutional interest in BTC lately. Companies such as Grayscale are buying more Bitcoin per day than miners can produce. Furthermore, companies such as Square, Robinhood, and PayPal now allow users to buy Bitcoin. That supply has to come from somewhere, and market availability is already decreasing.
Making things even more interesting is the recent popularity surge of Wrapped Bitcoin and other tokezied versions of BTC on the Ethereum blockchain. This further reduces the supply of Bitcoin to be bought on exchanges, brokers, and OTC markets. combined with the current liquidity provided as part of the Lightning Network, buying one full Bitcoin will only become more difficult over time.
Only the Beginning of What is to Come?
As more Bitcoin is being snatched up from the market compared to the daily production, things are bound to head in an interesting direction. A continuation of the current BTC price spike is certainly possible, albeit cryptocurrencies are always volatile first and foremost. This market can easily head south for no apparent reason just as quickly.
For investors, this creates some interesting options. Some may argue buying at the current prices is suicide, even though there is no reason not to expect even higher values in the future. At the same time, the current price may not allow for everyone to obtain some Bitcoin either.
To counter that aspect, there are other ways to obtain BTC. Doing online tasks, or earning a cashback in BTC when buying items online, can prove to be worthwhile. Several such services exist today, but availability may differ from region to region. Exploring all the options on the table is crucial, as investing is not the only way to get involved with Bitcoin.