Every ten minutes Bitcoin adds a new block to its blockchain. Every new block is approximately 1MB in size (meaning every ten minutes the entire blockchain grows by approximately 1MB in overall size1). Each of these blocks contains on average roughly 2,000 bitcoin transaction, and every new block that is mined carries a reward of 6.25 new bitcoin2 (which are awarded to the miners as an incentive for them to continue adding blocks to the blockchain — thereby securing the network).
Meaning approximately every ten minutes 6.25 brand new bitcoin come into existence (i.e. are created/minted/mined).
Doing the math then, to get to the number of new bitcoins mined per hour and then new bitcoins mined per day, gives us:
6.25 × 6 (six sets of ten minutes in a hour) = 37.5 new bitcoin per hour
6.25 × 6 × 24 (hours in a day) = 900 bitcoin per day
Meaning every day 900 new bitcoins are minted/created.
Note: The above numbers are given as ‘approximations’ because the block time isn’t precisely ten minutes (in reality it slightly varies).
Important note: each Bitcoin transaction (of which there are about 2,000 per block) also carries its own (usually relatively small) transaction fee, however these fees (paid by each person/entity doing a transaction) are not newly created bitcoin. The bitcoin used to pay the transaction fees are already in existence: they are in addition to the 6.25 newly created bitcoin per block.
So 900 new bitcoins per day?! That sounds like A LOT!
Now, given that the current value of a single bitcoin is approximately $30,000, this means that approximately 27 million dollars worth of new bitcoin are mined per day!
Keep in mind however that at today’s prices Bitcoin has a total market capitalization of well over 500 billion (with a ‘b’) dollars AND that the maximum number of bitcoins there will ever be is only 21,000,000 (over 19,000,000 of which have already been created3).
- the entire Bitcoin blockchain/ledger is currently about 500GB in size. ↩︎
- the number of bitcoin per new block mined isn’t fixed: it halves every four years. When Bitcoin was created (back in 2009) the block reward was 50 bitcoin per block, four years later it changed to 25, then after another four years to 12.5, then 6.25 (currently). The next ‘halving’ (as this process is called) is expected in late April/early May 2024. ↩︎
- it’s estimated that the last bitcoins will be mined by the year 2140, at which point miners will be rewarded by transaction fees alone. ↩︎