The group of Bitcoin users that could be most worried about mining the last cryptocurrency are the miners themselves. Mining is a sector that seems to take all the responsibility for the success of Bitcoin, because the stability of the network depends on this activity.
Sometimes, it seems to envision a relationship of love and hate between the users and developers and the miners, because the former trust in the latter the integrity of the protocol.
When the last Bitcoin is mined, the miners will only charge commissions. Currently, the miners not only charge the commission for the transaction paid by the users, but at the time of creating a block, new Bitcoins are generated and distributed among them.
The most widespread argument about the concerns of the miners is that they will no longer get rewards for mine blocks when the 21 million BTCs are issued, since they could no longer be created, but will only receive commissions from the transactions.
This problem, a “leak of miners” at the end of the rewards per block, was foreseen in the same design of the network: although it is possible that this causes that the high difficulty destined to that large number of miners hinders in a certain way the activities of those who stay and, therefore, the lethargy of the network; this would only last during 2016 blocks, when the difficulty would be adjusted to allow transactions to be processed with fewer miners.
To avoid this, the price of Bitcoin would have to be balanced with the volume of transactions, something difficult to imagine with the inflationary process for which Bitcoin is at the moment, in which it is just beginning to grow and establish itself as the reference currency world. But, in theory, after the price of Bitcoin stabilizes, its adoption becomes massive and the protocol evolves, the commissions should be enough to maintain the profitability of mining. At least that should be noted, although it is extremely difficult to predict how Bitcoin will be from here to a period of 6 months, much more in approximately 120 years, in the year 2140.
It is in that year when in theory the last Bitcoin would be mined, if one takes into account that approximately every 4 years halving occurs, the event that reduces the reward of the miners by half. Initially, 50 BTCs were obtained for each block. Then, it fell to 25 BTC and currently that figure is at 12.5 BTC. By 2020, this sum will be reduced to 6.25 BTC.
It is important to take into account that if at this moment the race for the development of specialized ASIC equipment and other GPU implementations is in full acceleration with the creation of sophisticated devices, during the year 2140 its power would surpass our imagination. If it is already estimated that within 10 years quantum computing will begin to form part of the blockchain ecosystem, by 2140 the potential of technology will be for us today invaluable. Even utopian.
The deflationary economy of Bitcoin
The fact that there are fewer and fewer Bitcoins available is used as a pressure factor for their price to increase, due to the basic economic law of supply and demand: the greater the supply of an asset or product, the lower the its value; the smaller the supply, the greater the demand and, therefore, its value and price.
In a monetary aspect, that the Bitcoin unit has a high value will lead its users to carry out transactions with increasingly smaller amounts of satoshis, being a crypto-monetary instrument divisible up to 8 decimal digits.
However, here lies another of the disruptive aspects of technology in terms of finance, since it is the first time that a monetary system is designed from its technological protocol to reach a price cap and stabilize or tend to the downside later. Despite this configuration, the volume of transactions should be high enough to maintain a certain equilibrium, not without this meaning that Bitcoin will comply with its cycles of price variation in short periods of organic inflation, not induced by arbitrary economic measures, and therefore, it should be maintained with a dynamic that protects it from collapse or from remaining statically unstable or fictitious in terms of its price and use.
Perhaps there is a paradigm shift for its users, in which Bitcoin is able to reach an economy and monetary dynamics in constant reciprocity and movement, instead of pursuing the ideal of forced and permanent stability.