The Bitcoin network has recently crossed over the 18.5 million mark, as far as the number of bitcoins currently minted into circulation. However, even though over 18 million coins have been minted to-date there’s a number of different elements that affect the distribution of all the coins in existence. Elements that affect bitcoin distribution include large holders, lost coins, so-called sleeping coins, and coins held in custody for various solutions.
As of today, the outstanding circulating BTC supply is around 18,508,600 BTC, but during the last 12 months, many people have been discussing the actual distribution of the circulating supply. For example, in mid-September news.Bitcoin.com reported on an analyst who said only 14 million out of the 21 million supply cap will ever circulate.
Last year, Coin Metrics also published an analysis, which discussed a variety of methods to assess Bitcoin’s true supply. At that time, as of block height 600,000, Coin Metric’s assessment of BTC’s “liquid” supply was around 16.3 million.
Just recently, the web portal Blockchaincenter.net published a massive visualization of Bitcoin’s circulating supply and distribution. The visual is quite large, but it shows how the existing supply of BTC is distributed among various entities and individuals. For instance, the graphic shows there’s 2.6 million BTC on exchanges, which accounts for 12% of the 21 million supply cap.
The visualization also estimates there are 1.5 million zombie coins or so-called sleeping bitcoins. Blockchaincenter’s graph shows over 328,000 coins are mined every year until the next halving as well.