Milestones, Criticisms and Future Prospects
The Bitcoin Blockchain has produced its 700,000th block, after more than 12 years in existence.
Happy 700000th block, #bitcoin! https://t.co/24mpVKXK8e
— Pieter Wuille (@pwuille) September 11, 2021
According to data from Blockchain.com, the historic block height was recorded by an unknown miner, atop about 1,276 transactions within the block. The milestone is a function of the growing adoption of the digital currency which has pushed it to dominate the ecosystem it pioneers.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin has a total circulating supply of 18,812,950 BTC, a figure that is about 89% of the max supply of 21 million. The very last of the remaining coins are not expected to be mined until the year 2140, a pace that is being defined by the halving process integrated into the coin’s protocol.
Bitcoin’s Top Milestones to Date
Bitcoin has passed through many turmoils in the past decade as many world governments have attempted to raise standards in the form of regulations against digital assets. Amidst all these, Bitcoin has charted a remarkable price growth trend, topping $64,000 back in May this year. The current price valuation of Bitcoin at $45,447.84 has positioned it as the 9th most valuable asset in the world when compared with the world’s largest firms.
The ranking of Bitcoin attained through its market cap of $857.1 billion was fueled by the embrace of the digital asset by a number of top Wall Street firms including electric automaker, Tesla Inc, MicroStrategy Incorporated, and Square Inc amongst others. The milestones inked by Bitcoin in its years of existence were capped by the adoption of the cryptocurrency as a legal tender in El Salvador, a country in Central America.
In the early days, the major criticisms recorded by the Bitcoin community was that it was used in criminal activities due to its pseudo-anonymous transactions. However, the emergence of security intelligence firms like CipherTrace is beginning to restore confidence amongst regulators in their ability to monitor transactions.
Today, the major criticism being faced by the digital currency, including its energy requirement as a Proof-of-Work protocol is being propagated by Tesla CEO, Elon Musk.
Energy usage trend over past few months is insane https://t.co/E6o9s87trw pic.twitter.com/bmv9wotwKe
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2021
The environmental impacts from Bitcoin mining account for why the World Bank refused to help El Salvador in the implementation of its Bitcoin law.
Many people have also highlighted the closed nature of the Bitcoin protocol when compared to the open-source model of Ethereum, and other networks that support the growth of smart contracts. This criticism has been cited as a yardstick for Bitcoin to lose its relevance in the long term.
As of today, Bitcoin is the most valuable digital asset and it accounts for about 41% of the global crypto market cap. Having attained an ATH of $64,000, many analysts are projecting that the asset will top the $100,000 price target by the end of this year. Attainment of this milestone will grant an impetus to pursue its longer-term prospect-surpassing the market capitalization of Gold, which is currently worth about $11.4 billion.