Blockchain 101: Episode 11 – Why haven’t we finished mining Bitcoins

For sustainability, the Bitcoin network adjusts its mining difficulty. Every 10 minutes, miners compete to solve a complex math problem to create the next block for Bitcoin rewards.

If the processing power of the Bitcoin network keeps increasing, we will finish mining all Bitcoins in no time. To maintain the rate of new block generation at once every 10 minutes, Satoshi Nakamoto has designed the system to adjust the mining difficulty every two weeks, every 2016 blocks.

As such, the adjusted difficulty will keep the new block generation rate at the expected time frame of 10 minutes. Currently, the difficulty is set at 480PH/s, about 68 billion times harder than mining the genesis block. That means, based on the current computing power, all miners need to perform 300 sextillion(3*10^23)hashes to find the right answer to mine the new block.