After the 21 millionth bitcoin or 20,999,999th bitcoin is mined, what will happen to bitcoin mining? - will it just stop, or will we make a further division of the satoshi thanks to Bitcoin's infinite divisibility? Or maybe miners could mine a share of the Bitcoin transaction fee...

Any suggestions/mathematical answers are appreciated.

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    You assume this moment will happen. I'd say economically adjusted cryptocurrencies (if not new and completely different versions of Bitcoin) will spring up, and make the current scheme obsolete long before this moment were to happen. Just sayin'... Commented Nov 6, 2012 at 23:54
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    Technically, I think you are missing a few decimals. There's still many years between 20,999,999 and 20,999,999.99999999 or whatever point the very last satoshi is mined. As far as currency inflation goes though, the block reward stops having an effect long before the 20.9 million range. Commented Nov 7, 2012 at 3:31

5 Answers 5


Assuming Bitcoin is still active at that point in time, mining will continue, because transaction fees will make it worthwhile to do so.

This topic has been discussed heavily in other answers, including:

The last link has suggestions that the fee mechanism of Bitcoin may need changing, though that's yet to be proven whether or not it will be a real problem.

  • I downvoted because market-based transaction fees don't scale. I read that even Gavin has expressed his doubt that they will. Commented Mar 28, 2013 at 1:43
  • @ShelbyMooreIII, you're assuming we try to scale up with the current implementation, which is not a realistic assumption. I'm working on the assumption that the client and/or protocol will adapt as necessary, which is clearly in progress. If the next phase of adaptations don't resolve the issues, then there will be another phase. Commented Mar 28, 2013 at 2:53
  • You are willing to risk giving the monopolists the 51% attack because you assume you can make tx fees scale later? Fishing w/o fuel to return? Very responsible given humanity's future hangs in balance. Readers should click to my activity, read many comments of mine to get some context for this comment. Highly Irregular & I have been trading comments else where today. Soon it will be too late for phases. Bitcon will have enough mcap for the monopolists to take over mining and run with it from there as bastardized vision of what you wanted. You will then cry while mankind is enslaved. Good job! Commented Mar 28, 2013 at 3:35
  • @ShelbyMooreIII, ok, so now you're raising a different concern: that corporations will gain control over the majority of the hashing power. I also have that concern because of the massive hardware requirements a Bitcoin node is likely to require in future, but it needs addressing in a completely separately question that's focused on that problem. Commented Mar 28, 2013 at 4:39
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    Why can't you see the two concerns are mutually dependent, not separable? Without scalable tx fees, you must have monopolization, else you don't scale and crash and burn (at least in terms of the expectations of the investors). The key issue is always profitability which makes the two inseparable. You see what I mean by people can't assimilate facts as well as I can? Commented Mar 28, 2013 at 5:16

Every block has exactly one "coinbase transaction", the one transaction which doesn't have actual inputs, but gets all the fees and mining subsidy.

Every 210000 blocks, this subsidy halves. Right now, each block is allowed (not required!) to bring 50.00000000 BTC into circulation. Very soon, this will become 25.00000000. Four years later, 12.50000000. And this will continue: 6.25, 3.125, 1.5625, and so on. There are only 8 decimals though, and at some point the subsidy will only be 0.00000001. Four years after that, it will effectively become zero. This will not happen this century, though.

This doesn't mean that there won't be any blocks produced anymore. Assuming Bitcoin is still alive, we'll still have blocks being produced every 10 minutes. Miners will just get all their income from fees, without any subsidy.


The short anwser is that miners will rely on transaction fees, to get paid.


Pretty much the same will happen as with a Halving now: The only thing that changes is how many bitcoins may be created with the Coinbase transaction; except this time it drops to Zero instead of halving.

In particular, mining would have to continue in order to validate transactions, although it would then be completely funded by transaction fees. However, that will only be marginally different from the years before the last new coins, as it will will have been only satoshis per block for many years before that.


miners will depend on transaction fees.. a block will continue to be mined every 10 mins.

Though bitcoin will not live till that day. For bitcoin to live till that day, it will have to be worth more than a million dollar each. If it isnt that much worth, it will be expensive to mine

  • Wait, but the increased cost of mining will result in fewer miners, hence lower difficulty and lower hash-rate. Hence it should re-balance, right?
    – jojeck
    Commented Feb 4, 2021 at 15:16

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