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Bare with me for a moment during this thought experiment. Currently, there is about $1.18 trillion US dollars in circulation at the moment. With that said, my one dollar bill currently represents about 1.18 trillionth of the US economy.

It is estimated that the last block to generate coins will be generated in the year 2140. At that time, there will be about 21 million bitcoins in circulation. And thereby, my one bitcoin would represent about one 21-millionth of the bitcoin economy.

Now let's say the following were true today:

  • Bitcoins have been completely generated
  • There is about 21 million bitcoins in circulation
  • There is about $1.18 trillion US dollars in circulation
  • Bitcoin is as widely accepted as a form of currency as the US dollar
  • The strength of the US dollar is on par with Bitcoin

Due to the large amount of circulated dollars compared to the amount of circulated bitcoin, can we assume that 1 BTC would be similarly valued at one 21-millionth of the $1.18 trillion circulated US dollars? This would equate to around $56,000. I know a lot is being assumed here, but does anyone see any major flaws in this logic?

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If it so happens that bitcoins are as widely accepted as USD are today, then yes that's a roughly reasonable estimate.

You might enjoy the following link for some more thoughts along these lines: http://falkvinge.net/2013/03/06/the-target-value-for-bitcoin-is-not-some-50-or-100-it-is-100000-to-1000000/

(One side note: just because new bitcoins are slated to stop being created in 2140, that doesn't mean no more new blocks will be created. Blocks are essential to record transactions, and they'll continue being appended to the blockchain even after the bounty drops to 0.)

1

You are forgeting the rest of the world, bitcoin isn't just for the US. You are also assuming that the current number of USD in circulation will be the same in 2140 when bitcoin maxes out. In all probability, if the dollar still exists at all then, the dollar supply will have been inflated somewhere just shy of infinity. You are also only considering M0 dollar supply, if you include M1, M2 and the rest then the supply of USD is 10X your number.

In short $56,000 / btc is a massive *under*estimate.

  • 1
    Not sure I follow you. I realize that Bitcoin is an international currency. But you seem to assume that Bitcoin will replace all currency in the global economy. Additionally, you imply that the USD (and other national currencies) will be worthless by 2140 and only Bitcoin will prevail. With that, governments would be powerless. A far more likely scenario would be that Bitcoin becomes a major player in the global economy just as the US dollar, the Euro, or any other major currency are today. – aus Mar 23 '13 at 4:18

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