The self-regulating system works very reliably, thanks to the extraordinarily complex mathematical algorithms that it’s based on.
These open-source blockchain algorithms, accessible by anyone, make the technology possible and simultaneously guarantee the security of the system. This means that hypothetically, anyone can try to hack the system, but despite this, no network hackers have succeeded in causing lasting damage. You would need more than half of the network’s computing capacity to hack the system, a feat that is close to impossible when one takes into consideration that the current network performance of blockchain is 50,000 times more than that of the world’s 500 fastest supercomputers combined.
The only situation in which one can “lose” their bitcoins is if the user lost their phone together with their bitcoin wallet (just as if they had lost their regular wallet with cash in it) and did not have a backup, or if they sent it to an unknown/mistaken bitcoin address (bitcoin transactions are irreversible!) or if, through some fault of the wallet provider an unauthorized person mistakenly got access to the private keys that are required to spend bitcoin from a given wallet (this is basically a virtual bank robbery). Despite a billion dollar incentive for successful hackers, the Bitcoin network itself has never been successfully hacked.
In light of this, it’s important to note, that while bitcoin gives you the opportunity to take control of your money into your own hands, it’s your responsibility to safely store the private keys that are needed to spend your bitcoin.
The number of bitcoins in circulation is another important factor that strengthens the stability of the system’s monetary politics. There is an upper limit of 21 million coins programmed into the system, and there will never be more bitcoins than this. Growing demand and limited supply guarantees the continued value of the digital currency. One doesn’t have to fear, however, that bitcoins will one day “run out,” as the growing value of bitcoins in the system, and their divisibility, compensates for their limited amount (the smallest unit of the currency, a ‘satoshi,’ equals one hundred-millionth of a Bitcoin). The system will probably reach the maximum amount by 2140. The system has a pre-programmed fixed release schedule -- currently 12,5 bitcoins are released every ten minutes. Every four years this rate is halved, the next such reduction will take place in 2020, when only 6,25 bitcoins will be released every 10 minutes. You can check all sorts of statistics about releases here, including how many bitcoins are currently in circulation, or when you can expect the next 50% reduction in releases.
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