Bitcoin is pushing against the upper limits of its supply, CoinDesk reported. The 17 millionth bitcoin was expected to be mined on Thursday (April 26). That’s only a few million less than the 21 million bitcoins that can be mined under the cryptocurrency’s current limits.
Tim Draper, an investor who purchased millions of seized bitcoins in a government auction, said that the milestone was remarkable. “I would bet the founders wouldn’t have imagined how important bitcoin would become in their wildest dreams,” he said.
In other news, demand for crypto mining chips fueled strong profit growth at Samsung Electronics, CoinDesk reported. The company reported a record-breaking $14 billion in earnings for the first quarter of 2018, which were driven by sales of chips for crypto mining and smartphones. Beyond Samsung, Taiwan-based semiconductor manufacturer TSMC has also reported growth in the demand for mining chips.
And North Korea apparently has a stash of bitcoin, but the country doesn’t seem to be mining coins within the country, Cryptovest reported. According to a report from The Investor, the nation doesn’t have sufficient electricity to support cryptocurrency mining. As a result, AlienVault clams that the country mines coins through foreign computers.
In other news, sales of Ripple’s XRP cryptocurrency have skyrocketed over the first quarter, CoinDesk reported. Ripple sold a whopping $167.7 million of the currency over the first three months of the year. But Ripple reported direct sales of XRP at $16.6 million, which marked a drop of about 20 percent from the preceding quarter.
And the cost of mining bitcoin can vary greatly from country to country, Finder reported. While it only costs an average of $531 to mine one bitcoin in Venezuela, it cost around $26,170 to mine one bitcoin in South Korea. The cost of mining bitcoin in Australia is somewhere in the middle: $9,913 to mine one bitcoin.