Statistical forecasts suggest that the final bitcoin is expected to be mined by the year 2140, over a century from now, with an estimated 1,465,093.73 BTC still awaiting discovery. This finite supply is set to render bitcoin exceedingly rare. Meanwhile, NASA, the independent agency for space research under the U.S. government, has outlined plans to retrieve an asteroid valued at $10 quintillion due to its abundance of valuable metals such as gold. According to NASA’s schedule, the asteroid retrieval could occur in late 2029 or early 2030, following the mission’s successful completion.
The Race for Space Gold: NASA’s Mission Could Redefine Scarcity
The prospect of gold’s scarcity diminishing in the next six years has gained plausibility after NASA provided a schedule for its Psyche mission, aimed at hauling the 16 Psyche asteroid back to Earth. Consequently, gold may shift from scarce to plentiful, pending NASA’s mission success. The journey commenced on October 13, 2023, with the Spacex Falcon Heavy launching from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on a voyage to cover approximately 2.2 billion miles.
The spacecraft is set to orbit the asteroid, nestled between Mars and Jupiter, for nearly two years. The 16 Psyche is a behemoth among asteroids, rich in precious metals, and classified as an M-type asteroid, indicating its metallic composition. Beyond its gold content, which runs into trillions of dollars, it contains other valuable metals like silver, cobalt, platinum, and the group known as the platinum-group metals, including rhodium, ruthenium, iridium, and palladium. The estimated worth of asteroid 16 Psyche stands at a staggering $10 quintillion.
This figure dwarfs the global economic output and the cumulative value of Earth’s assets, presenting an almost inconceivable economic impact. NASA anticipates the mission’s conclusion between late 2029 and early 2030, although some projections extend to November 2031. This update on NASA’s ambitious Psyche mission timeline has been circulating on Reddit’s r/bitcoin, stirring discussions across social media and news outlets.
One person was skeptical and wrote, “Won’t be worth anywhere near that, prices would tank immediately and stay there.”
Another person suggested the asteroid’s value could be substantially higher, though considerable technical challenges remain. “Some people assume this is only for earth and will instantly flood the market when the reality is it could be worth far more due to the price it costs to bring metals into space,” the person said. “Mining would happen slowly over 100+ years so would not flood the market,” the individual added.
The supply limit of Bitcoin is hard-coded, yet it might come under siege in the years ahead. Bitcoin’s enduring social contract will need to stand firm against the whims of successive generations, with current discussions including talking about a “small tail emission” to be introduced to Bitcoin’s issuance.
However, for nearly a decade and a half, the set supply cap has stood unchallenged, with 19.53 million BTC mined out of a total of 21 million. Following a prolonged sequence of halvings, the final satoshi is anticipated to be mined by the year 2140. The reality is that the landscapes for both BTC and gold could undergo significant transformations by that time.
What do you think about NASA’s timeline prospects? Do you think it is fathomable? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.