This article is part of the “Bitcoin 101”, a series of short articles that explain the why and how of bitcoin.
The distribution of bitcoin has always been fair. Since the first day of the network's establishment, no one has received bitcoins “for free” or under the table. There is no preference for insiders, even for people who became interested in Bitcoin in 2009 or 2010. The creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, never allocated any bitcoins to himself by cheating. It has always been necessary to provide proof of work to create new bitcoins before they are made available on the network. Bitcoin is based on a principle of pure equality. The distribution of bitcoin is fair because everyone has the same chance to acquire it at the same time since its creation.
Let's remember, the issuance of bitcoins is known to all and controlled by the rules of the computer code of its network. The maximum limit of bitcoins in circulation is 21 million units. Each block added to the blockchain contributes to the creation of bitcoins every 10 minutes on average. To be able to create a block of transactions, distribute it on the network and collect the associated reward in the form of bitcoins, computational power is required to maintain the network's security. To do this, one must acquire specialized bitcoin mining computers (called ASICs), and supply them with electricity. These two costs represent a significant investment that only increases over time. Earning bitcoins through mining is becoming more and more expensive, but as the price of a bitcoin continues to rise, the activity continues to grow. It is even flourishing and very profitable for those who manage their activity well, both for professionals and individuals. Mining is open to everyone, may the best win! Bitcoin is once again very fair and impartial in its access. There is no discrimination based on age, sex, ethnicity, religion, or even the geographical location of its users.
No one can create bitcoins without spending money. However, anyone can decide to mine bitcoins. Only a costly expenditure of energy allows for the potential creation of new bitcoins. Acquiring specialized mining equipment is indeed expensive, but it is open to everyone and worldwide. The other part of the equation, acquiring inexpensive electricity to mine bitcoins competitively, is also open to everyone. Countries with abundant electricity surpluses offer a very attractive advantage. Bitcoin allows anyone to secure its network and be rewarded in return with new bitcoins until the maximum limit of 21 million units is reached in 2140. Until then, the network's transaction fees will continue to pay miners who contribute to the security of the network.
Some critics say that Bitcoin is unfair because a handful of people hold the majority of bitcoins. This is a mistake, because a disparate distribution does not mean it is arbitrary. The distribution of bitcoins is fair and equitable, as there is no favouritism for miners, developers, or any users and investors. Bitcoin does not have preferential treatment, so it is impartial and fair.