I notice that over 13million of the maximum 21million have already be mined.
Sure, this is anti inflationary and mining gets harder and value increases per the model.
The heyday of mining has been and gone though. Hardware advances meant that way too many coins have been mined way too early.
With diminishing coins, harder hash rates, more expensive gear and diminishing returns, mining is going to become less and less worthwhile and less and less popular. Mining will soon only be profitable to larger and larger players, for narrower and narrower margins.
Mining as I see it, is the flaw as goes forward. All transactions require the mining network to be up, running and healthy in order to even exist.
For the currency revolution of the future, a network doomed to become less widespread, a whole load slower, and against a theoretical backdrop of mass adoption, it will fall to pieces.
It already takes over an hour to complete a transaction. So this is by no means a usable method of purchasing anything other than v high value that take time to exchange, like real estate or businesses for instance.
So with growing traffic and lower network availability, an hour is probably the best we can ever expect!
A currency that requires such a network in order to exist is going to fail.
Only a network built on the transactions themselves could ever sustain itself. Because the only thing that will increase with mass adaption is the number of transactions...so the network has to be sustained by transactions, not by mining, which is going to be less worthwhile, less profitable and done by fewer and fewer people.
Also, as the network grows confirmation time is not increasing. You can see this here: https://blockchain.info/charts/avg-confirmation-time . You will notice that the confirmation time was substantially higher during the last bubble, but then again the network was not even half as powerful then.
In my opinion the price has to correct eventually to agree with the miners. Right now miners are hurting, if they are selling to cover costs they are probably barely breaking even right now at best. However, the hash rate is not slowing down, people are still pouring loads into mining hardware. Will the price continue to go down and the miners give up and the network implodes on itself? Or will the price catch up so the miners can profit again? I'd bet the latter.
Mining is actually securing the network and enables the system to actually works without centralised entity. And yes, also if CC provider's servers go down, service is not funcational (1, 2, 3... X datacenters). For Bitcoin to go down, Internet would need to stop working somehow for it to not work...
Transactions are executed in seconds not in one hour. But you need approx. one hour if you want fully confirmed transaction. Do you check for every dollar bill you receive if it is not fake? Not, just for larger ones (talking about merchants). But system would need to get used to it that 1 confirmation is enought for small payments (even 0 confirmations...). And the services will be developed around this to improve that. So, I cannot see the point about transaction speed.
Regarding the size of the mining system, this is classic natural process and will fit the needs and oportunities, in general the bigger it is the safer is the network.