What Is Bitcoin Halving?

For instance, after the first halving, the reward for Bitcoin mining dropped to 25 BTC per block. Previous halvings saw the block reward cut to 25 Bitcoins, then to 12.5, then to the current allotment of 6.25. Every four years, Bitcoin undergoes a “halving,” which cuts the daily supply of newly minted coins by 50%—an event that’s historically caused prices to soar. As the next halving rapidly approaches, on or around April 19, investors are waiting to see whether this familiar pattern is repeated.

  1. The large-scale mining facilities needed to remain competitive require enormous amounts of money and energy.
  2. That happens roughly every four years in periods that are often accompanied by heightened Bitcoin price volatility.
  3. It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact date of the upcoming halving because it’s dependent those 210,000 blocks being mined.
  4. Because Bitcoin continually becomes scarcer, it’s a deflationary asset, which is attractive to many investors.

With increased public attention comes heightened speculation and market activity, which can drive up Bitcoin’s value. Regulatory changes such as the recent approval of spot bitcoin ETFs, increases in use cases, and global economic conditions may also influence its price. By then, miners will earn only the fees for verifying transactions paid by network users. These incentives will motivate the miners to continue sustaining the network. After successfully solving a puzzle, miners will propose a new block of transactions to be added to the blockchain, or the decentralized, public ledger that records transactions. As a result of their computational effort to validate transactions, the miners get rewarded for their work.

Miners are building a “war chest” to can cash in at the right time, once production costs go up, Lunde says. During the previous three halvings, Bitcoin saw an average increase of 14% in the two months before the event, adds Lunde. Anyone can be a miner and eligible for rewards—which are issued every 10 minutes or so—if they download the Bitcoin program and run it on their computers. Consumers and retail Bitcoin users might be affected by a halving in the value of the Bitcoin they hold. Those who buy Bitcoin for making purchases will generally only be affected by price fluctuations, which may or may not remain similar to those before the halving occurred. The next halving is expected to occur in April 2024, when the block reward will fall to 3.125 BTC.

The Bitcoin protocol periodically reduces the number of new coins earned by miners in a process called halving. Firstly, it’s worth remembering that each successive halving has a diminishing impact on the new supply of Bitcoin. “Market demand—or the absence of it—now plays a more pivotal role in driving Bitcoin’s price than the reduction in the rate of new Bitcoins created,” says Klippsten. Every time a new block is added to the Bitcoin blockchain, the contributor is given some Bitcoins as a reward.

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Although anyone can participate in Bitcoin’s network as a node as long as they have enough storage to download the entire blockchain and its history of transactions, not all of them are miners. While past performance suggests a connection between halvings and bitcoin’s price appreciation, there’s no way of accurately predicting the outcomes of future halvings. Investors should always conduct thorough research and approach halving events cautiously, taking into account both the cryptocurrency’s volatility and broader market conditions.

Nobody knows exactly when the next halving will occur, but experts point to May 2024 as an anticipated date. At the moment, Bitcoin has an inflation rate of less than 2%, which will decrease with further halvings, says David Weisberger, CEO of trading platform CoinRoutes. Following the previous halvings, the price climbed 8,760% to $1,152, then 2,570% to $17,760, and finally 594% to $67,549 by the following year. Since the system is designed to have a finite supply of 21 million BTC, the halving ensures the controlled release of new bitcoins until all are in circulation.

The somewhat predictable nature of Bitcoin halvings was designed so that it’s not a major shock to the network, experts say. The available supply of fiat currencies rises and falls under the watchful eyes of national central banks, but the total supply of Bitcoin is fixed and immutable. “It’s a very, very difficult time for the pools,” Kristian Csepcsar, chief marketing officer at mining pool Braiins, told Fortune. Historically, the best day to sell Bitcoin is 500 days after the halving, Markus Thielen, founder and head of 10x Research, told Fortune. Additionally, Robert Le, a crypto analyst at PitchBook, notes how there’s been a full bear-to-bull cycle every four years, with the lowest end always increasing. “The bottom of the bear market is always the previous market’s high,” he said.

Will halvings go on forever?

It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact date of the upcoming halving because it’s dependent those 210,000 blocks being mined. However, it’s projected to occur around April 2024, and this event will lower the reward to 3.125 BTC per block. Following the four-year interval, this will be succeeded by css custom li list-style with font-awesome icon another halving in 2028, then another in 2032, and so on until the final bitcoin is mined. In the bitcoin network, miners use a Proof-of-Work (PoW) system to validate transaction information. Miners compete to solve a block’s cryptographic puzzle, which requires significant computational power.

Klippsten also expects to see this April price drop but is optimistic it will be fleeting. Halvings occur after 210,000 blocks are created—roughly every four years. It’s not possible to predict the exact time because, due the nature of the race to solve the math problems, the new blocks don’t arrive at fixed intervals. But it’s possible to make a good guess, and the current estimate is April 19.

The equipment and facilities need maintenance and people to conduct it. They also need to upgrade their mining capacity to maintain their position in the industry. Because a halving reduces the number of new Bitcoins introduced, demand for new Bitcoins generally increases. This can be noted by looking at Bitcoin’s price after each previous halving event—it has generally risen. One of the key concepts behind halving the reward is to address inflation concerns.

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These include ensuring the transaction contains the correct validation parameters and does not exceed the required length. At that point, there will be 21 million BTC in circulation and no more coins will be created. However, a halving cuts mining rewards, so the endeavor becomes less profitable with each halving if prices remain the same or drop. The large-scale mining facilities needed to remain competitive require enormous amounts of money and energy.


In theory, the reduction in the pace of Bitcoin issuance means that the price will increase if demand remains the same. Bitcoin’s pseudonymous founder, Satoshi Nakamoto, set out the halving mechanism in the currency’s 2008 azure cloud engineer white paper. Halvings are intended to keep Bitcoin inflation-resistant by slowing the rate at which new coins are created. For instance, currently, 328,500 Bitcoins are created each year, which will soon drop to 164,250.

But after the halving, it will decline to 0.85% per year, which will act as a timely reminder of Bitcoin’s scarcity,” Vetle Lunde, a senior analyst at K33, told Fortune. Because Bitcoin continually becomes scarcer, it’s a deflationary asset, which is attractive to many investors. For instance, Marathon Digital Holdings, one of the world’s largest mining firms, increased its Bitcoin holdings to 16,930 and its fleet of Bitcoin miners to 231,000 in February 2024. This brings the firm’s hash rate to 28.7 trillion hashes per second (5% of the network’s total hash rate as of March 5, 2024). Transaction verification and immutability are the primary intent behind the blockchain network and consensus mechanism.

Those blocks of transactions are added roughly every 10 minutes, and the Bitcoin code dictates that the reward for miners is reduced by half after every 210,000 blocks are created. That happens roughly every four years in periods that are often accompanied by heightened Bitcoin price volatility. When bitcoin was first launched in 2009, miners were rewarded with 50 BTC for every mined block. Every time the network mines 210,000 blocks, which takes roughly four years, the halving cuts the block reward by 50%. It became popular with investors once it was noted that there was the potential for gains.

This “block reward” initially consisted of 50 bitcoins but, due to a feature of Bitcoin’s code, that amount is cut in half every four years. There are currently around 19.65 million bitcoins in circulation, leaving approximately 1.35 million left to be mined. With fewer bitcoins available, their value increases, making them more attractive to investors. For miners, the halving event may result in consolidation in their ranks as individual miners and small outfits drop out of the mining ecosystem or are taken over by larger players. As of March 2024, about 19.65 million bitcoins were in circulation, leaving just around 1.35 million to be released via mining rewards. The reward, or subsidy, for mining, started out at 50 BTC per block when Bitcoin was released in 2009.

It’s called proof-of-work because solving the cryptographic puzzle takes time and energy, which acts as proof that work was done. This is said to occur only after all the transactions contained in a block revolution token price are approved. After approval, the transaction is appended to the existing blockchain and broadcast to other nodes. The Bitcoin algorithm dictates halving happens based on a certain creation of blocks.

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