What is Bitcoin Halving?

Bitcoin (BTC) halving is one of the most consequential events for miners, holders, investors, and all involved with the cryptocurrency’s ecosystem as Bitcoin remains the globe’s most prominent and established virtual coin

Bitcoin
Bitcoin

Bitcoin Halving Basics: What You Need To Know

The Bitcoin network is based on blockchain technology. All blockchains have a consensus mechanism, which is a protocol system that ensures all nodes are in sync with each other to agree on block transactions and determine legitimacy so they are added to the blockchain.

Each full node will run checks to see if transactions are the proper length and contain the right parameters before approval. 

Bitcoin relies on a Proof of Work (PoW) consensus mechanism where miners serve as the distributed nodes who compete to complete block confirmation. In a PoW system, mining equipment solves complex mathematical equations to verify Bitcoin transactions. 

Definition 

A Bitcoin halving event is when the mining reward cuts in half, which also slashes the coin’s inflation rate. A halving takes place after every 210,000 blocks, which has occurred about every four years so far across Bitcoin’s lifespan. The cryptocurrency last halved on May 11th, 2020 which resulted in a decline in the mining reward to 6.25 BTC. 

Miners who ‘win the race’ are provided with a reward by the Bitcoin network for their efforts. Blockchains with more computers (or notes) have better stability and security. 

How Does Bitcoin Halving Work?

The actual halving process is an automatic event coded in Bitcoin’s blockchain to trigger every 210,000 blocks (roughly every four years). The actual timeframe is not set in stone as the time it takes to create 210,000 blocks does vary depending on mining activity and speed.

Right now, Bitcoin blocks are added about every 10 minutes. Mining difficulty on Bitcoin’s network is also updated to become more difficult about every two weeks. 

What Happens When There Are No More Bitcoins Left in a Block?

Many wonder how long it takes to mine one Bitcoin. Right now, roughly 900 Bitcoins are mined each day, which works out to 144 blocks. Miners move on to the next block after creating a new block and also collect transaction fees.

What Happens After The Maximum Number Of Bitcoins Have Been Issued?

Bitcoin’s total supply is capped at 21 million, and as of June 14th, 2022, Bitcoin’s total supply was 19.07 million (90.8% in circulation).

In 2017, estimates projected the last Bitcoin would be mined in 2140. Bitcoin’s current inflation rate sits at less than 2% and will keep falling after every new block and halving event. After all Bitcoins have been mined, miners will only receive transaction fees. 

Why Do Bitcoin Halvings Occur?

Bitcoin halvings occur due to the programming in the coin’s source code to limit the number of new coins produced. These measures help ensure Bitcoin’s scarcity and mitigate massive price inflation.

Why Is The Bitcoin Halving Important?

All in all, past trends suggest that Bitcoin’s price will go up sharply after a halving event but endures a long bear market until the next halving event. This history, combined with the immense media attention on the Bitcoin ecosystem, presents a variety of positive outcomes for both the coin itself and the wider crypto community.

Halving and Its Effects – What Happens When Bitcoin Halves?

Most understand miners will quit after a halving event if Bitcoin demand and the price do not rise.

This is why it’s possible to adjust the mining difficulty to make mining easier if needed. As a result, miners have a less challenging time with their processing effort.

History has shown that Bitcoin’s past halving events have been successful. Very few miners have quit since Bitcoin’s big price surges helped many easily make up for (and exceed) initial revenue losses from the reward reduction. 

Does Halving Have Any Effect on the Bitcoin Price?

Investors often remain interested in Bitcoin halving events due to the potential for pierce increases. The coin’s price surged from $12 to $1213 in the year after 2012’s halving.

The 2016 halving event saw Bitcoin at about $647 and the coin ran up to $19,800 in 2017. Bitcoin was at $8,717 per coin at the time of the May 2020 halving. 2021 featured the coin’s jump to more than $68,000 for a short time. 

How Does Bitcoin Halving Affect Bitcoin’s Network?

For those involved within the Bitcoin ecosystem, the reduction of the mining reward remains the most notable impact on Bitcoin’s network.

However, there’s a few other factors post-mining that also affect the network. 

First, Bitcoin miners have to juggle the profitability of mining after calculating energy, hardware, and other associated costs. The miners’ hash rate will dictate the average amount of funds they can earn from mining. The hash rate is the measure of calculations that can be carried out per second. Typically, the hash rate will decline after a halving event since some miners will stop operations or switch to another coin in light of the revenue decrease.

While the exodus does positively impact miners who stay, many understand the slightly lowered hash rate does not make up for the loss. From June 12th to 17th 2022, the Bitcoin hash rate fell by 5.4% alone as the crypto’s price slid downward.

The price of graphics processors also fell by about 15% in May 2022, according to research. Both statistics suggest some miners might be trying to offload equipment as they scale down or stop mining operations. 

When Have the Halvings Occurred?

Check out the chart below for a list of past Bitcoin halvings.

Bitcoin Halving Dates
Year Block Height Reward Date
2024 840,000 3.125 (Projected) Mar 2, 2024 (Projected)
2020 630,000 6.25 Mar 11, 2020
2016 420,000 12.5 July 9, 2016
2012 210,000 25 Nov 28, 2012
2009 1 50 Jan 9, 2009

Related Blogs

Who Chose the Bitcoin Distribution Schedule? Why?

The distribution schedule was selected by the inventors of Bitcoin, who still remain anonymous. There’s not a clear answer to why this distribution schedule was chosen. Some speculate the distribution and halving schedule was a tool to help distribute coins quickly to attract attention to the network.

When Is The Next Bitcoin Halving Event?

As of early July 2022, the cryptocurrency Bitcoin halving countdown still has a target date of March 2, 2024.

Past trends suggest Bitcoin has experienced its post-halving tradition of a 1-year runup in price, along with its possible ‘all-time high’ before 2024’s halving event, if trends continue. 

However, as trends also suggest the massive runups after a halving event have gradually lessened and smoothed out, time will tell if 2024 will feature a massive jump in Bitcoin’s price to the tune seen in previous years. 

The Bottom Line

A Bitcoin halving event is a significant milestone for the well-known cryptocurrency. The next halving event, where the mining reward will fall to 3.125 BTC, will occur in March 2024.  Those interested in purchasing Bitcoin can read dAppGambl’s step-by-step Bitcoin buying guide

Kevin OBrien
Written by Kevin O'Brien verified symbol Web3 & DeFi Writer
13 Articles

Kevin is a native Texan focusing on DeFi, Web3 & NFT content. He’s written for Bitcoinist, CCN, CryptoGlobe and for a wide range of crypto projects. Kevin also enjoys collecting historical autographs and learning traditional musical instruments. Read more at texandefiwriter .com.

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Reviewed and Fact Checked by Eugene Abungana , Investment Analyst, Financial Analyst, and Institutional Trader