Bitcoin halving: what it is & how it Works

Every four years, one of the most significant events happens in Bitcoin’s blockchain. This event, called Halving, slashes the rewards miners receive after they successfully mine Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s supply is effectively controlled through Halving, thereby maintaining its status as the most valuable cryptocurrency in existence. However, the nitty-gritty of Bitcoin halving and how it works remains unclear to most enthusiasts. 

What is Bitcoin halving?

Bitcoin halving happens when the reward for mining Bitcoin is slashed in half. This event occurs every four years. Essentially, the halving policy was documented in Bitcoin’s mining algorithm. This was to help neutralize inflation by sustaining the scarcity of the tokens. Theoretically, the decrease in the rate of bitcoin issuance implies that the price will rise if market demand remains the same.

How does the Bitcoin halving cycle work?

Miners were first paid 50 BTC for each block when the first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was initially established. Early users of the token could be tempted to mine the network because of this reward. The speed at which new Bitcoin is produced reduces by half for every 210,000 blocks that get mined – approximately every four years.

As for the history of Bitcoin halving, the last three Bitcoin halvings happened in 2012, 2016, and 2020. The first ever Bitcoin halving, also known as Bitcoin split, happened in 2012 when the price for mining a block was decreased from 50 to 25 BTC.

The halving event that occurred in 2016 decreased the reward to 12.5 BTC for each block that gets mined, and on May 11, 2020, the incentive was slashed once again to 6.25 new BTC. The next Bitcoin halving is anticipated to occur sometime in 2024, and this occurrence will continue until approximately 2140 when all Bitcoin gets mined.


Why does Bitcoin halving matter?

Generally, there is an upsurge in volatility for Bitcoin after the halving due to availability. Bitcoin reduces, which increases the total value of the Bitcoin that is yet to be mined and makes it a more enticing asset to investors. As long as the value of Bitcoin is maintained, the token will never lose value in the real world.

Why does Bitcoin halving occur?

Bitcoin halving happens as an aspect of the protocol’s design and is a pivotal mechanism to regulate the supply of fresh Bitcoin moving into circulation. Here are some of the major reasons for Bitcoin Halving:

1. Scarcity and controlled supply

Satoshi Nakamoto, the individual or group of people who created Bitcoin, hoped to develop a digital currency that has a restrained and managed supply. This led to the concept of Halving. Essentially, reducing the mining rewards by half automatically reduces the speed at which fresh Bitcoin is generated. Bitcoin has maintained its value over the years due to its growing scarcity over time, 

2. Market forces and economics

The halving occurrence also has economic repercussions for regular Bitcoin miners and the broader market at large. Miners have to revise their operations to be worthwhile with a lower block reward, which raises the competition level and pushes away less effective miners. This, in turn, can influence the all-around security and decentralization of the Bitcoin network.

3. Inflation control

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The Bitcoin halving greatly contributes to restraining outrageous inflation in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Especially, the rate at which new Bitcoin enters the crypto market is reduced by decreasing the block reward. This limited issuance process seeks to maintain the coin stable and very valuable over the long term.

4. Price impact

Historically, Bitcoin price peaks have often been related to halving occurrences. Positive crypto market sentiment and likely price appreciation have happened due to the expectation of reduced supply and increasing demand. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that the past performance of Bitcoin does not assure you of future outcomes and that some factors besides Halving events can affect Bitcoin’s price.

Check this out – What are the different types of cryptocurrency wallets?

When did the Bitcoin halvings happen?

As of November 2023, there have been three Halvings:

  • Nov. 28, 2012, to 25 bitcoins
  • July 9, 2016, to 12.5 bitcoins
  • May 11, 2020, to 6.25 bitcoins 

What happens when Bitcoin halves?

The term “halving” in Bitcoin refers to how many Bitcoin tokens are rewarded to miners. This event occurs when rewards are slashed and acts as a way to mimic diminishing returns, theoretically expected to raise demand.

Why are the halvings occurring less than every 4 years?

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The Bitcoin mining algorithm has already been fixed with a target of finding new blocks once every 10 minutes. While some of the blocks will take over 10 minutes, others may even take less. This can help to reduce or increase the duration it will take to get to the next halving goal. 

What happens when there are no more Bitcoins left?

It is often thought that in 2140, the last Bitcoin will be mined. However, if the reward is halved every 210,000 blocks, it will get smaller and smaller until one satoshi becomes the reward. One satoshi is just 0.00000001 Bitcoin and since a satoshi is the smallest denomination of Bitcoin, it cannot be halved. 

What would happen if a substantial number of miners suddenly quit Bitcoin mining?

The effects of a considerable number of miners unexpectedly quitting Bitcoin mining would likely directly affect the hash rate and so many other facets of the Bitcoin network. The hash rate depicts the computational power devoted to mining Bitcoin. So the network’s general hash rate would decline if many miners abruptly stopped mining, with block formation times happening longer and network security also degrading.

For example, if many miners choose to leave simultaneously, the Bitcoin network may encounter a bottleneck for some time as users relocate to more rapid chains, which makes it very easy for fraudulent users to steal from parts of the network.

Does Bitcoin halving increase the price?

In theory, Bitcoin Halving reduces the pace at which new Bitcoins are created and circulated, as this can make the price of the token potentially increase due to the lower supply of new coins. This is a natural phenomenon based on the fundamental principles of supply and demand: “If demand remains constant while supply decreases, the price should increase”.

Is Bitcoin halving good or bad?

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Whether Halving events is good or bad generally depends on different perspectives. For Bitcoin miners, Halving can be viewed as potentially bad over the short term because the incentives they get for mining new blocks are slashed in half. If the worth of Bitcoin doesn’t increase to neutralize the effect of the reduced rewards, mining may eventually become unprofitable for some miners.

On the other hand, investors may see halving as a good occurrence because it decreases the total supply of new bitcoins. This could eventually lead to an upsurge in the price of the token if demand stays strong. 

Also, halving events are very predictable and put together into Bitcoin’s protocol, which contributes to the coin’s scarcity and deflationary character. These two facets are key attributes that attract numerous Bitcoin investors.

What will be the price of Bitcoin after 2024 halving?

Generally, the price of Bitcoin is expected to increase significantly in the months and even years after a “halving” event, where the creation of fresh Bitcoins is halved. After the first halving that occurred in November 2012, the price of Bitcoin increased from $US12 to over $US1,150 in the following year. 2013. 

As for the second halving event, users saw the price of Bitcoin increase from $US650 to nearly $US20,000 in 2017, while the third event in 2020, increased the price of Bitcoin from $US8,500 to more $US65,000 in late 2021.

Note that the price impacts of the halving are never typically immediate, and with so many other impacts affecting the price of Bitcoin, it is impossible to know how much the halving event directly impacts the price of BTC. 

How many Bitcoin halvings are left?

Bitcoin halvings occur approximately every four years, or at every 210,000 blocks. The halving will continue until the incentive for block mining becomes less than one Satoshi, which is the smallest unit of Bitcoin (0.00000001 BTC). 

The last Bitcoin token is projected to be mined around 2140, after which no fresh bitcoins will be made. This implies that 30 more Bitcoin Halvings could be anticipated if the network’s algorithm remains unchanged.

What is the profit of Bitcoin halving?

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Approximately every four years, the Bitcoin incentives the miners earn for mining a block successfully are slashed in half. This is done as a way of regulating the Bitcoin blockchain’s supply economics. This occurrence is called “Halving”. The next Halving event will lower the mining reward to just 3.125 BTC per block from the present 6.25 BTC.

How many days after halving does Bitcoin hit its peak?

From previous trends, the peak price of Bitcoin was reached roughly a year after the Halving event occurred. So you have to wait until one year to sell at the best price. However, this is only taking a cue from previous trends, therefore, it’s not guaranteed to occur.

Is Bitcoin halving bullish or bearish?

The Bitcoin halving occurrence takes place once every four years, where BTC incentives to its miners are slashed by 50%. This means that the miner’s reward will be decreased to 3.125 BTC in the next Halving event. Usually, this event is seen as positive for the price of Bitcoin, as it assists in contracting supply.

Ultimately, what is Bitcoin halving and how does it work? Halving simply occurs when the amount of new Bitcoin entering circulation is slashed to help maintain the value of the token. Historically, the price of Bitcoin tends to rise after Halving events occur, however, many other elements are at play in the crypto market, so this routine is not guaranteed to take place. While past positive trends are fascinating, they don’t assure investors and traders of future results. You must understand that investing in Bitcoin carries a lot of risks. Hence, you need to do your own research and potentially seek financial advice from experts before making any decision.

Bitmama offers a secure marketplace for crypto enthusiasts. Perform activities like crypto trading, crypto staking, and creating virtual dollar cards for online payment. Get started today by downloading the Bitmama app on Android or iOS.


Emmanuel Agwu

Nov 6, 2023

8 mins read

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