While national central banks keep a check on the availability of conventional currencies, the entire supply of Bitcoin is fixed and unchangeable.

21 million Bitcoin will ever exist. There is currently little less than 2 million left to be made after a little more than 19 million have been mined. With each new block, the Bitcoin system automatically halves the number of new coins that are created.

What is Bitcoin Halving

Introduction

Blockchain, the underlying technology of Bitcoin, is essentially a collection of computers (or nodes) that run Bitcoin’s software and store a partial or complete history of transactions that occur on its network. Each full node, or node that contains the whole history of Bitcoin transactions, is responsible for accepting or rejecting a transaction in the Bitcoin network.

In order to do so, the node performs a number of tests to confirm that the transaction is genuine. These include ensuring that the transaction has the right validation parameters, such as nonces, and that it is no longer than the required length.

Each transaction is reviewed and authorized separately. It is claimed to happen only when all of the transactions in a block have been authorized. Following approval, the transaction is added to the current blockchain and disseminated to all nodes.

The addition of more computers (or nodes) to the blockchain improves its stability and security. There are presently 14,616 nodes running Bitcoin’s code, according to estimates. Although anybody may join the Bitcoin network as a node as long as they have adequate storage to download the whole blockchain and its transaction history, not all of them are miners.

What is Bitcoin Halving?

The halving event is one of the most significant on the Bitcoin blockchain. It causes cryptocurrency price inflation by limiting the number of bitcoins in circulation and raising demand for Bitcoin. The halving of Bitcoin has repercussions for all stakeholders in the Bitcoin ecosystem.

New bitcoins enter the market as block rewards, which are generated by the efforts of “miners,” who employ expensive electronic equipment to earn or “mine” them.

The block reward provided to Bitcoin miners for processing transactions is cut in half every 210,000 blocks mined, or about every four years. This is known as halving because it reduces the rate at which new bitcoins are issued into circulation by half. This is Bitcoin’s method of imposing artificial price inflation until all bitcoins have been issued.

What is Bitcoin Halving Countdown?

Bitcoin block reward will decrease from 6.25 to 3.125 coins in approximately

Source: Binance (Bitcoin Halving Countdown)

What is Bitcoin Mining?

Bitcoin mining is using a computer to participate in Bitcoin’s blockchain network as a transaction processor and validator. Bitcoin employs a method known as proof of work (PoW). This implies that in order to be compensated, miners must demonstrate that they have put out effort in processing transactions. This effort comprises the time and energy spent running computer hardware and solving difficult equations.

The phrase mining is not used literally but rather to refer to the process of obtaining valuable metals. Bitcoin miners tackle mathematical problems in order to validate a transaction. The transactions are then added to a block, and chains of these blocks of transactions are formed, establishing the blockchain. When a block is full of transactions, the miners that process and confirm those transactions are rewarded with bitcoins. Greater monetary value transactions require more confirmations to assure security.

How does Bitcoin Halving Work?

The payout for mining a block is reduced by half for every 210,000 blocks mined. The payout for the first 210,000 blocks in bitcoin’s early days was 50BTC per block. As more blocks were mined and more bitcoins were issued, the first batch of 210,000 blocks was mined by 2012, and the reward was lowered in half to 25BTC.

Bitcoin Halving Next Cycle Chart

By 2016, the second batch of 210,000 blocks had been mined, and the prize had been reduced to 12.5 BTC. The most recent halving occurred in May 2020, when 630,000 blocks (the third set of 210,000 blocks) were completed, and the current block reward is 6.25BTC.

210,000 blocks are mined in around four years. As a result, bitcoin is typically halved every four years. The next halving is going to happen in 2024.

Bitcoin Halving and its Effect

The halving theory and the chain reaction that it causes work as follows:

Miners will have little motivation to mine if a halving does not raise demand and price. The reward for completing transactions would be reduced, and the value of Bitcoin would be insufficient.

To prevent this, Bitcoin features a procedure for changing the difficulty of obtaining mining rewards or the difficulty of mining a transaction. If the reward has been halved, but the price of Bitcoin has not grown, the difficulty of mining will be decreased to keep miners motivated. This means that the number of bitcoins delivered as a reward remains minimal, but the complexity of executing a transaction has decreased.

This procedure has been proven to be effective on two occasions. So far, the impact of these price cuts has been a high spike followed by a sharp decline. However, the collapses that followed these increases have kept prices higher than before the halving incidents.

The third halving happened not just during a worldwide epidemic but also during a period of growing regulatory speculation, institutional investment in digital assets, and celebrity hype. Given these extra influences, it is unknown where Bitcoin’s price will finally settle in the aftermath.

Why is Bitcoin Halving Important?

Miners receive less Bitcoin for their labour with each halving. Mining is done by computers doing trillions of computations each second, and because the block reward has been halved, miners will earn less money for their efforts unless the price of Bitcoin rises to make mining more viable. In principle, this drop in profitability may be passed on to users in the form of higher fees to process their transactions, making it profitable for the miner.

With each halving, the miner’s reward will be reduced, and the fees they charge will be raised, perhaps to the point where it will be unprofitable for many to continue to engage in new Bitcoin mining, either as a business or as an individual.

As a result, many people are pleased about the halving since it will lead the new supply of Bitcoins entering the market to be less and less over time, thereby stabilizing, if not increasing, the value of the amount already in circulation. This is Bitcoin’s approach to controlling inflation, and it is a big part of what makes Bitcoin so appealing. Some analysts believe that the approaching May halving will be significant because it will cause Bitcoin to inflate at a rate lower than that of the Federal Reserve.

Bottom Line

The last bitcoin halving is expected in 2040, after which block rewards will no longer be in bitcoin. Following the previous halving, miners will be compensated with fees from network users (i.e., individuals who buy and sell bitcoin) to motivate them to continue processing transactions on the bitcoin blockchain.

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What is Bitcoin Halving? How it Works, Why It Matters, Countdown was originally published in BuyUcoin Talks on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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