The Halving of Bitcoin

A brief look at the historical cases of halving

April 2020, 2 min read

thunder bolt halves a bitcoin

AAt current rates, every four years the reward for each mined bitcoin block will half. At the inception of Bitcoin, 50 coins were output in every block. Fast forward to some time in early May 2020 and only 6.5 coins will be awarded. Here we take a quick look at what the historic impact this had.

There can only be 21 million Bitcoins in existence. It may come as a surprise to learn that 85% of Bitcoins have already been mined. In theory, this should mean that these 18 million Bitcoins are in, what is known as, “Circulating Supply”. However, over the years since the dawn of Bitcoin, a percentage of these are likely lost or destroyed forever (a topic to be discussed at a later date).

The last time a halving occurred was in 2016 when the reward dropped from 25 to today’s 12.5. This brings us onto the important question of what the upcoming halving will do to the Bitcoin price? Historically, the price has risen in the long term after each halving, and in cases to all time highs. In the 30 days immediately following the 2012 halving BTC rose around 9%. In the 2016 halving, the USD price of a BTC dropped by around 10% over the first 30 days but then promptly began to rise steadily, until it spiked to an all-time high less than a year later. In both cases, the price was substantially higher one year after the halving.

Could we see triple-digit percentage growth? As for what will happen this time around, it’s anyone’s guess... but if history repeats itself it may trigger significant growth over the 365 days from May. The old adage of “past performance is not an indicator to future performance” would place some uncertainty on the previous statement, however many rules don't apply to the volatile nature of cryptocurrency.