In reality we are almost exactly halfway between the third and fourth halving.
Bitcoin halving: the current situation
In fact, the third halving took place in May 2020, which is about 700 days ago.
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The next halving is expected between March and April 2024, or at the latest in early May of the same year. In all, about 1,400 days should pass between the third and fourth halving, so we are currently exactly halfway through.
In fact, the first halving took place in November 2012, roughly 1,400 days after the launch of Bitcoin’s blockchain in January 2009. The second occurred in July 2016, about 1,350 days after the first, and the third occurred in May 2020, again about 1,400 days after the second.
Halvings happen exactly every 210,000 new blocks added to the Bitcoin blockchain, and since one is added every 10 minutes or so on average it takes just over 1,400 days to create and validate 210,000 blocks.
210,000 is a fixed and inviolable number, but the 10 minutes is just an average, so the days between halvings could also be 1,300 or 1,500, or something else.
As of now, it is reasonable to assume that the next halving is unlikely to take place before March 2024, or after June 2024, i.e. in a range between 1,400 and 1,500 days since the last halving in May 2020.
Bitcoin halving: The great expectation of bitcoiners
Bitcoin halvings are a highly anticipated event for the Bitcoin community for two reasons.
The first is that they are the only act of monetary policy in the Bitcoin protocol. With this they are in effect a milestone in Bitcoin’s path towards deflation, which should come when no more BTC are created but continue to be lost due to the loss of the private keys of the addresses they are stored on.
Halving: the meaning
Halving is the reduction by half of the number of BTC created out of thin air at each block and given as a reward to the miner who manages to confirm it. All existing BTC, or about 19 million, have been created this way, and there is no other way to create them. When, as a result of halving this reward, there are zero new BTC created per block the deflationary phase of Bitcoin will begin, although it may have already begun earlier when the number of BTC created becomes very low.
The second is that usually after a halving the price of Bitcoin goes up.
Roughly the three times a halving has happened so far (2012, 2016 and 2020) a bull run has been triggered the following year.
To be fair though, the biggest one was in 2013, with an incredible speculative bubble that took the price from $13 to over $1,100 in a single year, while the following ones were smaller.
While even after the second halving a speculative bubble was triggered that took the price of Bitcoin from $1,000 to $20,000, after the third halving there was no big speculative bubble like the two previous times.
In 2021, the price went from $30,000 to $69,000 and then fell back to around $33,000 in January 2022.
This leads one to believe that the great speculative bubbles in the price of Bitcoin are coming to an end, although the effect of the halving on the price continues to be evident. It is enough to think that just after the last halving, the price of BTC only returned to around $10,000, after having been at $20,000 two and a half years earlier, and it took several more months before it climbed back up to $20,000 and then took off well above $60,000.
At this point in time, it is impossible to know either what the price of Bitcoin will be during the next halving, or what it will be at the end of 2024 or 2025. Indeed, it is impossible to even know if it will ever return to $69,000 or more. What is certain, however, is that around April 2024 there should be the next halving which will reduce the creation of new BTC by half.
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