Bitcoin Halving Schedule: Why is Bitcoin Halving so Important?

ViaBTC
3 min readDec 4, 2023

When someone introduces Bitcoin to you, they always emphasize that it is a brand new form of currency, distinct from traditional fiat currencies. This distinction is directly tied to the origins of Bitcoin. Dissatisfied with the excessive issuance of currency by central banks during the 2008 financial crisis, Satoshi Nakamoto deliberately fixed the total amount of Bitcoin by technical means.

The total amount of Bitcoin is kept constant through a gradual process known as the halving mechanism. Hailed as the most important design feature of Bitcoin, the halving mechanism makes Bitcoin a deflationary and scarce currency. Moreover, having been adopted by many altcoins, it has become one of the core measures for curbing inflation in many cryptocurrencies.

This article aims to provide a brief overview of the halving mechanism, a crucial feature of Bitcoin.

What is Bitcoin Halving?

As is well known, a new block of Bitcoin is mined every ten minutes, and miners compete through calculations to secure the right to record transactions. Upon success, they are rewarded with a block reward. Initially, the reward was 50 BTC per block, but this amount is not fixed. Satoshi Nakamoto established a rule in the protocol that after every 210,000 blocks (usually about 4 years), the block reward would be halved. This process, occurring every 4 years, is known as the halving mechanism. Through this proportional reduction, the total supply of Bitcoin is capped at 21 million and cannot be increased.

Bitcoin has experienced three halvings in the past. After the first halving in 2012, the block reward dropped to 25 BTC; in 2016, it decreased to 12.5 BTC; and in 2020, it was further reduced to 6.25 BTC, which is the current reward for mining a block. In the upcoming 2024, the fourth halving will lessen the block reward to 3.125 BTC.

Why is Bitcoin Halving so Important?

The halving mechanism is often lauded for transforming Bitcoin into a currency akin to precious metals such as gold, with a limited supply that cannot be arbitrarily increased. This ensures that as demand grows, the supply-demand relationship remains unchanged, thereby maintaining the market value of Bitcoin and making it the best-performing investment option in the past decade.

Additionally, the scheduled halving makes Bitcoin increasingly scarce over time, enabling early miners and investors to receive greater rewards and providing incentives for early participants. This rational phased incentive mechanism encourages miners and investors to join early with greater enthusiasm.

Historical data demonstrates investors’ recognition of the halving mechanism. After the first halving in 2012, the price of Bitcoin soared 80-fold; during the second halving in 2016, the price tripled; and the third halving in 2020 similarly resulted in a threefold price increase.

Therefore, halving is often regarded as the most crucial design feature of Bitcoin. This simple yet ingenious economic model has led to a consensus: Bitcoin is deflationary, scarce, sustainable, and possesses substantial potential value. The upcoming fourth halving in 2024 will be one of the most significant events for Bitcoin miners and investors in the next six months.

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