Bitcoin's 'Halving' Is Almost Here

Quadrennial event is like the 'World Cup for crypto believers'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2024 11:50 AM CDT
A Big Moment for Bitcoin Is Happening This Week
"Guessing the endgame for bitcoin after each halving is the ultimate sport."   (Getty Images/Jirapong Manustrong)

A huge day for bitcoin is almost here. The halving—or, as some call it, the "halvening"—happens roughly once every four years, and the next one is expected Friday night. The event halves the supply of bitcoin available to miners daily, and surges in the price of bitcoin followed the 2012, 2016, and 2020 halvings. Allison Morrow at CNN describes it as the "World Cup for crypto believers, because "it happens every four years, and emotions run high." More:

  • Reasoning: Forbes has a primer on what the halving involves, and why some expect the price to rise. It notes that halvings "are designed to keep the supply of bitcoin limited" and to maintain "the decentralized currency's storage of value." Up to 20 million bitcoin now exist, out of a maximum total supply of 21 million.

  • Price predictions: "Guessing the endgame for bitcoin after each halving is the ultimate sport," said Antoni Trenchev, co-founder of crypto lender Nexo, per CNN. "If the previous halvings are anything to go by, it should take no longer than eight months for bitcoin's price to double in value." Other analysts predict prices will rise for reasons such as increased adoption of bitcoin by financial institutions, in addition to the halving. In January, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved the first bitcoin exchange-traded funds, or ETFs.
  • Price predictions, II: Some analysts say the price rises after previous halvings may be partly coincidence and partly the result of increased buzz about the cryptocurrency, Time reports. Bitcoin soared to a record high of $73,750, about 15% above its current level, last month, and some experts suspect that the ETF decision and excitement about the halving may have caused bitcoin to peak early.
  • Hard times for miners: After the halving, miners' reward for verifying transactions, a process that involves using powerful computers to solve incredibly complicated math problems, will drop from 6.25 bitcoin to 3.125. The Wall Street Journal looks at how that will affect major mining companies, which have seen significant drops in their stock prices this year. Some have diversified into artificial intelligence, while others are expected to go under. But miners "are always the cockroaches of the energy markets; they're very nimble," Matthew Sigel, head of digital assets research at investment firm VanEck, tells Time. "We think the second half of the year will be very strong for bitcoin miners, as long as the bitcoin price rallies."
(More bitcoin stories.)

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