Bitcoin halving explained: History, impact, & 2024 predictions

  • Bitcoin halving, occurring approximately every four years, reduces the reward for mining new bitcoin blocks by half, influencing its supply dynamics akin to scarce assets like gold.
  • Historical bitcoin halving events, from the first in 2012 to the most recent in 2020, have showcased the cryptocurrency’s resilience and its ability to reach new price highs, shaping its trajectory as a financial asset.
  • The upcoming 2024 bitcoin halving, poised to reduce the reward to 3.125 bitcoins per block, is expected to prompt significant adjustments in the mining landscape, potentially leading to consolidation within the industry and emphasising the importance of transaction fees for miner profitability.

Bitcoin halving, a pivotal event occurring every four years, reshapes the cryptocurrency landscape. Explore its historical impact and projections for the upcoming 2024 halving.

What is the bitcoin halving cycle?

The bitcoin halving stands as a pivotal event within the realm of bitcoin, exerting its influence on investors and other stakeholders. Approximately every four years, the reward for mining new bitcoin blocks undergoes a halving, effectively halving the previous reward. This measure is implemented to regulate the supply of bitcoin, mirroring the dynamics of finite resources like gold. By diminishing the rate at which new bitcoins are generated, the halving mechanism contributes to maintaining the stability of bitcoin’s value over time.

What are the origins and rationale of bitcoin halving?

Introduced by its enigmatic creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin halving serves the purpose of mitigating inflation and ensuring the enduring deflationary nature of the digital currency. Initially, miners were rewarded with 50 bitcoins for their role in processing transactions and upholding the integrity of the blockchain network. However, following the inaugural halving event in 2012, this reward was halved to 25 bitcoins, marking the commencement of a series of subsequent halvings, each progressively reducing the reward further.

Also read: Bitcoin price forecast: 5 experts look to 2024 and beyond

What is the chronicle of bitcoin halvings?

The historical trajectory of bitcoin halvings delineates the evolution of bitcoin since its inception in 2009. With each halving event, bitcoin has undergone significant developments, shaping its trajectory in the financial landscape.

The First Halving (November 2012): The inaugural bitcoin halving transpired upon the network reaching 210,000 blocks, halving the mining reward from 50 to 25 bitcoins per block. This event constituted the inaugural trial of Satoshi’s theory concerning controlled money supply and deflationary economics. Despite initial apprehensions, the bitcoin network exhibited resilience, with the ensuing period witnessing a surge in bitcoin’s price from $10.59 to $126.24 within a span of 180 days, thereby reaffirming the soundness of its underlying economic principles.

The Second Halving (July 2016): Occurring against the backdrop of bitcoin’s consolidation within the public consciousness, the second halving reduced the block reward to 12.5 bitcoins. This phase witnessed the burgeoning recognition of cryptocurrencies as a bona fide investment asset class, with heightened engagement from retail and institutional investors alike. Subsequent to this halving, bitcoin experienced a substantial upsurge, cresting above $1002.92 and laying the groundwork for the bullish rally of 2017.

The Third Halving (May 2020): The most recent halving event reduced the reward to 6.25 bitcoins per block. Transpiring amidst the backdrop of global economic tumult catalysed by the COVID-19 pandemic, this halving captured global investor attention. It played an instrumental role in bitcoin’s remarkable performance throughout 2020 and into 2021, culminating in the cryptocurrency achieving unprecedented all-time highs of $14,849.09 within a span of 180 days, thus assuming a central role in discussions regarding the future role of digital currencies in finance.

What is anticipated about the 2024 bitcoin halving?

The impending halving event portends to be a transformative juncture, with the reward diminishing to 3.125 bitcoins per block. This juncture is anticipated to exert profound ramifications on the mining landscape, potentially catalysing shifts in profitability metrics and expediting technological innovations aimed at enhancing mining efficiency. Historical precedents indicate an adjustment phase as miners navigate reduced incentives, with potential ramifications for the network’s hash rate and overall security.

Historically, the hash rate, denoting the aggregate computational power dedicated to mining and processing transactions, experiences a temporary decline subsequent to a halving event as unprofitable miners disengage, only to rebound within a matter of weeks. This phenomenon stems from the halving reinforcing bitcoin’s scarcity, potentially stimulating price appreciation and bolstering profitability for the remaining miners. Furthermore, the halving serves as an impetus for miners to invest in more efficient equipment to maintain competitiveness, thereby precipitating an initial dip in the hash rate followed by an upsurge in efficiency and overall hash rate in the long run.

In light of these dynamics, we advocate a cautious approach for investors in the six months preceding the halving, as market dynamics typically discount the primary effect of escalating costs. During this transitional period, miners often grapple with considerable capital outlays. Subsequent to the halving, certain miners may confront operational constraints, potentially engendering a short-term reduction in the network’s hash rate – the collective computational power dedicated to mining.

Also read: What impact will bitcoin cash halving have in 2024?

What are the implications of bitcoin halving on miners and market dynamics?

The impact of the halving on bitcoin miners will be multifaceted. Energy expenses associated with operating energy-intensive mining infrastructure constitute the primary cost component for miners, typically comprising 75-85% of total cash operating expenses. At prevailing power rates averaging around $0.04/kWh for listed entities, we estimate that the all-in cash costs for the top 10 listed miners will approximate $45k/bitcoin post-halving. Larger miners endowed with lower per-coin costs may witness margin compression but are poised to remain profitable, particularly in the event of appreciating bitcoin prices. We anticipate that the halving will catalyse consolidation within the mining sector, with smaller miners facing heightened pressure and larger entities expanding their market dominance. Notably, this trend is already underway, as publicly traded miners command an unprecedented share of the hash rate. Historically, equities associated with bitcoin mining have demonstrated robust recovery post-halving, outperforming spot prices during halving years.

What are the prospects for bitcoin post-halving?

As mining rewards dwindle, transaction fees are poised to assume greater significance in the calculus of miner profitability. The halving accentuates bitcoin’s scarcity, rendering it an attractive investment and speculative asset. Moreover, it reaffirms bitcoin’s foundational tenets as a decentralised, finite, and secure asset, delineating its role within the evolving financial milieu.


Tilly Lu

Tilly Lu, an intern reporter at BTW media dedicated in Fintech and Blockchain. She is studying Broadcasting and Hosting in Sanming University. Send tips to

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