Bitcoin Magazine presents non-stop coverage of Bitcoin’s third Halving with hours of commentary and analysis from Bitcoin 2020 speakers and some of our closest friends. Ring in the new cycle the right way: with us!
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The Halving (sometimes referred to as “the Halvening”) is the predetermined moment when Bitcoin’s block subsidy gets cut in half. The halving of Bitcoin’s block subsidy occurs every 210,000 blocks (approximately every four years) and is a key feature of Bitcoin. It is because of the Halving that there is a capped supply of 21 million bitcoin that will ever exist.
The Halving will continue to occur every 210,000 blocks until the block subsidy reaches 1 satoshi — the smallest unit of bitcoin at 0.00000001 BTC. As Bitcoin’s codebase parameters currently state, at that point the next block subsidy will simply drop to zero, and miners will only collect transaction fees.
Details on this upcoming Halving: At block 630,000, the Bitcoin block reward will be cut from 12.5 bitcoin per block to 6.25 bitcoin per block.
The Halving creates predictable scarcity. One of Bitcoin’s key features is that its supply is hard-capped at 21 million bitcoin. This results in true, predictable scarcity. There could never even be 21,000,000.00000001 bitcoin without a consensus change to the rules (in fact, there will never even be exactly 21 million bitcoin either, as the actual number of bitcoin that will be released based on Bitcoin’s supply formula is actually 20,999,999.9796). The mechanism by which this hard cap is created is the block subsidy halving. Therefore, these Halving events are crucial to the predictable scarcity of bitcoin.
Yes, two times to date.
On November 28, 2012, Bitcoin’s block subsidy dropped from 50 BTC per block to 25 BTC per block.
On July 9, 2016, Bitcoin’s block subsidy dropped from 25 BTC per block to 12.5 BTC per block.