Halving definition

Halving is when the reward for mining bitcoin is cut in half.

Halving definition                                 

Bitcoin halving, or ‘the halvening’ happens around every four years and involves – as the term suggests – halving the reward for mining Bitcoins. 

Bitcoin mining

What is halving?

Halving is when the number of coins that miners receive for adding new transactions to the Bitcoin blockchain is cut in half. 

In May 2020, when the last halving took place, the number of Bitcoins (BTC) coming into circulation every 10 minutes dropped by half, to 6.25 from 12.5. 

Halving explained

The idea of ‘the halving’ or ‘the halvening’ is to slow the supply of Bitcoin – the block reward – as a form of inflation control. By dropping supply the idea is that demand will stay the same and the price of Bitcoin will rise.

The halving happens after every 210,000 blocks mined, so it takes place roughly four years.

The rules of supply and demand are not set in stone – so cutting the reward in half does not always correlate with the price going up.

However, previous halvings have resulted in a price boom followed by a bust but with prices of Bitcoin settling much higher than before.

Bitcoin was last halved on May 11, 2020, around 3 pm EST, resulting in a block reward of 6.25 BTC.

BTC/USD price history

Date Close Change Change(%) Open High Low
Aug 19, 2022 22812.45 -383.25 -1.65% 23195.70 23207.30 22713.80
Aug 18, 2022 23195.45 -148.35 -0.64% 23343.80 23596.70 23107.70
Aug 17, 2022 23342.80 -512.90 -2.15% 23855.70 24446.05 23178.20
Aug 16, 2022 23855.95 -243.50 -1.01% 24099.45 24252.20 23663.70
Aug 15, 2022 24099.05 -214.75 -0.88% 24313.80 25220.20 23770.55
Aug 14, 2022 24313.70 -142.00 -0.58% 24455.70 25041.95 24157.05
Aug 13, 2022 24455.95 44.25 0.18% 24411.70 24895.70 24300.05
Aug 12, 2022 24410.80 461.60 1.93% 23949.20 24462.45 23593.20
Aug 11, 2022 23949.05 -12.40 -0.05% 23961.45 24921.05 23870.05
Aug 10, 2022 23961.05 804.75 3.48% 23156.30 24226.70 22668.00
Aug 9, 2022 23156.45 -662.00 -2.78% 23818.45 23926.20 22870.80
Aug 8, 2022 23819.20 644.40 2.78% 23174.80 24247.45 23151.10
Aug 7, 2022 23174.45 206.90 0.90% 22967.55 23399.30 22861.95
Aug 6, 2022 22967.20 -356.15 -1.53% 23323.35 23361.05 22929.80
Aug 5, 2022 23323.45 698.90 3.09% 22624.55 23454.45 22593.20
Aug 4, 2022 22626.70 -198.75 -0.87% 22825.45 23235.05 22391.05
Aug 3, 2022 22826.70 -187.15 -0.81% 23013.85 23646.30 22692.20
Aug 2, 2022 23011.95 -264.75 -1.14% 23276.70 23462.45 22663.70
Aug 1, 2022 23277.05 -26.15 -0.11% 23303.20 23512.60 22854.20
Jul 31, 2022 23303.20 -348.60 -1.47% 23651.80 24195.05 23239.30

When is the next bitcoin halving?

Bitcoin halving is a much-anticipated event, the last taking place on 11 May 2020. It is expected the next bitcoin halving will be in 2021

How many halvings have there been?

There have been three Bitcoin halvings since 2009.

Why does Bitcoin halving happen

Halving is a way of controlling Bitcoin inflation, much the same way as central banks control the price of the world’s currency by choosing not to print new money, or issuing government bonds to control the money supply by borrowing.

Bitcoin halving is expected to happen until 2140. Then bitcoin miners will be rewarded with fees which incentivise them to keep mining. 

The number of Bitcoins left – Bitcoin halving explained

Bitcoin has a finite supply of 21 million. On 21 May at 4pm GMT there were 18,715,168.75 Bitcoins in circulation. That means 2,284,831.3 have yet to be released via rewards.

To put it into historical context, in 2009 the reward for each block in the chain mined was 50 Bitcoins. After the first halving it was 25, then 12.5, on 11 May 2020 it became 6.25 Bitcoins per block.

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