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
Oct 25, 2021 61850.05 1003.10 1.65% 60846.95 62228.30 60644.85
Oct 24, 2021 60853.35 -444.10 -0.72% 61297.45 61496.80 59489.75
Oct 23, 2021 61297.05 613.20 1.01% 60683.85 61753.75 59638.50
Oct 22, 2021 60683.20 -1495.65 -2.41% 62178.85 63762.50 59956.45
Oct 21, 2021 62200.00 -3804.90 -5.76% 66004.90 66668.75 61959.90
Oct 20, 2021 66004.65 1717.60 2.67% 64287.05 67020.00 63519.90
Oct 19, 2021 64286.75 2255.05 3.64% 62031.70 64524.25 61351.95
Oct 18, 2021 62033.45 505.75 0.82% 61527.70 62707.40 59878.75
Oct 17, 2021 61512.70 631.35 1.04% 60881.35 61717.20 59619.45
Oct 16, 2021 60876.75 -813.70 -1.32% 61690.45 62390.70 60150.70
Oct 15, 2021 61695.45 4340.85 7.57% 57354.60 62908.70 56857.75
Oct 14, 2021 57353.25 -19.75 -0.03% 57373.00 58553.95 56799.50
Oct 13, 2021 57372.50 1378.95 2.46% 55993.55 57811.50 54220.00
Oct 12, 2021 55997.35 -1498.75 -2.61% 57496.10 57711.40 53648.30
Oct 11, 2021 57494.40 2813.25 5.14% 54681.15 57841.15 54437.25
Oct 10, 2021 54678.25 -278.95 -0.51% 54957.20 56075.95 54104.95
Oct 9, 2021 54960.35 991.15 1.84% 53969.20 55495.70 53679.20
Oct 8, 2021 53968.10 161.75 0.30% 53806.35 56172.25 53621.00
Oct 7, 2021 53806.50 -1547.05 -2.79% 55353.55 55379.15 53395.50
Oct 6, 2021 55351.90 3852.65 7.48% 51499.25 55789.25 50411.75

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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