Bitcoin's highly anticipated 'halving' event takes place

20 Apr 2024

CoinGecko, a cryptocurrency analysis firm, has confirmed that Bitcoin's rare halving event has occurred. This event, occurring approximately every four years, reduces the rewards earned by Bitcoin miners by 50%, thereby decreasing the number of new Bitcoins entering the market. The purpose of this mechanism, written into Bitcoin's code since its inception, is to limit the total supply of Bitcoin to 21 million by the year 2140. Following the recent halving, only 450 new Bitcoins will be created each day.

Similar halving events occurred in 2012, 2016, and 2020. Despite the anticipation surrounding each halving, Bitcoin's price remained stable at $63,747 (£51,531) afterward. Analysts suggest that the market had already factored in the event, leading to minimal immediate price fluctuations.

Investors are optimistic that significant price increases may occur in the future, as previous halvings have historically led to substantial gains in Bitcoin's value. This anticipation stems from the belief that the reduction in the rate of new Bitcoin creation will create scarcity, potentially driving up demand and prices over time.

In May 2020, Bitcoin experienced a halving event when its price was approximately $8,600. Within a year, the price surged to over $56,000, highlighting the potential impact of halvings on Bitcoin's value. However, Andrew O'Neill, a crypto expert at S&P Global, expressed skepticism regarding the reliability of using previous halvings to predict future price movements.

O'Neill emphasized that while halvings are significant, they are just one factor among many that influence Bitcoin's price. Other factors, such as market sentiment, adoption rates, regulatory developments, and macroeconomic trends, also play crucial roles in determining Bitcoin's value. Despite the historical correlation between halvings and price increases, O'Neill cautioned against overreliance on this factor for price predictions.

Bitcoin reached a new high of $73,803 (£59,661) in March 2022, marking a 175% increase over the previous 12 months. This surge in price was attributed to various factors, including increased institutional adoption, growing mainstream acceptance, and heightened interest from retail investors.

Furthermore, Bitcoin gained legitimacy in January 2022 when funds holding Bitcoin, known as ETFs, were permitted to be traded on the US stock exchange. This move provided investors with more accessible and regulated avenues to invest in Bitcoin, further boosting its credibility and market appeal.

Bitcoin, the world's first and most popular cryptocurrency, has had a tumultuous relationship with the mainstream financial industry. Despite its growing popularity, concerns linger about its volatility, lack of intrinsic value, and inefficiency.

A Volatile Asset with Questionable Value

Traditional financial institutions have been wary of Bitcoin due to its extreme price swings. Unlike established currencies backed by governments or assets like gold, Bitcoin's value is determined solely by market forces. This can lead to dramatic fluctuations, making it a risky investment for many.

Central bankers like Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey have been particularly vocal critics. Bailey has repeatedly emphasized the lack of "intrinsic value" in Bitcoin, meaning it doesn't represent any physical asset or claim on future cash flows. This stands in stark contrast to traditional currencies or stocks, which derive value from the issuing entity or underlying company.

Bailey's concerns extend beyond just value. He has also highlighted Bitcoin's inefficiency as a payment system. While proponents tout its potential for faster and cheaper transactions, widespread adoption remains elusive. The network's processing power is limited, leading to slow transaction times and high fees, hindering its ability to compete effectively with established payment methods.

Limited Supply, Uncertain Future

Despite these criticisms, Bitcoin has a unique feature that some find appealing: a finite supply. Unlike traditional currencies that can be printed at will by central banks, there will only ever be 21 million Bitcoins in existence. This scarcity is achieved through a process called "mining," where powerful computers compete to solve complex mathematical problems to verify transactions and create new Bitcoins.

The number of Bitcoins rewarded for mining new blocks is halved roughly every four years. This "halving" event is designed to slow down the creation of new Bitcoins and contribute to its long-term value proposition. With over 19.5 million Bitcoins already mined, there are only about 1.5 million left to be created over the next century.

However, the limited supply doesn't guarantee future success. Bitcoin's future hinges on its ability to overcome its current limitations. Addressing volatility, improving transaction efficiency, and gaining wider institutional acceptance will be crucial for Bitcoin to become a mainstream financial tool.

The debate around Bitcoin is likely to continue. While some see it as a revolutionary new form of money, others remain skeptical. Only time will tell if Bitcoin can overcome its challenges and establish itself as a viable alternative to traditional financial systems.

Write & Read to Earn with BULB

Learn More

Enjoy this blog? Subscribe to Omega sharp


No comments yet.
Most relevant comments are displayed, so some may have been filtered out.