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What is Bitcoin halving? Why is it important for cryptocurrency investors?

By December 14, 2020May 10th, 20233 minute read

You may have heard of something called a Bitcoin ‘halving’ occurring this year. In May 2020, Bitcoin went through its third halving, and its reward value dropped from 12.5 to 6.25 BTC per block mined. This essentially means that the reward for mining a block was cut in half yet again. 

But how does this work?

In a centralized economy, the central bank is responsible for controlling the supply of money. However, in the case of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, there is no such centralized authority to control its monetary base. This necessitates that Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency must have its own mechanism to ensure a controlled supply. 

This is where the concept of Bitcoin halving (or ‘halvening’) comes in. After every 210,000 blocks that are mined, the reward awarded to miners for every block gets halved. As a result, new bitcoins are released into circulation at only half the rate as compared to before that. (This is distinct from a coin burn – a mechanism that other cryptocurrencies apply to manage inflation)

Therefore, this controlled release of bitcoins helps maintain a synthetic form of Bitcoin inflation. This halving would continue till all the bitcoins have entered circulation, and after that, miners would be rewarded with the fee that network users will pay for processing transactions.

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Why is Bitcoin Halving Important for Cryptocurrency Investors?

Is there any significance of this phenomenon for cryptocurrency investors? This is easier to understand when we notice the patterns that are set off by a halving event. When a halving occurs, bitcoins’ supply decreases, and the consequent higher demand leads to a rise in Bitcoin prices. And quite clearly, Bitcoin halvings in the past have resulted in a dramatic rise in Bitcoin prices, only to drop later. Let’s have a look.

  • The First Halving 

In November 2012, the first Bitcoin halving took place, halving the reward for mining from 50 to 25 BTC. The consequent effect on the prices saw a surge of about 8000% in the year that followed.

  • The Second Halving

The second such event occurred in July 2016 when the reward was halved from 25 to 12.5 BTC, and as a result, Bitcoin prices surged by nearly 1000%.

  • The Third Halving

The events of May 2020 have again led to an all-time high in Bitcoin prices, nearly reaching $20,000 in November 2020.

Bitcoin (BTC) Halving History With Charts & Dates
Source: Coin Metrics Network Data Pro via Investopedia

Therefore, crypto investors can make use of this knowledge in various ways. Understanding the market fluctuations – price rise followed by a drop – is important for anyone who intends to make gains from these market movements. At the same time, it is also important to understand the effects of other global situations, such as the ongoing pandemic, to figure out whether all halvings will necessarily result in similar price movements. 

For bitcoin miners, understanding the halving of the mining reward with respect to increasing value is essential. For example, if the third halving was expected to reduce the Bitcoin inflation rate from 3.6% to 1.8%, then these changes are relevant to how the gains would be calculated. The operational costs of mining, such as hardware, electricity, etc., are estimated at $6,851 by Bitcoin.com. This corresponds to a 30% margin because 70% of the block rewards would have to be sold to cover the operational costs. So if the halvings push up the Bitcoin price but not by much, then it is not a great investment for miners (while being great for investors).

For new investors, Bitcoin halving presents a great opportunity to understand the cryptocurrency domain and begin making investments.

Conclusion

Crypto investors, particularly those holding Bitcoins for sufficient duration to make gains, can benefit greatly from such halvings. For a volatile asset, such a pattern that has occurred thrice so far seems fairly consistent. 

With the next halving expected in another 4 years, it remains to be seen whether the price-boost pattern is set in stone or simply happens to coincide with other market forces.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that may be purchased, traded, and traded without intermediary like a bank. Bitcoin is built on the blockchain, which is a distributed digital ledger. Wei Dai suggested a new kind of money that relies on cryptography rather than a central authority to oversee its production and transactions on the cypherpunks mailing list in 1998. Bitcoin was the first application of that notion. In 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto sent out the first Bitcoin specification and proof of concept to a cryptography mailing group.

How Does Bitcoin Work?

The blockchain, a distributed digital ledger, is what Bitcoin is based on. As the name suggests, blockchain is a linked database made up of blocks that store information about each transaction, such as the date and time, total amount, buyer and seller, and a unique identifier for each exchange. Entries are linked in chronological order to form a digital blockchain. Entries are linked in chronological order to form a digital blockchain. Blockchain is decentralized, which means any central authority does not control it.

How Safe Are Cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrencies can be safe, but your crypto wallets can be hacked if proper security steps are not performed.There are also dangers and uncertainties associated with investments, and we cannot declare any virtual currency investment risk-free. Buying and selling cryptocurrencies does not have to be dangerous if the trader is well-versed in the market and treats his coins with care.

What Type Of Currency Is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a type of digital currency or cryptocurrency. In January 2009, Bitcoin was established. It's based on Satoshi Nakamoto's ideas, which he laid out in a whitepaper. The name of the individual or people who invented the technology remains unknown.

Is Bitcoin Legal In India?

In India, Bitcoin is not illegal. Because of cryptocurrency's rapid evolution, policymakers and regulators seemed to have recognized the chance to accept the new technology early. From the infamous 'RBI ban' in 2018 to reports of an impending bill banning cryptos in 2021 that has yet to develop, India has seen its fair share of ups and downs when it comes to Bitcoin regulation. Last year, the Supreme Court Of India approved the use of Bitcoin throughout the country. According to the Supreme Court, the existence of Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency is unregulated but not unlawful.

Is Cryptocurrency Banned In India?

No, cryptocurrency is not banned in India. India has seen its ups and downs in the crypto sector concerning its legal status. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a circular in April 2018 advising all organizations under its jurisdiction not to trade in virtual currencies or provide services to assist anyone in dealing with or settling them. A government committee proposed outlawing all private cryptocurrencies in mid-2019, with up to ten years in prison and severe penalties for anyone dealing in digital currency. The Supreme Court overruled the RBI's circular in March 2020, allowing banks to undertake cryptocurrency transactions from dealers and exchanges.

Is Bitcoin Trading Is Legal In India?

In 2020, the Supreme Court of India lifted the RBI’s restrictions on cryptocurrencies. According to the Supreme Court, the existence of Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency is unregulated but not unlawful. The verdict has greatly aided the world of digital money in the country. To put it another way, investing in Bitcoin is perfectly legal, and you may do so through various apps and traders.

How Bitcoin Works?

Bitcoin is based on the blockchain, a distributed digital ledger. As the name implies, blockchain is a connected database made up of blocks that hold information about each transaction, such as the date and time, total value, buyer and seller, and a unique identifier for each exchange. Entries are linked in chronological sequence, forming a digital chain of blocks. Blockchain is decentralized, meaning a centralized institution does not own it

Is Bitcoin A Good Investment For The Future?

Some investors are afraid of the risks or devastation, but others are very eager to pursue the possibility of profit from a Bitcoin investment. A Bitcoin investment is similar to stock investing, except it can be more volatile.

Is Bitcoin Safe And Legal In India?

In 2020, the Supreme Court of India lifted the RBI’s restrictions on cryptocurrencies. According to the Supreme Court, the existence of Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency is unregulated but not unlawful. The verdict has greatly aided the world of digital money in the country. To put it another way, investing in Bitcoin is perfectly legal, and you may do so through various apps and traders.

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrency is not a legal tender and is currently unregulated. Kindly ensure that you undertake sufficient risk assessment when trading cryptocurrencies as they are often subject to high price volatility. The information provided in this section doesn't represent any investment advice or WazirX's official position. WazirX reserves the right in its sole discretion to amend or change this blog post at any time and for any reasons without prior notice.
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