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

By December 14, 2020March 29th, 20223 minute read
Bitcoin Halving: What You Need to Know - WazirX

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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What Is Meant By Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital currency that was initially released in January 2009. It is based on ideas offered by Satoshi Nakamoto, a mysterious and pseudonymous figure, in a whitepaper. The name of the person or individuals who invented technology has not been revealed. Bitcoin promises lower transaction fees than other online payment systems, and unlike government-issued currencies, it is decentralized.

How Many Bitcoins Are There?

There are 18,730,931.25 Bitcoins in circulation as of June 2021. The total number of Bitcoins that would ever be there is just 21 million. On average, 144 blocks are mined every day, with 6.25 Bitcoins per block. The average number of new Bitcoins mined every day is 900, calculated by multiplying 144 by 6.25.

How Can I Get Bitcoin?

To begin, go to the WazirX website and register. After that, you will receive a verification email. The link received by verification mail will only be available for a few seconds, so make sure you click it as quickly as possible. This will successfully verify your email address. The following step is to set up security, so choose the best solution for you. After you've set up the security, you'll be given the option of continuing with or without completing the KYC process. Following that, you'll be sent to the Funds & Transfers section, where you can begin depositing Bitcoins into your wallet. You may also use INR to fund your WazirX Bitcoin wallet and then use it to purchase Bitcoin.

How To Invest In Cryptocurrency?

There are two ways of investing in cryptocurrency, mining and via exchanges. Cryptocurrency mining is considered the procedure of verifying and adding transactions to the blockchain public ledger. Another option is via cryptocurrency exchanges. Exchanges generate money by collecting transaction fees, but there are alternative websites where you can interact directly with other users who want to trade cryptocurrencies.

How Does Bitcoin Technology Work?

The blockchain is the foundation of Bitcoin. It is a decentralized, distributed ledger that tracks the provenance of digital assets. The data on a blockchain can't be changed by design, making it a real disruptor in industries like payments, cybersecurity, and healthcare.

What Is Crypto?

Crypto or a cryptocurrency is a digital currency protected by cryptography, making counterfeiting and double-spending nearly impossible. Blockchain technology is used to produce cryptocurrencies (a distributed ledger enforced by a distributed network of computers). Cryptocurrencies are distinct in that a government does not issue them. The word "cryptocurrency" refers to the encryption methods employed to keep digital currencies and the network secure.

How To Convert Bitcoin To Cash?

There are many ways of converting Bitcoin to cash, such as crypto exchanges, Bitcoin ATMs, Bitcoin Debit Cards, Peer to Peer Transactions. You can use cryptocurrency exchanges such as WazirX for this. Unlike typical ATMs, which allow you to withdraw money from your bank account, a Bitcoin ATM is a physical location where you may buy and sell Bitcoins using fiat currency. Several websites provide the option of selling Bitcoin in return for a prepaid debit card that may be used just like a standard debit card. You can sell Bitcoin for cash through a peer-to-peer platform in a faster and more anonymous manner.

How To Create Bitcoin Account?

Firstly, Go to the WazirX website and sign up. Then, a verification mail will be sent to you. The link sent via verification mail would be available only for a few seconds so make sure you click on the link sent to you as soon as possible, and it will verify your email address successfully. The next step is to set up security, so select the most suitable option for you. After you have set up the security, you will get a choice to either proceed further with or without completing the KYC procedure. After that, you will be directed to the Funds and Transfer page, where you could start depositing Bitcoins to your wallet. You can also deposit INR and then use it to buy Bitcoin for your WazirX Bitcoin wallet.

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 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.

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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