And it happened finally! The third Bitcoin halvening event was concluded around 11th May, 2020 at 19:23:23 UTC and the block rewards are now officially cut in half from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC. The event was highly anticipated by the crypto community and blockchain enthusiast. As expected, it caused an increase in the volatility of the premier crypto-asset, but is likely to have a positive influence on the price of Bitcoin, gathering from past halvening events.
The Final Block – 629,999
Bitcoin inflation rate now is 1.80% per annum (falling from 3.65%) making it scarcer than gold. Actually, Bitcoin is now the least inflationary asset, in the world. Until now, 87.5% of Bitcoin’s supply (21M total) has been mined. The final block before the halvening was mined by “F2Pool” at block height 629999. It rewarded a total of 13.568 BTC to the block (out of which 12.5 BTC was the final block and the rest was the amount paid to miners for processing other transactions). The block contained the following message in its Coinbase transaction “NYTimes 09/April/2020 with $2.3T Injection, Fed’s Plan Far Exceeds 2008 Rescue”.
This is no doubt a reference to the worsening condition of the global financial system and a message that Bitcoin and the blockchain technology can provide an alternate system. Satoshi Nakamoto himself added the message “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks”, referring to financial crisis of 2007-2008 and the central banks action of printing / injecting money, into the system. The economic situation is actually worse today than the last crisis.
Bitcoin Fourth Halvening May 2024
Bitcoin fourth halvening event is expected to take place around May 2024 and will further reduce block reward from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC, however just like the third halvening event, it can take place faster than the estimated time, because of the increase in hashing power, which processes the requisite blocks faster and causes the event to happen sooner. At that time, the inflation rate will fall from 1.80% to 0.84% at block height 840,000.
About Bitcoin Halvening
Bitcoin halvening is the event, when the mining rewards are cut in half or divided by 2. It takes place roughly every four years or after every 210,000 blocks. It results in the rate of inflation going down, Bitcoin minting difficulty rising and the asset itself becoming scarcer. The premier crypto-asset started with a block reward of 50 BTC, which then reduced to 25 BTC on 29th November 2012 at block height 210,000 in the first halvening event. The second halvening event was on 10th July 2016 when the block reward was reduced from 25 BTC to 12.5 BTC at block height 420,000. The halvenings will continue like that, until the last Bitcoin is mined in 2140 (the emission rate is known and predictable from the algorithm) after which the miners will earn mainly from fees and no further BTCs will come into existence.