16 April 2024

As we approach the fourth Bitcoin 'halving', Jack Igglesden, Associate Advocate at DQ Advocates and Legal Counsel at CoinCorner, explores the significance of the halving, including a look at historical patterns and the potential ramifications for investors and digital asset markets. 


Understanding the Bitcoin Halving and Its Impact

Bitcoin, a revolutionary addition to financial technology, has captured widespread interest primarily due to its remarkable value trajectory. From its inception in January 2009, Bitcoin's value has soared from $0.0009 to an all-time high of over $70,000 per coin in March 2024. However, understanding the factors behind Bitcoin's volatile fluctuations requires delving into various elements, including market demand, investor sentiment, regulatory dynamics, technological advancements, macroeconomic trends, and specific events such as the Bitcoin "halving," predicted to occur in April of this year.

Explaining Bitcoin Mining

Before diving into the intricacies of the halving event, it's essential to grasp the concept of Bitcoin mining. Bitcoin operates on a deflationary model, with a predetermined cap of 21 million coins, of which approximately 19.65 million have already been mined. Bitcoin miners form a network of validators who verify transactions across the network. This verification process, known as Bitcoin mining, involves miners confirming blocks of transactions through complex mathematical computations as part of the proof-of-work mechanism. Miners are rewarded with a set number of Bitcoin for successfully adding a new block to the blockchain, creating a sequential series of blocks containing transaction data.

Understanding the ‘Halving’

The "halving" refers to the event where the rate at which new Bitcoin can be mined decreases by 50%. In May 2020, the reward for mining a new block was halved from 12.5 Bitcoin to 6.25 Bitcoin. Come April 2024, this reward will halve again to around 3.125 Bitcoin. This process recurs every 210,000 blocks, approximately every four years, until the total supply of 21 million coins is exhausted, projected to occur around the year 2140. The Bitcoin halving is pivotal for its long-term viability and scarcity.


Halving Number


Block Height

Block Reward (BTC)


28 November 2012


From 50 to 25


9 July 2016


From 25 to 12.5


11 May 2020


From 12.5 to 6.25


20 April 2024*


From 6.25 to 3.125

*Estimated 4th halving date


Historical Price Patterns

Historically, the halving has instigated significant volatility in Bitcoin's price. It typically triggers a pre-halving surge followed by a year of substantial growth, driven by the anticipation of reduced supply and increased mainstream adoption. However, these parabolic movements are often succeeded by a mass sell-off, causing prices to plummet (up to 80% from all-time highs), leading to a period of consolidation known as a bear market.

Unique Aspects of the 2024 Halving

The forthcoming 2024 halving carries unique implications, particularly with the recent introduction of spot Bitcoin ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds) in the US. These ETFs have expanded access to Bitcoin investment, attracting over $12.9 billion in total inflows across eleven SEC-approved offerings. It remains to be seen whether these ETFs will mitigate post-halving selling pressures, potentially heralding Bitcoin's transition to a more stable asset class.


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