The next bitcoin halving is almost here. The event is set to occur in mid-May and will likely have big impacts on the economics of Bitcoin mining & market.
- * In May, the reward for mining a block of bitcoin will halve from 12.5 to 6.25 BTC
- * If the market responds to this new halving like it did in 2016, we should see a surge in the price of Bitcoin, followed by a period of market volatility.
- * But the Bitcoin market today is a lot different than the market in 2016. Some experts believe that we shouldn’t expect to see a price adjustment, while others predict the halving will act as a major price catalyst.
Once every 4 years, the rate at which new bitcoin is created gets halved. This phenomenon is a Bitcoin halving.
Bitcoin’s supply is, by design, finite — once 21 million are mined, no new bitcoin can be generated. This decision is to ensure that bitcoin is deflationary, unlike most types of currency, avoiding the risk of runaway inflation. However, because the anonymous creator of Bitcoin wanted to make sure that people could mine bitcoin for a long time, the rate at which bitcoin is mined isn’t constant. Instead, the Bitcoin block reward rate is halved every 210,000 blocks. When halving occurs, the “block reward” for each successful, verified transaction gets cut in half. Halving may concentrating the infrastructure of bitcoin into fewer and fewer hands and being centralized.
Experts, however, aren’t 100% sure that the market will follow previous trends. We shouldn’t expect the market in 2020 to behave like it did in 2016. Some experts, like Coinshares CSo Meltem Demiors, believe the price surge has already happened, and the market won’t react much to the halving. The market is a lot larger, with much higher stakes and more general speculation than there was in 2016.
If investment growth remains constant, the bitcoin halving’s deflationary effect will likely result in a price boost. How much of an increase isn’t clear yet, but some investors are optimistic — like former hedge fund manager and Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz, who predicted that BTC would hit $20k this year.
However, there’s no reason to be sure that investment growth won’t increase. There are a lot more eyes on the Bitcoin market right now than there were in 2016, and the possibility of increased prices could result in a cash inflow that offsets the deflationary effect.
Others, like financial analyst and crypto writer Joseph Young, believe the halving may lead to a significant market correction and that investors should prepare for a significant dip in prices, both leading up to and after the halving.
In the long term, it seems reasonable to believe that bitcoin prices will return to trending upwards. The market has always rallied from major market corrections, and there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that things will look different this time. Even if there is a serious market correction, there’s no reason to believe the market won’t recover after a variable period.
That volatility may last for several months, though, before prices return to their pre-halving levels. Investors should prepare for this possibility too.