Two Bitcoin Halving Countdowns
On this page, you’ll see two separate Bitcoin halving countdowns. This is to give you access to both ways of estimating the Bitcoin halving date.
The Purple Bitcoin Halving Countdown
The purple countdown is based on on-chain data directly from the Bitcoin blockchain. This means that the estimated time of arrival (ETA) of the halving may vary.
Why? Well, the block time is NOT always 10 minutes. The 10-minute block time is just the average. So, if the block time decreases to 9 minutes then the ETA will be sooner than expected, and vice versa.
However, thanks to the Bitcoin difficulty adjustment, the block time usually stays close to 10 minutes.
The purple on-chain Bitcoin halving countdown on this page is based on data that comes directly from the Bitcoin blockchain, via blockchain.com.
The Turquoise Bitcoin Halving Countdown
The turquoise Bitcoin halving countdown is based on the average block time of 10-minutes. This countdown gives us a good estimate of the approximate arrival of the halving.
The average block time is used by most people to estimate the halving. However, we decided to put both countdowns on this page. This way you have all the information on one page instead of switching back and forth between websites.
The Mechanics Of The Halving
Sometimes you might find that the purple countdown moves a little slower or a little faster than normal. This is because, a new block is added approximately every 10 minutes, but the block time changes from day-to-day. When the block time changes, then so does the countdowns’ ETA.
On this page, you can see the current block time, and it is that number that is used for the turquoise countdown to estimate the Bitcoin halving date.
When the Bitcoin hash rate increases dramatically. This leads to a lag in the automatic difficulty adjustment. The effect is that the halving could happen sooner than previously expected and vice versa.
The halving happens approximately every 4 years. However, a more specific measurement is that the halving takes place every 210,000 blocks.
This is why we created this on-chain Bitcoin halving countdown, it updates the target date in real-time whenever the blockchain data demands it. This will help you to estimate the Bitcoin halving date better.
The Bitcoin Halving Explained
Every four years there is something taking place called “the Bitcoin halving”. This is when the newly created supply of Bitcoin gets cut in half. In other words, the inflation rate gets cut in half. Hence, the name “Bitcoin halving”.
In this article, we will explain to you exactly what this Bitcoin halving is and why it’s so important. Understanding the Bitcoin halving might sound like a complicated task, but it’s easier than you think.
Bitcoin Mining & The Mining Reward
To understand the Bitcoin halving, we first have to understand what Bitcoin mining is. So, when someone uses their computing power to validate transactions, they get rewarded with newly minted Bitcoins.
This is done because the Bitcoin network is decentralized, so there is no central bank or authority to validate transactions.
The Bitcoin network is self-sustaining by using newly minted coins as an incentive for people who offer their computational power.
Every time a miner solves a mathematical problem and closes a block in the Bitcoin blockchain, he is rewarded with Bitcoin. This is called the “block reward”. A new block is added to the blockchain approximately every 10 minutes.
Total Supply Of Bitcoins To Be Mined
The creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, decided that the limit of total Bitcoins should be 21 million. No one knows why he chose this number, and the number itself does not matter. What matters is that there can never be more than 21 million.
However, all of these Bitcoins are not mined yet. In fact, it will take more than a hundred years before all Bitcoins have been mined. People estimate that the last Bitcoin will be mined in the year 2144.
Bitcoin Halving Meaning
Satoshi Nakamoto decided that the newly created supply of Bitcoins would be distributed through mining until the 21 million coin limit is met. These Bitcoins will be distributed through a strict set of rules. The rule says that the block reward will be cut in half every four years until every Bitcoin is mined. In other words, the Bitcoin inflation will be halved every four years.
The block reward is currently at 6.25 Bitcoins per block, which means that approximately 900 Bitcoins are generated every day. After the next halving this will be cut in half to 450 Bitcoins per day.
Below is an image showing us the inflation of Bitcoin in orange, and the supply of Bitcoin in blue over the next 50 years. As you can see, the orange line has clear steps down every four years at every halving. And as the inflation gets lower you can see the blue line level out.
Bitcoin Halving Dates
When the Bitcoin network was first launched January 1st 2009, the Bitcoin block reward was 50 Bitcoins per block.
Almost four years later on November the 28th 2012, Bitcoin had its first halving and the block reward was cut in half, to 25 Bitcoins.
Another four years later on July the 9th 2016 the second Bitcoin halving took place and the block reward was again cut in half to 12.5 Bitcoins per block. The third Bitcoin halving is taking place in 2020 and will cut the block reward to 6.25 Bitcoins per block.
In another 4 years in 2024, there will be a forth Bitcoin halving cutting the reward down to 3.125 Bitcoins per block. As stated above, this schedule of halvings will continue until the Bitcoin inflation is 0%.
Actually, the fact that the Bitcoin inflation will reach 0% makes Bitcoin the most scarce asset on the planet. There is nothing else in the world that will have such an absolute limited supply.
Bitcoin Halving 2020
The Bitcoin halving of 2020 will take place in May and pushes the block reward down from 6.25 Bitcoins to 3.125 Bitcoins per block. The current annual Bitcoin inflation is at 3.68% but after the 2020 halving the inflation will be cut in half to approximately 1.80%.
This means that the Bitcoin inflation will be lower than the official inflation target of 2% set by central banks. The inflation rate of gold is at 1.6%, and gold has a market cap of approximately $9 trillion dollars.
Bitcoin Halving History
Bitcoin has only been around since the 3rd of January 2009. In these 11 years of Bitcoin history, we’ve only seen 2 Bitcoin halvings so far.
No one knows why Satoshi Nakamoto chose the 21 million Bitcoins limit or why the inflation is cut in half every four years. Logically, it could as well have been 134 million in total Bitcoins and a halving every 10 years. Nevertheless, the Bitcoin inflation keeps getting cut in half every four years and this will continue approximately until the year 2144.
Bitcoin Halving Chart
Everyone who is into Bitcoin trading is trying to use the historical halvings to predict the future. Historical price action can never guarantee future price action. However, sometimes we can find significant patterns that can at least help us see some possible trends. Looking in the Bitcoin halving chart we can see a clear trend of the Bitcoin price going up massively after the Bitcoin halvings.
The vertical red lines in this image below represent the Bitcoin halvings. In the image, you can see how the Bitcoin price has had an amazing bull run following both of the previous Bitcoin halvenings.
Bitcoin Halving Or Halvening?
On social media, you’ll see people using both of these spellings referring to the same thing. There is not a right or wrong way of saying it, but the more grammatically correct way seems to be Bitcoin “halving”, not Bitcoin halvening.
How To Buy Bitcoin Before The Halving
There are many Bitcoin exchanges that let you buy Bitcoin with FIAT money (US dollars, Euros etc.). The most popular Bitcoin exchange is Coinbase. Now, if you want to compare the different exchanges against each other, you can check out our full list of Bitcoin exchanges. In our list, we’ve compiled the most popular exchanges and compared the different fees that they take.