World's Largest Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin Network Completes Its Fourth Halving; Details Inside

On Friday, the world's largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, finished its halving, an event that occurs about every four years.

Published on Apr 20, 2024  |  05:57 PM IST |  26.8K
Image Courtesy: Getty Images
Image Courtesy: Getty Images
Key Highlight
  • The Bitcoin network on Friday evening completed its fourth halving
  • The halving was written into bitcoin's code at its inception by pseudonymous creator

Yesterday marked the official start of one of the most anticipated events for the digital asset industry. Yes, the halving of the circulating supply of Bitcoin has occurred, marking the start of the Bitcoin Halving Event. Everyone's attention is now focused on the potential effects of this event on the price of Bitcoin.

Its popularity in the market at large should also cause the event to greatly affect the overall industry. Bitcoin was fairly stable immediately afterward, falling 0.5 percent to US$63,747. A tweak to the cryptocurrency's underlying technology called "halving" was much anticipated by fans of the virtual currency since it would slow down the creation of new bitcoins.

At the outset, the pseudonymous developer of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, included a halve mechanism in the code to slow down the creation pace of new units. The halving was called one of the biggest events in crypto this year, which promotes exchange-traded bitcoin ETFs, by Chris Gannatti, global head of research at asset manager WisdomTree.

Bitcoin enthusiasts have eagerly waited for the halving

There are cryptocurrency enthusiasts who believe that the halving of bitcoin will highlight its value as a scarcer asset. A 21 million-token supply was set by Nakamoto for Bitcoin. Skeptics, however, believe it's just a technical tweak hyped by traders to drive up the value of the virtual currency. The mechanism of the operation is to make it more costly for cryptocurrency miners to create new tokens by halving the rewards they receive for doing so.



This comes after a sharp decline in the price of bitcoin in 2022 that saw it reach an all-time high of US$73,803.25, reached in March of 2023. The value of the largest cryptocurrency in the world as of Thursday was US$63,800.

Expectations that central banks may lower interest rates, coupled with the enthusiasm surrounding the US Securities and Exchange Commission's decision in January to legalize spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds, have helped to bolster bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

There have been halvings in 2020, 2016, and 2012. While some cryptocurrency enthusiasts interpret price increases that followed them as evidence that the upcoming halving of bitcoin will increase its value, many analysts remain skeptical. With geopolitical tensions and predictions that central banks would hold rates higher for longer unsettled global markets, Bitcoin has lost direction since its record high in March and has plummeted throughout the last two weeks.

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Know more about Bitcoin

When was Bitcoin launched?
Bitcoin was launched in January 2009 by a computer programmer – or group of programmers – using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.

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