What Is Bitcoin Halving?
Bitcoin halving is a process that occurs roughly every four years in the bitcoin network, where the reward for mining new blocks is halved. This is built into the bitcoin protocol to control the rate at which new bitcoins are created and released into circulation.
In the early days of the bitcoin network, the block reward was 50 bitcoins. When the first halving occurred, the block reward became 25 bitcoins. The second halving, which occurred in 2016, reduced the block reward to 12.5 bitcoins. And the third halving which happen at May 11, 2020 the block reward became 6.25 bitcoin.
The halving process continues until all 21 million bitcoins have been mined, at which point there will be no block rewards left to be halved. The total number of bitcoins that will eventually be mined is hard-capped at 21 million, so the halving process ensures that new bitcoins will become increasingly scarce over time. This scarcity is intended to mimic the scarcity of gold and other precious metals, which are often used as a store of value.
It is important to note that, the event of halving usually affect the market value of Bitcoin, as the reduction of mining reward will decrease the rate of new coins entering the market, and that could cause a change in supply and demand and that could lead to an increase or decrease in the price of Bitcoin.
The block interval between two halvings is 210,000 blocks. This is because the Bitcoin protocol is programmed to adjust the mining difficulty every 2016 blocks (about every two weeks) in order to maintain a consistent block interval of 10 minutes. At this rate, it takes approximately four years (or exactly 210,000 blocks) for the total number of mined bitcoins to reach the next halving threshold.
It's important to note that the mining process can be affected by various factors, such as mining power and the number of miners participating in the network, so the exact number of blocks mined between halvings may vary slightly. The last halvings occurred at block height 630,000 (2016) and block height 630,000 + 210,000 (2020) respectively.