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Halving

Halving is a pre-programmed event in the code of certain cryptocurrencies, most notably Bitcoin, where the reward for mining new blocks is cut in half. This effectively reduces the rate at which new coins are created and earned by miners.

Purpose:

  1. Controlled Supply: Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have a fixed supply cap (21 million for Bitcoin). Halving ensures that the total supply will never exceed this cap.
  2. Inflation Control: By reducing the rate at which new coins are introduced, halving helps control inflation and potentially increases scarcity, which can influence demand and price.
  3. Reward Miners: Initially, when the mining reward was high, it was an incentive for miners to secure the network. As the network grows and transaction fees increase, the reliance on block rewards decreases.

How It Works:

  1. Frequency: For Bitcoin, halving occurs approximately every four years, or technically, every 210,000 blocks.
  2. Mining Reward Reduction: When Bitcoin was first launched in 2009, the reward for mining a block was 50 BTC. After the first halving in 2012, it was reduced to 25 BTC, then to 12.5 BTC in 2016, and to 6.25 BTC in 2020. The process will continue until the reward reaches zero, which is estimated to be in the year 2140.
  3. End of New Bitcoins: Once all 21 million Bitcoins have been mined, no new Bitcoins will be created. Miners will then solely rely on transaction fees as their incentive.

Implications:

  1. Price Impact: Historically, halving events have led to significant price surges in Bitcoin due to the reduced supply of new coins entering the market. However, past performance is not indicative of future results.
  2. Miner Profitability: As the reward decreases, miners with higher operational costs may find it unprofitable to mine, potentially leading to reduced competition and network centralization.
  3. Network Security: If too many miners exit due to decreased profitability, it could impact the security of the network. However, this risk is mitigated as transaction fees become a more significant portion of miners’ income over time.
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CryptoCurrencyUSDChange 1hChange 24hChange 7d
Bitcoin67,592 0.34 % 2.59 % 3.24 %
Litecoin85.80 0.13 % 0.50 % 4.54 %
XRP0.5297 0.03 % 0.35 % 2.45 %
Ethereum2,197.2 0.23 % 0.67 % 2.46 %
Dogecoin0.1548 0.37 % 0.09 % 7.69 %
Solana168.61 1.52 % 4.97 % 4.17 %
USDC1.000 0.10 % 0.02 % 0.08 %
Cardano0.2543 0.15 % 1.68 % 3.38 %
Tether0.9990 0.10 % 0.04 % 0.02 %
Binance Coin (Wormhole)222.47 0.38 % 4.71 % 3.08 %