How Halving Affects the Bitcoin
The halving takes effect when the number of ‘Bitcoins’ awarded to miners after their successful creation of the new block is cut in half. Therefore, this phenomenon will cut the awarded ‘Bitcoins’ from 25 coins to 12.5. It is not a new thing, however, it does have a lasting effect and it is not yet known whether it is good or bad for ‘Bitcoin’.
People, who are not familiar with ‘Bitcoin’, usually ask why does the Halving take place if the effects cannot be predicted. The answer is simple; it is pre-established. To counter the issue of currency devaluation, ‘Bitcoin’ mining was designed in such a way that a total of 21 million coins would ever be issued, which is achieved by cutting the reward given to miners in half every 4 years. Therefore, it is an essential element of ‘Bitcoin’s existence and not a decision.
Acknowledging the occurrence of the halving is one thing, but evaluating the ‘repercussion’ is an entirely different thing. People, who are familiar with the economic theory, will know that either supply of ‘Bitcoin’ will reduce as miners shut down operations or the supply restriction will move the price up, which will make the continued operations profitable. It is important to know which one of the two phenomena will occur, or what will the ratio be if both occur at the same time.
There is no central recording system in ‘Bitcoin’, as it is built on a distributed ledger system. This task is assigned to the miners, so, for the system to perform as planned, there has to be diversification among them. Having a few ‘Miners’ will give rise to centralization, which may result in a number of risks, including the likelihood of the 51 % attack. Although, it would not automatically occur if a ‘Miner’ gets a control of 51 percent of the issuance, yet, it could happen if such situation arises. It means that whoever gets to control 51 percent can either exploit the records or steal all of the ‘Bitcoin’. However, it should be understood that if the halving happens without a respective increase in price and we get close to 51 percent situation, confidence in ‘Bitcoin’ would get affected.
It doesn’t mean that the value of ‘Bitcoin’, i.e., its rate of exchange against other currencies, must double within 24 hours when halving occurs. At least partial improvement in ‘BTC’/USD this year is down to purchasing in anticipation of the event. So, some of the increase in price is already priced in. Moreover, the effects are expected to be spread out. These include a small loss of production and some initial improvement in price, with the track clear for a sustainable increase in price over a period of time.
This is exactly what happened in 2012 after the last halving. However, the element of risk still persists here because ‘Bitcoin’ was in a completely different place then as compared to where it is now. ‘Bitcoin’/USD was around $12.50 in 2012 right before the halving occurred, and it was easier to mine coins. The electricity and computing power required was relatively small, which means it was difficult to reach 51 percent control as there were little or no barriers to entry for the miners and the dropouts could be instantly replaced. On the contrary, with ‘Bitcoin’/USD at over $670 now and no possibility of mining from home anymore, it might happen, but according to a few calculations, it would still be a cost prohibitive attempt. Nevertheless, there might be a “bad actor” who would initiate an attack out of motivations other than monetary gain.
Therefore, it is safe to say that the actual effects of “the Halving” are probably favorable for current holders of ‘Bitcoin’ and the entire community, which brings us back to the fact that ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’, who designed the code that originated ‘Bitcoin’, was wiser than any of us as we peer into the future.