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Bitcoin halving countdown: When is the next Bitcoin halving?

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What is the Bitcoin halving?

The Bitcoin halving is when its block rewards are cut in half. When this happens, new Bitcoin is only created half as fast as before. This makes it scarcer and theoretically more valuable.

This is a regular occurrence, which happens on a schedule that’s built into Bitcoin’s programming. It happens every 210,000 blocks. The first was in 2012, the second in 2016 and the third is expected to occur around May 2020, when the Bitcoin network reaches block number 630,000.

The first halvingThe second halvingThe third halving
28 November 20129 July 2016May 2020 (estimated)
50 BTC to 25 BTC25 BTC to 12.5 BTC12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC

Check out our Bitcoin 101 guide on how it works and where to get it

How does the Bitcoin halving work?

Each halving sharply reduces Bitcoin’s inflation rate. This halving process is what gives Bitcoin its distinctive supply curve.

It works by simply reducing the amount of new Bitcoin that miners earn from finding a block on the Bitcoin blockchain, with the overall effect of reducing Bitcoin’s inflation rate.

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Why is the halving important?

The halving is important for Bitcoin-watchers, because it may affect Bitcoin prices.

It’s believed to affect prices because it reduces Bitcoin’s inflation rate, which makes it more scarce and theoretically more valuable. Bitcoin’s annual inflation rate is currently around 4%, but after the next halving it will drop to around 2%.

Why is there a Bitcoin halving?

Bitcoin was designed to become increasingly scarce over time, specifically for the purpose of retaining monetary value. This was by design, because the functionality of the Bitcoin network depends on the coin retaining its value.

The regular halvings are designed to support this, by consistently reducing the supply of Bitcoin.

Will Bitcoin prices rise because of the halving?

It’s not possible to say with certainty what Bitcoin prices will do in the future, but if you subscribe to the theory that Bitcoin’s value is based on supply and demand, then it stands to reason that limiting the supply would correspond with a price rise.

Historically, Bitcoin prices have enjoyed brief rises prior to the halving from people trading on the anticipation, then longer, larger rises afterwards, as the additional scarcity does its part.


The first halving: 28 November 2012

The first Bitcoin halving was in November 2012 and Bitcoin prices steadily rallied in the lead-up. BTC prices were less than $4 at the start of the year and hit $13 by the end.

To date, that was the last time anyone could buy Bitcoin for less than $13.

Picture not described

Source: 99Bitcoins

Sentiment ran high through November as the first ever Bitcoin halving approached and prices steadily increased throughout November in anticipation of the first halving. Bitcoin enthusiasts threw “halving parties” and people watched to see what it would do to the prices.

The impact was substantial and the halving clearly had a major impact on how people perceived the value of a Bitcoin.


The second halving: 9 July 2016

The second halving, on 9 July 2016, was also preceded by high volumes and enthusiastic trading. The market impact of the event is clearly visible.

That price slump after the second halving was people’s last chance (to date) to buy Bitcoin for less than $600.

Picture not described

Source: CoinMarketCap

This time anticipation peaked a month before the event, resulting in a sell-off and then an eventual run-up towards the end of the year.

In contrast to the parties and enthusiasm of the first halving, market-watchers were more practical and jaded this time around. The general consensus seemed to be that Bitcoin had peaked at $750 and that anyone hoping for major results from the second halving would be disappointed.

But six months later Bitcoin was nearing $1,000.

The third halving: 20 May 2020

May 2019 was a good month for Bitcoin prices. It started at around $5,000 and finished at $8,500. June replicated the feat, taking Bitcoin up to $14,000 before it pulled back.

It’s not possible to say whether this is pent-up anticipation for the next halving, but it’s clear that each of Bitcoin’s halvings has resulted in it settling into new price tiers. Each Bitcoin halving to date has had a significant impact on Bitcoin and a lot of people are expecting the next one to do the same.

Looking to buy or sell Bitcoin?

Here are exchanges where you can buy or sell Bitcoin in Canada. Alternatively, you can take a look at our step-by-step guides on how to buy Bitcoin and how to sell Bitcoin.

Name Product Deposit methods Fiat Currencies Cryptocurrencies
Bitbuy Digital Currency Exchange
Cryptocurrency, Interac e-Transfer, Wire transfer
CAD

9
cryptocurrencies

Get a $20 bonus when you open an account and deposit at least CAD$250. T&Cs apply.
At this Canada-based cryptocurrency exchange, you can fund your account in CAD via Interac eTransfer and bank wire.
Netcoins Exchange
Netcoins Exchange
Cryptocurrency, Interac e-Transfer, Bank Wire, Online Bill Payments
CAD

7
cryptocurrencies

Buy Bitcoin and 5 other cryptocurrencies instantly using this straightforward broker.
NDAX Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer (ACH)
CAD

10
cryptocurrencies

Get a $10 bonus when you open an account and deposit at least CAD$100. T&Cs apply.
NDAX is a Canada-based digital asset exchange with CAD currency pairs and with options for advanced traders.
CoinSmart Cryptocurrency Exchange
Credit card, Debit card, Interac e-Transfer, Bank Wire, Bank Draft
CAD

10
cryptocurrencies

Get a $20 bonus in BTC when you open an account and deposit at least CAD$100. T&Cs apply.
Buy and sell cryptocurrency quickly and easily, with instant verification and 24/7 customer support, on this Canadian exchange.
Gate.io Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
USD, EUR, GBP, HKD, SGD, AUD, CHF, MXN

299
cryptocurrencies

Finder exclusive: New users get $90 worth of Gate.IO points and an airdrop of $5 in random tokens if trade volume exceeds $100 in their first week. T&Cs apply.
A feature-rich exchange with over 700 tokens including derivatives, yield farming and lending products.
Coinberry Cryptocurrency Exchange
Credit card, Debit card, Interac e-Transfer, Wire transfer
CAD

6
cryptocurrencies

Get a $20 bonus when you buy or sell at least CAD$50 in digital currency. T&Cs apply.
Buy and sell cryptocurrency with Canadian dollars on this beginner-friendly Canadian exchange.
Crypto.com App
Credit card, Cryptocurrency, PayPal, TransferWise, SEPA
USD, AUD, CAD, CHF, EUR, GBP, NZD, SGD, JPY, ZAR & 9+ more

153
cryptocurrencies

Buy 100+ cryptocurrencies, earn up to 14.5% p.a. on holdings, pay with your crypto for cashback at stores, get loans and more with this complete crypto-finance platform.
Wealthsimple Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer (EFT)
CAD

25
cryptocurrencies

Get a $50 cash bonus and commission-free trades when you open a Wealthsimple Trade or Crypto account and deposit and trade at least $150. Sign-up today to take advantage of this offer!
Buy and sell a range of cryptocurrencies instantly with no deposit or withdrawal fees.
Binance Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer (ACH)
USD, AUD, GBP, EUR, RUB, TRY, NGN, UAH, PHP, CZK & 20+ more

313
cryptocurrencies

Promo: New users earn up to USD 100 in bonus rewards on qualified deposits and trades. Valid till 31 December 2021. T&Cs apply.
Trade an extensive range of reputable coins on this world-renowned exchange, popular for its high liquidity and multi-language support.

US residents: As of September 2019, US-based users can only trade USD on the American dollar onramp of Binance, Binance.US.
UK residents: In addition to normal crypto trading services, Binance offers margin lending. As this is a regulated activity which they are not authorised to offer in the UK, we advise you not to use this service. If you're interested in margin trading, see authorised providers.
CA residents: Binance is not available for Ontario-based users.
FTX Cryptocurrency Exchange
FTX Cryptocurrency Exchange
Credit card, Wire transfer, Silvergate Exchange Network (SEN), Signature SIGNET
USD,EUR,GBP,AUD,HKD,SGD,TRY,ZAR,CAD,CHF,BRL

69
cryptocurrencies

FTX is an exchange built by traders for traders, with a range of derivatives markets such as options and futures with deep leverage, in addition to standard spot markets. Note: Not available for US customers.
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Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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