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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.

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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.

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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 the UK. 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
eToro UK Cryptoasset Investing
Debit card, Neteller, PayPal, Wire transfer, Online banking
EUR, GBP, NZD, USD, AUD, CAD, HKD, SGD, CHF, NOK & 5+ more

63
cryptocurrencies

Disclaimer: Cryptoassets are highly volatile and unregulated in the UK. No consumer protection. Tax on profits may apply.
CoinJar Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer, Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Debit card, Faster Payments (FPS), Apple Pay, Google Pay
GBP, AUD

53
cryptocurrencies

CoinJar offers a simple way to buy, sell, or trade cryptocurrency with GBP. Trade from your desktop or mobile with a 1% fee and withdrawals are free to your bank account.
Koinal Cryptoasset Investing
Credit card, Debit card, China Union Pay, SEPA, Swift or Apple Pay
USD, EUR, GBP

8
cryptocurrencies

Finder Exclusive: Sign up with code finder100 and get USD 100 in BTC after your first USD 1000 purchase. T&Cs apply.
Koinal lets you buy multiple cryptocurrencies instantly with Visa or Mastercard. 24/7 support and quick verification available on desktop or mobile.
Kriptomat Cryptocurrency Exchange
Credit card, Neteller, SOFORT, Skrill, SEPA
EUR, USD, GBP, BGN, HRK, CZK, HUF, PLN, SEK, TRY

355
cryptocurrencies

Finder Exclusive: Sign up with code FINDER15 and get EUR 15 in BTC the first time you spend over EUR 100. T&Cs apply.
Buy a large selection of cryptocurrencies instantly via credit card or bank account after registering. Store your crypto conveniently in Kriptomat's multi-currency wallet.
Paybis Cryptocurrency Exchange
Paybis Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer, Cryptocurrency, Neteller, Skrill, Credit or Debit Card
EUR, GBP, USD, AUD, CAD, PHP, SGD, CHF, HKD, JPY & 30+ more

405
cryptocurrencies

Buy Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies with credit card or debit card on this digital cryptocurrency exchange.

US residents: Restricted in the following states - NY, CT, NM, WA, HI, AL, VT, FL, AK, NV.
Kraken Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer, Cryptocurrency, Wire transfer, Osko, SEPA, Apple Pay, Google Pay, SWIFT
USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CAD, CHF, AUD

131
cryptocurrencies

Kraken offers staking, an OTC desk, and dark pools. Trade multiple fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies from your desktop or mobile with near-instant deposits and withdrawals.
Coinpass Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer
GBP, EUR

13
cryptocurrencies

Make free fiat and crypto deposits as well as fast transactions on this crypto exchange.
Uphold Digital Money Platform
Bank transfer (ACH), Credit card, Debit card
USD, GBP, AUD, EUR, CAD, CNY, JPY, SGD, INR, NZD & 10+ more

108
cryptocurrencies

Buy, send and convert from 27 currencies in seconds, all on one platform.
Gemini Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer (ACH), Debit card, Wire transfer
USD, AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, SGD, HKD, COP

106
cryptocurrencies

Get USD 25 in BTC when you trade USD 100 within 3 days of signing up. T&Cs apply.
Execute multiple trade types with no fees on cryptocurrency and wire transfer deposits on this exchange.
Coinbase Digital Currency Exchange
Bank transfer (ACH), Credit card, Debit card, PayPal, Bank transfer (SEPA)
USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, MXN, HRK, CZK, DKK, CLP, BGN & 10+ more

168
cryptocurrencies

Get £5 free with your first trade. T&Cs apply.
Buy and sell major cryptocurrencies on one of the world's most renowned cryptocurrency exchanges.
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