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Last Updated on 2 weeks by AllinAllSpace

Bitcoin, the world’s leading cryptocurrency, experienced its latest halving event in mid-April 2024. These halving events, occurring approximately every four years, are pivotal for Bitcoin as they reduce the rewards miners earn for validating transactions, effectively decreasing the rate at which new Bitcoins are introduced into circulation. For everyday investors without deep technical expertise, grasping the market implications of a halving event is essential. This article seeks to provide a clear understanding of Bitcoin halving 2024 impact on the Bitcoin market, supported by historical data and fundamental economic principles.

What is Bitcoin Halving?

Bitcoin halving is the process by which the reward for mining new Bitcoin blocks is reduced by half. This means miners earn 50% fewer Bitcoins for their work. In the Bitcoin halving 2024, the block reward decreased from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC. This event is part of Bitcoin’s design to ensure the total supply is limited to 21 million, making Bitcoin a deflationary asset. With a current circulating supply of 19.69 million (see chart below), the scope for new Bitcoins is limited. Each halving decreases the inflationary impact of mining on Bitcoin, with the next cycle expected to create just 3.3% of new Bitcoin supply, significantly less than previous cycles.

Source blockchain.com

Historical Perspective on Previous Halvings

We reviewed here in AllinAllSpace the 2020 Bitcoin halving. Bitcoin’s halving history highlights its growth and the significant impact of these events, as seen in the table below.

Halving DateHalving Reward ChangePrice FromPrice Within 180 Days
November 201250 to 25 BTC$12$120
July 201625 to 12.5 BTC$660$910
May 202012.5 to 6.25 BTC$7300$12000
April 20246.25 to 3.125 BTC$67,000TBD

As observed, when excluding various external factors such as market sentiment, global economic conditions, or significant news like crypto adoption by major financial players, there has been a substantial increase in Bitcoin’s price following all three previous halvings. Why would it be any different this time?

Removing External Factors from Bitcoin Price Analysis

No one possesses a crystal ball that can predict Bitcoin’s future price. Moreover, any economics freshman student will tell you that predicting the future price of Bitcoin (or any asset) depends on many variables. Indeed, Bitcoin’s price is influenced by many factors that have complex interrelations. To simplify our discussion, we will neutralize various influencing factors and concentrate specifically on the impact of Bitcoin halving in 2024.

Although obviously, the list is not exhaustive, let’s sample a few:

Bitcoin Halving 2024 Supply and Demand Dynamics

After we remove the dependencies out of the way, we can focus on how the Bitcoin halving 2024 affects the Bitcoin market. At the heart of the expected price increase is the basic economic principle of supply and demand. When the supply of an asset decreases but demand remains the same or increases, the price typically rises. Here’s a simple chain of events to illustrate this:

Step 1 – Bitcoin Halving 2024 Occurs

On April 19, 2024, the Bitcoin block reward was halved from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC. The halving directly reduces the number of new Bitcoins entering the market, creating a supply shock. With the reward now at 3.125 BTC per block, fewer new Bitcoins are being mined daily.

Have a look below at the post-halving blockchain #848,156. Note that the reward received by AntPool (in this case) is slightly different from the base block reward of 3.125 BTC due to transaction fees in the sum of 0.2526 BTC.

Source blockchain.com

Step 2 – Reduced Supply

The daily production of new Bitcoins drops, leading to a reduced flow of new Bitcoins into the market. An interesting chart that visualizes the supply shrinkage of Bitcoin over time is the stock-to-flow (S2F) model chart. The model introduced by Plan B is a method to evaluate the scarcity of a commodity like Bitcoin by comparing its current stock (total supply) to the flow (annual production).

The chart presents the spot Bitcoin price and the Stock-to-Flow (S2F) model’s 463-day projected price on a logarithmic scale. Currently, the S2F model predicts a price level of $150,000, significantly higher than the spot price of $67,000. Additionally, the color scale on the spot price indicates the number of days before the next halving event (with red representing a longer time before halving). The chart illustrates a positive correlation between the start of the cycle and Bitcoin’s price, which is in line with the projections of the S2F model.

Note that according to this model until 2026 the predicted price levels should be above 1M$ (!) which is ~1400% return. Let’s take this with grain of salt, while historically accurate, it is based on past data and assumes that future market conditions will remain similar, which may not account for unforeseen changes in the crypto market dynamics as explained above.

If you are skeptical about the prediction, see this article from 2019 to the question if Bitcoin can reach 100k$.

Source bitbo.io

Step 3 – Miner Behavior

Once the supply incentive is reduced, we can expect miners to reduce their operations until either the price of Bitcoin rises enough to compensate for the reduced mining income or the mining expenses decrease to improve profit margins. One of the primary costs in mining is electricity, which is measured by hash rate.

As shown in the chart below, the total hash rate consistently drops after a Bitcoin halving due to the shutdown of mining operations. CoinShares analysts had anticipated this and projected the weighted average cash cost of production to be $53,000, compared to the pre-halving cost of around $29,500 based on their methodology. This decline in hash rate aligns with the expected reduction in operations as miners adjust to the new economic realities.

 

Source blockchain.com

 

Step 4 – Market Volatility Post-Bitcoin Halving 2024

Volatility arises from uncertainty. When there is a disruption, such as a Bitcoin halving, we should expect volatility to increase. This happens because the market’s expected returns change, reflecting different anticipated scenarios. A halving event triggers a series of reactions open to interpretation by market participants, often resulting in price fluctuations.

As shown in the chart below, the BVOL24H Index, which measures price volatility, displays an upward trend followed by a correction. We can still expect volatility to remain relatively high until a new equilibrium is reached.

Simplified Chain of Events Example

Understanding the price is a function of supply and demand, which is key here. To further clarify, let’s use a simplified analogy involving a rare collectible item:

1. Initial Situation:
– Imagine a rare football card that is produced in limited quantities. Every four years, the production of this card is cut in half.

2. Halving Event:
– In 2024, the number of new cards produced each year is halved.

3. Reduced Supply:
– Fewer new cards are available, but collectors still want them.

4. Increased Demand:
– The rarity of the card increases its desirability, attracting more collectors.

5. Price Increase:
– With more people wanting the card and fewer available, the price naturally goes up.

Concerns of Electricity Consumption Due to Mining

Bitcoin mining consumes a significant amount of electricity, raising environmental and economic concerns. The process of mining requires powerful computers that operate continuously to solve complex algorithms, which in turn validate transactions on the blockchain. This intense computational activity leads to high electricity usage. For example, the Bitcoin network’s annual energy consumption was estimated to rival that of entire countries such as Argentina or the Netherlands in 2020.

This consumption has several implications. Environmentally, the reliance on fossil fuels for electricity in many regions exacerbates carbon emissions, contributing to climate change. Economically, the high energy demand can strain local power grids and increase electricity costs, affecting both consumers and businesses. These concerns have prompted a search for more sustainable mining practices.

Some solutions include transitioning to renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, to reduce the carbon footprint of mining operations. Additionally, innovations in mining technology, such as more energy-efficient hardware, can help mitigate the impact. There are also discussions about altering the consensus mechanism from proof-of-work, which is energy-intensive, to proof-of-stake, which significantly reduces energy consumption.

However, the shift to greener solutions faces challenges, including the initial cost of infrastructure changes and the current profitability of traditional mining methods. Policymakers and industry leaders are increasingly aware of these issues and are working towards regulations and incentives that promote sustainable mining practices.

Summary

The April 2024 Bitcoin halving is a pivotal event with far-reaching implications. Based on historical patterns, Bitcoin’s price is likely to rise in the long term, supported by reduced supply growth and positive market sentiment. In the short term, the market may experience volatility as it adjusts to the new dynamics.

For common investors, understanding the basic economic principles of supply and demand can provide valuable insights into why Bitcoin’s price is expected to increase post-halving. Historical data from previous halvings in 2016 and 2020 supports the expectation of significant price appreciation in the months and years following a halving event.

With that said, investors should remain informed about market conditions, technological advancements, and regulatory developments. While Bitcoin’s long-term outlook appears positive, it is essential to consider the environmental impact of mining and advocate for more sustainable practices within the cryptocurrency industry. By staying informed and making strategic decisions, investors can potentially benefit from the opportunities presented by Bitcoin’s unique economic model.


Disclaimer:

The information provided in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. The content is based on personal opinions and experiences and should not be considered as professional investment advice. All investments carry risks, including the potential loss of principal. Always conduct your own research and seek advice from a qualified financial advisor before making any investment decisions. The author and the website disclaim any liability for any loss or damage incurred as a result of using or relying on the information provided in this article.

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