Bitcoin Halving 2024

This guide covers everything you need to know about the Bitcoin halving. We discuss what can be expected from the upcoming halving and how Bitcoin has reacted in the past to these events. Lastly, we break down the impact of the halving aside from price action.
Published: February 6, 2024   |   Last Updated: February 9, 2024
Matt Pearlstein

What Is The Bitcoin Halving?

The Bitcoin halving is a recurring event that cuts the amount of Bitcoin supply issuance in half. Specifically, it reduces the reward that Bitcoin miners receive each time that a new block is created on the blockchain.

The halving takes place on average every 4 years, and emphasizes one of the core components of Bitcoin: scarcity. While fiat currencies and commodities have an endless supply, there will never be more than 21 million Bitcoin in circulation.

Additionally, the event itself sparks a lot of optimism from crypto investors, as it has historically led to positive price action afterward. One reason is that newly issued Bitcoin is provided to miners, who verify transactions on the network and create new blocks. Since miners have bills to pay, they sell a portion of this new supply into the market, suppressing demand from buyers. 

Miners aside, the halving brings a lot of attention to the crypto space. And the next one is just around the corner!

When Will The Next Halving Occur?

The next Bitcoin halving will occur in April of this year (2024). While the date from our bitcoin halving countdown currently states April 22, 2024, this only estimates the timing.

Instead of occurring at an exact time in the future, the next Bitcoin halving will occur when the number of total blocks on Bitcoin’s blockchain reaches 840,000. Currently, a new block is generated on Bitcoin every ~10 minutes, allowing us to reasonably predict this event will happen close to April 22nd.

This trend will continue in the future until 2140, when all 21M Bitcoin that will ever be created are mined. A halving will occur every 210,000 blocks until then.

How Did Bitcoin’s Price React To The Past Halving Events?

Crypto investors look forward to the halving, as it has been a positive catalyst for price action in the past. But similarly to the block reward decreasing with each halving, it can be expected that the impact from each halving will also have a diminishing effect.

Check out how it has played out the last 3 halvings:

Source: CoinDesk

The before and after performance (as a %) of Bitcoin after the first halving has been the most significant, due to how small the market capitalization of Bitcoin was at the time. And while this means that the price movement after this halving will likely be smaller, the same goes for severity of market corrections that occur.

The table below also shows Bitcoin’s performance around each halving. Historically, the biggest price impact has come after the event occurs:

Halving datePrice 365 days beforePrice at halvingPrice 365 days afterBTC performance 1 year leading up to halvingBTC performance 1 year after the halving
November 28, 2012$2.54$12.35$1,007.39+385%+8,069%
July 9, 2016$269.68$650.53$2,506.17+142%+284%
May 11, 2020$7,325.08$8,821.42$56,612.10+17%+559%

While history does not always repeat, it often rhymes. And at the very least, the halving puts a lot of attention on the digital asset industry.

How Could This Event Differ From Past Halvings?

The general consensus from people in the industry is that the halving will continue to be a positive catalyst for Bitcoin’s price. However, each halving is expected to have less of an effect than the last.

While this may end up being far off, we can use historical figures to estimate what the upcoming halving could look like. And by using the most conservative figures from past halvings, we can attempt to account for diminishing returns.

  • Bitcoin price 90 days before expected halving (Jan 23, 2024): ~$39,500
  • Lowest pre-halving performance from past two: +17%
  • Lowest post-halving performance from past two: +284%
  • Estimated price at 2024 halving: $46,215
  • Estimated price 90 days after the next halving: $131,250

This calculation is only a fun prediction and could be far from the actual outcome. However, this estimation is not out of the question if Bitcoin continues to operate on its past 4-year cycle.

Halving Predictions From Top Crypto Thought Leaders

While you should never blindly follow advice from others, it can be beneficial to use other’s predictions to form your own opinions. Here are some of our favorite takes on the upcoming halving:

Note: Sentiment is unanimously bullish from the people who are currently discussing the halving. These tweets should be taken lightly and you should always form your own opinions.

When Were The Past Bitcoin Halvings?

On average, each halving has been separated by a 4-year period. Here is the date and block number of each past halving event:

Origin of BitcoinJanuary 3, 2009Block 0
1st HalvingNovember 28, 2012Block 210,000
2nd HalvingJuly 9, 2016Block 420,000
3rd HalvingMay 11, 2020Block 630,000
4th HalvingExpected in April 2024Block 840,000
5th HalvingExpected in 2028Block 1,050,000

At the time of writing, there is ~2.5M Bitcoin left to be mined. The final Bitcoin will be mined when block 1,680,000 is created, which is expected to occur in 2140.

How Does This Event Affect Bitcoin’s Emissions?

Each halving builds off of the last and has a diminishing effect on issuance of new supply. When Bitcoin first launched in 2009, 50 new BTC entered circulation each time a new block was created.

Importantly, the price of Bitcoin at this time was only a few dollars, and there wasn’t much demand. At current prices, the original issuance of 50 BTC would add ~$2M of new supply to circulation every 10 minutes and significantly devalue Bitcoin.

Origin of BitcoinJanuary 3, 200950 New BTCPrice at Halving
1st HalvingNovember 28, 201225 New BTC$12.35
2nd HalvingJuly 9, 201612.5 New BTC$650.53
3rd HalvingMay 11, 20206.25 New BTC$8,821.43
4th HalvingExpected in April 20243.125 New BTCTBD
5th HalvingExpected in 20281.5625 New BTCTBD

How Does The Halving Impact Bitcoin Miners?

Bitcoin miners are the ones who produce new blocks and validate transactions on the Bitcoin network. Miners can consist of individuals, corporations, or even local governments.

And while most crypto participants are ecstatic about the halving, miners are impacted in a different way. Their revenue and rewards for mining are immediately cut in half, making the digital mining sector more competitive.

This also increases costs, as miners need to purchase more equipment in order to compete. Lastly, this trend has pushed out smaller miners over time, consolidating block rewards among fewer, larger players.  

What Happens After All Bitcoin Has Been Mined?

31 years after the initial inception of Bitcoin, the total supply of 21 million tokens will have been mined. When this occurs, no block rewards will be awarded to miners for creating new blocks. Instead, miners will need to rely exclusively on network transaction fees for their revenue.

While this has been seen as problematic in the past, recent innovations such as Ordinals and BRC-20 tokens have brought new life to the network. If these areas continue to grow and new use cases emerge, miners will be incentivized to continue their operations.

How Can I Prepare For The Halving?

As a crypto user and investor, the only impact the halving will have on you is a potential price impact around the event. As a result, this event does not change anything for the average long-term crypto participant.

While being excited about the halving is reasonable, you can never entirely rely on past indicators to predict outcomes. And it can be dangerous to get caught up in the hype.
That said, the best action for events like this is usually to do nothing. If you believe in the future of crypto and want to be invested in the space, then do so without anticipating the halving. You can gain exposure by directly owning Bitcoin in your own wallet or an exchange, as well as investing in one of the newly listed Bitcoin ETFs.