Well, today is a historical day in the Bitcoin community. The Halving Day 2016. Every four years, the number of Bitcoins generated per one block is reduced by 2. To be exact, it happens every 210,000 blocks.
Due to the ever changing difficulty and time it takes to solve individual blocks, the exact date of each Halving can never be predicted precisely.
Halving and the Controlled Supply
Such is the specifics of the Bitcoin generation algorithm and a part of a greater concept behind the technology, the concept of a controlled supply. It means that the total amount of Bitcoins ever mined has been predefined at the very beginning. There will be 21 million coins, and, according to estimations, the last Bitcoin will be mined in 2140.
Between the late 2012 and today, 25 BTC were generated every 10 minutes (on average). Today, this number will change to 12.5 BTC per block. It will happen when the block #420,000 is solved.
Bitcoin Halving Day 2012
The previous Halving day occurred on November 28, 2012, at 15:24:38 UTC. The block #210,000 was solved by a user named Laughing Bear. He was mining on the Slush pool with a Radeon HD 5800. The historical event was largely discussed on the BitcoinTalk forum, as the owner of the video card sold it as a memorabilia. The item went to a user named Chaang Noi (aka Goat) for $850. Well, that was the last price announced by Laughing Bear in the thread.
What’s really interesting, the total amount of transaction fees within the block was 13.56295554 BTC. Probably, it was because a lot of Bitcoin users wanted to be a part of the history.
By the way, it was suggested to name the 210,000th block “The Laughing Block”.
The Halving Day 2016
Today, the block #420,000 will be solved. The reward for each block will be halved, and that raises a lot of questions within the community. How will it affect the Bitcoin price? How will the miners be motivated to stay in the network, taking into account the fact that the mining costs may exceed the payouts? While some stay skeptical, others remain enthusiastic regarding the outcome — they believe that the price will go up. Whether it’s true or not depends on a number of factors, including the Bitcoin adoption, transactions volume, the market conditions, and so on.
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Meanwhile, let’s celebrate the historical date together!
Back in April, we conducted a contest on our Facebook page. We asked users to submit their estimations of the Bitcoin Halving date. Today, we’ll pick 3 users who were the closest to the exact time. We will split 1 BTC among them, 0.5 BTC for the first place, 0.3 BTC for the second, and 0.2 BTC for the third one. We want to thank everyone who participated and wish a happy Halving Day to the entire Bitcoin community!