BITCOIN HALVING (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Economy)

News-CRUX-10     20th March 2024        
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Context: Recently, the prices of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin surged to new all-time highs, surpassing the $73,000 mark, with expectations of further increases as the market anticipates higher demand and reduced supply following the "Bitcoin halving" event in April.

Bitcoin Halving

  • About: It is a predetermined event occurring every four years.
  • Halving Mechanics: It involves a 50% reduction in mining rewards after every 210,000 blocks.
  • Mining Process: Mining entails using computer hardware to validate Bitcoin transactions, enhancing network security.
  • Concept of Blocks: Blocks are records in the blockchain containing transaction data, with a new one added approximately every 10 minutes.
  • Blockchain: It  serves as a public ledger, arranging transactions chronologically.
  • Potential Implications: Wide adoption of cryptocurrencies could diminish the influence of central banks and governments on monetary policies.

Rationale behind halving

  • Mimicking Scarcity: The halving event reflects Bitcoin's fundamental design and scarcity ethos established by Satoshi Nakamoto, with a fixed supply of 21 million coins akin to precious metals like gold.
  • Reduced Miner Rewards: Halving significantly decreases the rewards miners receive for validating transactions, effectively cutting the rate of new bitcoin creation in half.
  • Deflationary Impact: By lowering the rate of new coin issuance, halving contributes to a deflationary monetary system, aligning with Nakamoto's vision for Bitcoin's long-term economic model.
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