Bitcoin Halving Is Less Than 40,000 Blocks Away—Here's What That Means

On Monday, the Bitcoin network reached a major new milestone: block 800,000. Bitcoin is the largest cryptocurrency in the world.

Because of this, according to, the next Bitcoin halving event is now less than nine months away (or 40,000 blocks). These events occur every four years and reduce miners' rewards by half.

We are in an exciting time in Bitcoin's history as we mark the mining of the 800,000th block. US Bitcoin Corp's Chief Commercial Officer Matt Prusak told Decrypt that this was a "key milestone on the path to the next halving," adding "layer upon layer of excitement" to the already thriving Bitcoin ecosystem.

When the 800,000th block was mined, the total computational power used to mine and process transactions on the Bitcoin network was very close to all-time highs. Also, at the most recent adjustment around two weeks ago, the Bitcoin mining difficulty reached a new all-time high, which is a key metric measuring how difficult it is to find a new block.

Amid Price Stability, Bitcoin Hash Rate Reaches New Peak

The current trajectory suggests that these two metrics, which Prusak says "represent an ever-evolving dance between technology and economy," will continue their upward trend as the halving approaches.

He explained that this was due to increased competition among miners and improved mining technology, both of which bolster the reliability and safety of the network as a whole.

CEO of digital asset management consultant and data centre operation provider Sabre56 Phil Harvey agrees with this assessment, predicting that 2020 will be "like the last halving event, with only the fittest set to survive."

The increased hash power before the halving is helping the network grow and remain stable. Harvey told Decrypt that this number would increase to record highs as miners pushed to bring their machines online before the halving.

Pay attention to Bitcoin exchange-traded funds

The latest achievement arrived at the same time as a heightened focus on Bitcoin ETFs, with many in the industry hoping that the U.S. Securities and Exchange will approve the investment tool widely rumoured to be highly sought after by American investors after years of rejections.

Prusak remarked that "it is crucial to acknowledge the complex interaction between these aspects and market dynamics" when considering the impact of micro and macro events like Bitcoin ETFs and broader regulatory developments.

These are some of the most prominent Bitcoin ETF proposals currently in the works.

He believes that the potential approval of a Bitcoin ETF could be "a significant catalyst for the cryptocurrency space," providing an easier way for institutional and retail investors to gain exposure to Bitcoin and, in turn, increasing demand and the price.

Nonetheless, "while these factors may have an impact, the inherent properties of Bitcoin—its scarcity, decentralisation, and immutability" have always been its primary value propositions, as Prusak pointed out. As the halving event approaches, this fact may become more apparent, highlighting once more the deflationary nature of this asset.

What does Bitcoin's future hold?

Even though investors had high hopes, Bitcoin's price dropped below $30,000 on Monday, which, according to Harvey, will have repercussions for the industry's key players, the miners.

Capital restraints and cautious behaviour caused by the market downturn have reduced the rate of new facility construction, which has had a negative effect on deployment. The CEO of Sabre56 told Decrypt that many companies in the industry have offline equipment stored in warehouses and are now trying to find partners or facilities to house it.

He also mentioned that the recent price rise and steady increase in transaction fees have helped miner profits. Nonetheless, miners now have a 30–50% margin at operations run at hosting costs of $0.07–$0.05 per kWh, thanks to the rising difficulty and hash power.

As before, Harvey predicts that after the halving, "positive revenues from this will be curtailed" until BTC's value rises and mining difficulty drops.

For his part, Prusak of US Bitcoin Corp noted that while no one can know for sure what will happen in the months leading up to the halving in terms of expectations, halving events have historically been times of heightened attention and speculation.

Prusak speculated that increased market volatility could result from the confluence of this news and recent macroeconomic developments. Participants should exercise the usual degree of caution during times of uncertainty.

However, he emphasised that even though the industry is "indeed sailing in uncharted waters," the fundamental principles of Bitcoin have not changed.

It's still an intriguing mix of cutting-edge tech, robust economics, and shifting social dynamics. "We are on the cusp of what could be another transformative period in the life of Bitcoin, and we eagerly look forwards to navigating it," Prusak said.

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