The first halving sliced off the first 50% of the Bitcoin mining reward – from 50 to 25 Bitcoins per block. Back then, the impact of the halving was still not priced in. The community was watching anxiously, as the closing price on the halving day was ($12.20). In the months after the first halving in 2012, the network hash rate and difficulty declined as less profitable miners turned off machines to reduce costs.
However, by early 2013, Bitcoin kicked off its first major bull run, surging from $13 to over $1,000 by year's end. The fears of miner capitulations were proven largely unfounded. The network hummed along, and the Bitcoin community learned an early lesson: Halvings are bullish for the Bitcoin network and the price of Bitcoin.
The second halving reduced the block reward by another 50% – from 25 to 12.5 BTC. The community anticipated another bull run driven by the halving, as the memories of 2012 were still fresh. Many predicted a price boom. But some also warned that a smaller mining reward could depress mining profits and harm the network. We all know what happened next…
Bitcoin had an incredible bull run in 2017. Its price went up to nearly $20,000 by the end of the year, and this was the first time cryptocurrencies were in the global limelight. That set the stage for an even bigger bull run four years down the road…
The third halving halved the mining reward again. So predictable, yet so ground-breaking. With the mining reward slashed to 6.25 BTC per block, Bitcoin was getting ready for another bull run. Speculation abounded about growing institutional adoption and Bitcoin as a hedge for inflation.
After the halving, the price of Bitcoin surged once again. The community was ready by this time – they had learned the lesson already. Halving day was eagerly anticipated but the real celebrations did not kick off until the incredible bull run in 2021. Many anticipate history will repeat itself in 2024.
The next halving, who would’ve guessed it, will reduce the mining reward again – to 3.125 BTC per block. The Bitcoin community is eagerly anticipating this milestone. It will make Bitcoin’s supply even scarcer and, hopefully, introduce a new bull market.
Bitcoin’s built-in halvings stand out as a unique feature that adds predictable control over its supply issuance. Other cryptocurrencies have tried to copy its model, but no other blockchain has had the same success with halvings and inflation reductions as Bitcoin.
Of course, some critics have argued that halvings are unnecessary, and Bitcoin’s supply could have simply been capped at 21 million with all units released immediately. But Satoshi wisely recognized the importance of gradual, rule-based issuance and its role in increasing adoption and fairness. Bitcoin would not be where it is today without halvings.
Halvings also forge links between each generation of Bitcoin users. Those who participated in 2012’s first halving have watched the community grow and pass new milestones. And those who joined post-2020 look to earlier halvings for context on Bitcoin’s roots. Halvings remind the community of how far we've come, and where we have yet to go.
Yes, the Bitcoin halving is a crucial factor in the stock-to-flow (S2F) model. The S2F model is often used in the context of Bitcoin to predict the price based on the scarcity of the supply. Here's how the halving event impacts the model:
Impact on Stock-to-Flow Ratio: The stock-to-flow ratio is a measure that compares the total amount of a commodity (stock) against the amount of that commodity produced annually (flow). In Bitcoin's case, the “stock“ is the total number of bitcoins in circulation, and the “flow“ is the annual production rate of new bitcoins. When a halving occurs, the production rate (flow) is halved, thereby increasing the stock-to-flow ratio.
Scarcity and Value: The S2F model posits that scarcity, as measured by the stock-to-flow ratio, drives value. As the rate of new Bitcoin creation slows down due to the halving, the increased scarcity is theorized to lead to an increase in Bitcoin's price, assuming demand remains the same or increases.
Historical Correlation: Historically, the Bitcoin price has shown a significant increase following halving events, which has been attributed to the reduced supply of new bitcoins entering the market. This observation has been a key factor in the popularity of the S2F model among some cryptocurrency investors and analysts.
Predictive Limitations: While the S2F model has been popular for its historical predictive success and promoted heavily in the crypto community by an anonymous financial analyst going by the name Plan B who publishes updated charts regularly it's important to note that it primarily considers supply factors and does not account for demand-side changes, regulatory impacts, broader economic factors, or technological advancements, which can all significantly affect Bitcoin’s price.