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Bitcoin: What is halving and how can it move the markets?

Published 17/04/2024, 11:56
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Cryptoasset investors are eagerly anticipating the Bitcoin halving on April 19 with the expectation that the measure will act as a catalyst for the digital currency and other assets as well. The phenomenon occurs approximately every four years, and analysts foresee that with a decreasing supply trend, the value of the currency should rise.

"The halving itself, contrary to what many believe, is an event marked by significant profit-taking by investors, who tend to sell their positions around this date and drive the price down by more than 35%," emphasizes Fernando Pereira, an analyst at Bitget.

"This time we have an extra stimulus for money exiting BTC, the conflicts between Israel and Palestine which bring a lot of volatility to the market. I expect to see BTC below $60,000 in the coming weeks, and altcoins falling twice as much," Pereira estimates.

Despite speculations about a correction in the cryptocurrency, Taiamã Demaman, research leader at Coinext, still sees room for growth, "even in the face of miner pressure and a period of fluctuations and stagnation that lasted for about two months, touching on supports."

How does the halving affect the supply of Bitcoins?

The halving cuts in half the reward for mining the market's leading cryptocurrency every 210,000 blocks, or about four years, with a mechanism designed since the conception of Bitcoin by Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator and first user of the protocol.

The third and last halving occurred on May 11, 2020. "After the first halving in 2012, the price of bitcoin experienced a significant increase, jumping from around $12 to over $1,100 in 2013," recalls Mercado Bitcoin in a report.

The appreciation events highlight the halving's role as a trigger for bullish phases for the crypto asset, still according to MB. "Likewise, the second halving in 2016 saw the price rise from around $650 to almost $20,000 by the end of 2017. The third halving in 2020 was no exception, with the price of bitcoin increasing from approximately $8,500 to a historic peak of nearly $64,000 in April 2021," it concludes.

To preserve the currency, transaction validation remuneration is cut in this way. The mining process requires powerful computers, with intensive use of energy and data. As the network depends on mining, players need to be motivated, according to MB.

Thus, miners tend to deactivate equipment that is no longer profitable, leading to a decrease in Hashrate, which measures the processing capacity of a blockchain network by indicating the number of hash operations per second. "This situation tends to cause temporary drops in the asset's value, as miners sell their bitcoins to invest in new equipment," Demaman emphasizes.

Demaman states that after the reduction in the mining average in the short term, the averages tend to converge again in a medium period of 53 days, "signaling the likely end of selling pressure from miners." Thus, the price of Bitcoin tends to rise in the 365 days following the halving on an annual comparison. "This means that, despite an increase of 113%, the period after the halving usually has a more significant impact on the asset's price, raising the currency's value to beyond one hundred thousand dollars per unit," he believes.

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