Blockchain is drawing attention to bitcoin halving – an integral part of the bitcoin code which occurs once for every 210,000 blocks mined – roughly every 4 years, and affects how much of a reward miners receive for validating new blocks on the blockchain. Miners are recompensed in bitcoin for their work in securing the blockchain against fraud and continuing the system. The reward for mining first started out as 50 BTC per block until the first halving event occurred in November 2012, which cut the reward to 25 BTC. The second halving is due to happen on July 9th, 2016, and will reduce the reward to 12.5 BTC. The final halving will take place in the year 2140.
Initially, there were very few miners participating on the network and thus they had bigger rewards. Over time, bitcoin has become adopted by many more people, increasing the global competition in mining. The increase in demand for bitcoins, along with fixed supply of bitcoin, combined with a decreasing block reward has a tendency to push upward price pressure on the value of bitcoin. As the price increases the value of the miner’s reward does not decrease as much as ‘halving’ might suggest.
The halving is a rare but predictable event in the bitcoin community. Bitcoin enthusiast, Laurent D, and designer, Élise Dé, have worked together to create a resource called ‘The Halvening’, which tracks:
•the number of blocks remaining
•the amount of time remaining (days, hours, minutes, seconds)
•% of progress
•the number of new bitcoins and blocks remaining
The new block announcement powering the Halvening website is provided through the websocket API, established through the Blockchain API, which was built on top of the Blockchain developer platform.