It's on everybody's mind. It's on the news. It's everywhere on the internet.
But many people don't know what it's all about.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am referring to the Bitcoin halving.
In this post, I will explain what it is, why you should care and the impact of the halving on the Bitcoin network.
Sound great? It should! Let's get started!
Ok. So what exactly is this "halving" thing all about?
Written somewhere in the bitcoin code, deep, deep in the heart of the algorithms that run the whole process known as bitcoin, there is this line of code.
And this line of code is set to go off every so often. About 210000 blocks after the last one. Usually every 4 years and 10 days.
And what does this halving do? You ask.
Well, we all know that Bitcoin is basically run by miners. None of the things we do with bitcoin, like sending, receiving or getting it for free work without the trusty miners.
And we know that hard work must be rewarded. Therefore, the paychecks for these miners are written in Bitcoin. The very cryptocurrency they helped birth.
This paycheck started off at a hefty 50BTC per mined block. Then it kept on reducing, and is set to become 6.25BTC in a few days.
"But what did the miners do wrong to get this horrible treatment?" You ask. "Surely they need more money as more people join the network."
And you're right. But the miners didn't do anything wrong.
The creator of bitcoin, and cryptocurrency as a whole, decided that he wanted his creation to be more scarce than gold. And to put up with the ever increasing development going on in the world of computers, he decided that slashing these rewards would not only make Bitcoin a lot more scarce, but would fend off any attacks from supercomputers, because the pay won't be equal to the electricity consumed.
The long run aim for Bitcoin is to be worth a few ounces of gold. Right now, bitcoin is worth about 5 ounces of gold, and that price is about to go up even more.
"So what happens after this halving?" you ask.
Read my post here! I answer.
Oh, and word of advice. If you're trading any BTC/alt pair, get out of it right now. You don't want to be in any pairs during the halving.
Thanks for reading, and cheerio! Happy halving!