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19 Apr, 2024 17:46

Impending event could push price of Bitcoin into stratosphere

The quadrennial slashing of the crypto reward, known as ‘halving,’ is expected to take place this week
Impending event could push price of Bitcoin into stratosphere

The price of Bitcoin, the world’s highest-valued cryptocurrency, surged past $64,000 on Friday, rebounding from a drop below the $60,000 mark. The crypto continues to experience volatility ahead of an upcoming ‘halving’ event, which has sparked controversy over its potential impact.

The latest Bitcoin halving – a mechanism to limit supply that takes place every four years – is expected late on Friday night or early Saturday. Halving is when the rewards for Bitcoin miners are slashed in half to slow the supply of the crypto into the market.

This time, the reward for mining new bitcoins will decrease from 6.25 bitcoins to 3.125. The final halving is expected to occur in 2140, when the number of bitcoins circulating will reach the theoretical maximum supply of 21 million. As of March 2024, about 19.65 million bitcoins were in circulation, leaving just around 1.35 million to be released via mining rewards.

Experts say the impending halving event comes with heightened expectations that the reduced amount of bitcoin entering into circulation will create a kind of supply shock that will drive prices up.

The last halving, in 2020, preceded a five-fold increase in Bitcoin’s price, following a pattern that has seen record-breaking rallies for the cryptocurrency after each previous such event, in 2016 and 2012, respectively.

“The halving helps naturally increase price due to supply and demand over a medium- to long-term outlook, which in turn brings new people in as the price increases past previous all-time highs. So, indirectly, it plays a huge part in shaping investor sentiment and market speculation,” Danny Scott, chief executive of crypto platform CoinCorner, told The Independent.

“Historically, the value of Bitcoin has increased after each halving event. This trend is likely to continue during the current market cycle, considering the high amount of institutional interest,” according to Kadan Stadelmann, Chief Technology Officer of blockchain firm Komodo Platform.

In January, the US Securities and Exchange Commission approved the first ever Bitcoin spot exchange-traded funds (ETFs), bringing billions of dollars’ worth of institutional investment to the market for the first time. This increase in demand, combined with the upcoming reduction in supply, has led some analysts to believe that Bitcoin could hit new heights in the coming months.

Despite some kind of volatility in recent weeks, Bitcoin remains a strongly performing asset, up 40% so far in 2024 and more than double where it was at the same time last year.

Investors anticipate the price could break above its previous all-time high of $70,105, reached last month. Meanwhile, the founder of Draper Associates, Tim Draper, has projected the halving could even push the price of Bitcoin as high as $250,000 by July.

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