Last week, people around the world watched Bitcoin unfolded into its third Halving in history on 11th May 2020. For some – including myself, it was the first time to witness this significant (only once every four years) change! The block reward finally dropped from 12.5 BTC per block to 6.25 BTC per block. As historic as the event was, what’s more important are the waves that followed after.
Leading up to the event, there were a lot of speculations and predictions made (even well known non-crypto media jumped onto the wagon), but not all sentiment was positive. On one hand, there are the bulls, who are people believing that the Halving event could bring positive impact on both the price value and adoption rate. On the other hand, there are the bears, who are people believing the drop in block reward could backfire the value of Bitcoin.
Although the Bitcoin Halving only happened last week (at the time of this writing), we can already begin to formulate the expected pattern in Bitcoin’s value and adoption rate due to the recent events post-halving.
WHAT HAPPENED LAST TIME?
To know the future, we must understand our past.
Bitcoin Halving is set to occur at every 210,000 blocks, which is approximately every 4 years assuming a 10-minute mining period for each BTC block.
From the graphic below (Figure 1), we see that the rate at which BTC is supplied for circulation decreases over time. At the 1st halving about 10.5M BTC was in circulation. At the 2nd halving, 15.75M BTC was in circulation. Currently, there are approximately 18.3M BTC in circulation, and at the 3rd halving, this will be 18.375M BTC.
In the first and second halving, BTC increased by almost 40 times ($31.50 to $1178) and 16 ($1178 to $19800) times, respectively (Figure 2).
The crypto-bulls also project that demand for BTC is likely to be much higher today than in 2016 based on the fact that the traded volume for BTC has been growing steadily since 2018. In Dec 2017, when BTC was trading at its peak of USD $20k the highest traded volume was 16 billion (Figure 3). In Feb 2020, the highest traded volume of BTC was 81 billion (Data and Graph from CoinGecko). Using traded volume as a proxy for demand, this translates to a four fold increase in demand for BTC.
CURRENT BITCOIN PRICE
Now that we have looked into the pattern seen in the previous halvings, what can we learn from the current Bitcoin price trend.
Since the halving event, the price of Bitcoin has increased from ~$8,500 (May 12) to $9,129 (May 22). In between, the price broke above the RL (Resistance Level) of ~$9,700 with $9,860 on May 18, but since then, it has slowly climbed down.
Bitcoin’s all time high was right before the global pandemic spread and lockdowns on Thursday 13 Feb 2020 with $10,328.90. Looking at the overall trend line since beginning of this year, Bitcoin is following a similar pattern of inclining in a month before declining in the following month (Jan vs Feb and March, April vs May).
Since the Bitcoin Halving occurred recently, it’s too soon to set in stone what the future of Bitcoin looks like from reading the chart alone. Instead, we take a look into the events happening around the world that could either support the Bulls’ or Bears’ Bitcoin predictions.
S&P 500 CHALLENGING $3K
As we have learned the past year, Bitcoin is not exclusive from the traditional markets. When stock markets fall, Bitcoin price could also follow its decline. We can see the same occurring vice versa.
We have seen that Bitcoin has steadily inclined since March 2020, so has the S&P 500 Index. On 23rd March 2020, the S&P 500 stood around at its lowest ~$2,237. Today, its value is at $2,950. This definitely aligns with BitMex CEO, Arthur Hayes, opinion on the market (which he stated in BitMEX Crypto Trader Digest on April 9, 2020),
“Could the price retest $3,000? Absolutely. As the SPX rolls over and tests 2,000 expect all asset classes to puke again. As violent as the Q1 collapse in asset values was, we have almost 100 years of imbalances to unwind the ancien régime.”
CHINESE CRYPTO INVESTORS ARE BULLISH
Bitcoin researcher, who goes by the username @truenomic noted that there has been an increase in Chinese buyers and investors, suggesting that they are taking advantage of the dip (Figure 7). It’s no surprise that the Chinese market is growing since President Xi Jinping as openly encouraged his country to invest their attention to the blockchain technology in October 2019.
BlockTower research team has shared that the US-China trade war could be another factor in this phenomenom. The potential disruptions to follow from this conflict could be huge and learning from the problems of relying on wealth in the hands of the government could have sparked the Chinese buyers to invest more in non-governmental assets like Bitcoin. Chinese crypto investors are going to use Bitcoin as a preparation for the potential devaluation of Yuan.
GOLD RESERVES TROUBLE
In the latest news in the other parts of the world, England has spread across the news for not permitting Venezuela to access its gold reserves. The Bank of England is currently holding €930 million worth of gold, according toLondon’s High Court.
One of the reasons for their resistance to permit is the unfavourable stance towards Venezueala’s government who is led by Maduro. It’s not the first time that Bank of England has refused to permit Venezuela to access its gold back in 2018.
BITCOIN MINERS LOSING PROFIT
Bitcoin Halving has reduced the block reward for Bitcoin miners by 50% from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC. It was no surprise that leading up to the event, miners were going at full capacity to make the most of the higher block reward. But now that the block reward is lower, miners are struggling to make profit and mining operation owners have to find aggressive solutions to stay ahead or close down.
According to News BTC, mining righs that can’t profit at 2 cents per kWh (even losing between $0.09 to $0.19 per day) include the following: Whatsminer M3X, Avalonminer 741, Whatsminer M3, Antminer S7-LN, Antminer S3, Antminer V9, Antminer S7, and the Antminer S5.
Mining operation owner, Zhou Wenbo, in China’s Sichuan province sold his farm of 8,000 mining rigs and he even struggled to find buys to take older generation Antminer S9s, Avalonminers, and Innosilicon Terminator 2 machines.
News BTC suggests that “miners aren’t holding their BTC tightly,” but they are not necessarily leaving the cryptocurrency market entirely. With the less incentive on Bitcoin, there will be a possible short term pressure for BTC when miners switch over to other cryptocurrencies with more profit returns.
NOTE: Content provided in this article is not in any means a financial advice. Please do your own research when making financial decisions.