For the first time since bitcoin went mainstream in awareness, the world is to witness in precisely 12 months a most remarkable event.
Without any committee, without any debate or discussion, without the decision of anyone whether elected or unelected, the code by itself will manage monetary supply automatically.
At precisely block number 630,000, 53,069 blocks from now, the code will rule yearly inflation is to be reduced from the current 4% to less than 2%.
At that block, the reward given to miners will be 6.25 bitcoins. Instantly halved from the 12.5 bitcoin received in the previous block.
The current daily 1,800 bitcoins “minted” by miners a day will fall to ₿900 and no one will be able to do anything about it.
No Powell to say we will print less. No Trump to say turn on the pumps. The code will order and the rest will obey.
There have been two such halvenings. The first was in 2012 when block rewards were reduced from ₿50 to ₿25.
Some miners back then tried to keep it at ₿50 by continuing to mine their own chain. No one cared about such fake bitcoin, however. The then circa 50,000 nodes kept running the rules of the code.
Following that halvening, bitcoin entered what we’d call students awareness in 2013 with its first “bubble” to circa $270 in March 2013. Then a second “bubble” to $1,000 in November 2013.
The second halvening almost went unnoticed as the bitcoin developers and the ecosystem more generally was preoccupied with the question of scalability and capacity in 2016.
Block rewards were then reduced from ₿25 to ₿12.5 every circa ten minutes.
As a proxy in that blocksize debate some speculated miners might see a precipitation in hashrate, but nothing really happened.
Miners kept mining. This time they did not even try to keep it at ₿25. It was all uneventful except block explorers showed 12.5 btc rather than ₿25.
Then of course it became very eventful a few months after the halvening in 2017 when most current bitcoiners joined the movement.
What will happen this time? Well presumably there will be a lot more festivity. For once, the halvening might correspond to pizza day. That’s on the 22nd of may to commemorate the very first commercial transaction with bitcoin.
On that day bitcoiners and cryptonians in general buy pizza with bitcoin and then brag about it. Buying it with fiat would be a bit of a cheating, but still better than not having pizza at all.
As those two events might be on the same day, then May 2020 might well be a very big day.
You could have a countdown, fireworks, music, pizza of course, and an overall party to celebrate a new way of doing things in finance where code rules.
As the code doesn’t have a mind of its own, it can’t lie or cheat. It can’t collude to benefit one group over another. It can’t be manipulated. It is instead very much set in stone by the now circa 10,000 nodes and the code says there will be a halvening.