The bitcoin community expects a significant event in the upcoming weeks. On about July 9th, the reward bitcoin miners receive for confirming blocks is planned to be cut in half.
The event, known as the halving in the bitcoin community, will be the second in the history of bitcoin. The changes could affect the whole digital currency system, including its price and stability.
Mining is a process of securing transactions conducted in a block of chains. When the block is completed, a miner gets a reward of 25 bitcoins, which is estimated at around $16,000.
After the bitcoin halving, each block will bring a reward of 12.5 bitcoins. The event will occur at 420,000 blocks, which are expected to be mined on around July 9th.
Currently, there are only 21 million bitcoin that can ever be mined, what makes it similar to such precious metals as gold. Today, miners create about 3,600 bitcoins per day, with the total amount of cryptocurrency in circulation totaling 16 million.
The mining for digital currency brings high revenues for miners, with their profit margin amounting to 40%, according to Quartz. However, they have to spend a lot of money on electricity and computing power consumed by computers.
The last bitcoin halving took place in 2012, when the virtual currency was 4 years old. At the time, the cryptocurrency’s market cap totaled only about $129 million, while today it accounts for $10 billion.
The previous bitcoin halving had no substantial impact on bitcoin. However, there are likely to be some changes in its price fluctuations, as well as the overall volume.
The other thing that is expected to change is the hashrate, which is anticipated to decrease if miners decide not to keep their older equipment online.
In general, the middle of July will be a tense period for bitcoin miners, as making new bitcoins will become less profitable and more challenging. Many miners, especially those running older equipment, will suffer.
Recently, there have been active debates regarding the blocksize limit and the developers’ plan to increase it to 2MB after August 1st if bitcoin core developers do not provide the new bitcoin core client with a 2MB hardfork code.
During the Scaling Bitcoin conference in Hong Kong, bitcoin core developers and other industry members signed a document, known as the Hong Kong consensus. According to the agreement, the blocksize limit will be increased to 2MB. As the document stated, the code for the hardfork would be available by this July.
The debates have arisen once again, as June is nearing its end and many people are concerned whether something had been made under the plan of developers.
The members of the development community agreed to “run a SegWit release in production by the time such a hard-fork is released in a version of Bitcoin Core”.
The bitcoin exchange HaoBtc, which supports Bitcoin Core, stated: “There is no doubt that the 2mb hard fork is important in [the Roundtable Consensus] document, actually if people were not serious about it, they wouldn’t have taken the trouble to assign a deadline to it: The code for the hard-fork will therefore be available by July 2016.”
Meantime, Bitmain’s founder, Jihan Wu, tweeted:
HaoBTC helped so much in Chinese community to defend for Core from the competition of Classic. https://t.co/LO1sef65jC
— Jihan Wu (@JihanWu) June 27, 2016
We still expect further confirmation from developers, mainly those who signed a consensus, to inform the rest about the ongoing developments.