Bitcoin was nearing a value of $10,000 on Friday ahead of its halving taking place today at approximately 4 p.m. EST for the first time in almost four years. The halving cuts the reward Bitcoin miners receive for their transactions in half, making it double as hard to "produce" bitcoin. A Bitcoin halving is triggered after an increment of 210,000 Bitcoin have been mined. The total number of Bitcoin is capped at 21 million and this halving is Bitcoin's 88th, leaving 12 halvings until the supply of Bitcoin is depleated for good. Yet, as it gets harder and harder to mine, the frequency of halvings should continue to fall.
At the end of June 2019, Bitcoin made headlines after rising in value significantly after a prolonged period of losses and stagnancy that started in late 2018. The decentralized currency even cracked the $13,000 mark on June 26 (closing price). Facebook’s announcement around that time that it was starting its own cryptocurrency, Libra, could have played a part in reviving interest in Bitcoin.
Bitcoin had been valued at more than $19,000 as recently as December 18, 2017. Late 2017 and early 2018 was the heyday of Bitcoin, with a single coin fetching prices above US$15,000. As the coin’s value shrank subsequently, many thought the hype around cryptocurrency had blown over. But Bitcoin rallied back, coming close to five digits again on May 8, 2020, and was valued at approximately $8,900 this Monday.