Bitcoin is now in-between the prior halving and the next, blockchain data showed Thursday morning.
The phenomenon happened exactly on block number 735,000 on the Bitcoin blockchain, which was mined at around 6:30 a.m. ET on May 5, 2022. It was the 105,000th block to be mined after the last halving, which occurred in May 2020 on block number 630,000. The next halving is set to happen on block 840,000.
The Bitcoin protocol decreases the reward it gives to miners by 50% every 210,000 blocks – hence the name “halving.” It takes on average four years to mine those blocks.
Miners earn reward on the Bitcoin network by adding new blocks to the chain.
Millions of computers around the world attempt to be the next lucky miner to earn the reward by calculating the block’s uniquely identifying number through a function that takes things like Bitcoin transactions and a timestamp as parameters, as well as a random number known as a nonce.
Miners vary those parameters in an attempt to find a valid number, or hash, that is below a target set by the network and known as difficulty. The lower the target, the more difficult it is to mine bitcoin because the more leading zeroes are required to satisfy the requirement
Early bitcoin miners earned 50 BTC for each block they mined when the network was first spun up in 2009. The low-difficulty high-reward epoch began to fade in 2012 as the first halving ensued, cutting the reward to 25 BTC.
Four years later, in 2016, each Bitcoin block started giving out only 12.5 BTC for its miner. Two years ago, the block reward was further cut in half to 6.25 bitcoin – the number that still prevails today. In 2024, the protocol is set to repeat the halving once more, dropping the block reward to 3.125 BTC.