Bitcoin’s hashrate has turned hot despite falling prices and recent increases in difficulty. In fact, blocks are discovered faster than the average ten-minute block interval, and due to this factor, the network reward halving may occur sooner than expected. While some halving counters that simply exploit the ten-minute average note that the halving is scheduled for May or April 2024, halving counters exploiting precise block interval times show that the event halving could happen as early as March 1, 2024.
Block intervals show halving date could be much closer than expected
As the cryptocurrency community focuses on The Merge, the hash power behind the Bitcoin network has been higher than usual, which has accelerated blocking intervals. Currently, there are 244.62 exahash per second (EH/s) dedicated to the blockchain, and on September 4, 2022, it reached a rapid lifespan at 301.45 PE/s at the height of block 752 510.
Just before the end of August, Bitcoin.com News reported on how Bitcoin block times have been much faster than the ten-minute average. When block times are faster than the ten-minute average and remain consistently faster for the two weeks preceding a difficulty change, the change will increase the difficulty.
This happened on August 31, when the Bitcoin network printed the second biggest difficulty increase in 2022. The difficulty increase hasn’t slowed miners down and the next difficulty change, expected on September 15, is should increase again by more than 3%.
Block times were much faster than the ten minute interval and on 9/11 the average blocking time lasted less than eight minutes. The speed of block discovery has meant that the Bitcoin network halving may come much sooner than expected. However, the estimate is based on data and speeds recorded at the moment, and there is still more than a year to go that could change things indefinitely.
Today Data from bitcoinsensus.com and metric from nicehash.com indicate that the fourth Bitcoin halving event will take place in March 2024. The date is well before the often used date Estimate of May 3, 2024which leverages a ten-minute block interval to calculate the halving date.
In fact, bitcoinsensus.com displays two counters, one based on current block times (8.50 minutes) and the other based on the average of ten minutes per block. Bitcoinsensus.com estimates that the current halving date, based on actual block times, will be March 2, 2024. So instead of 598 days, the Bitcoin block halving is estimated at 509 days.
Nicehash.com’s halving counter shows that the date could take place on March 1, 2024, or a day before the estimate displayed on the bitcoinsensus.com web portal. Every time 210,000 blocks are mined, the block rewards halves.
The current block reward is 6.25 BTC per block and by the time the next halving takes place, miners will receive 3,125 coins per block after the halving. A closer halving suggests that the price could rise sooner than expected, as bitcoin’s value typically increases before the block reward halving.
What do you think of the Bitcoin block halving coming sooner than expected? Let us know what you think about this topic in the comments section below.
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