Even though mining difficulty has gone up and prices are down, Bitcoin’s hashrate appears to be running hot. In fact, block discover has sped up more than the ten-minute block average.
Therefore, it has prompted speculation that the reward halving could happen sooner than expected. Some counters have noted that halving could happen in April, or May of 2024.
However, those counters that use accurate block interval times indicate that the halving event could happen around March 1st, 2024.
The crypto community may be focusing on The Merge, it is important to note that Bitcoin network’s hashpower has gone up, which means block intervals have also risen.
The hashpower of the blockchain is currently 244.62 exahash per second (EH/s) and it also reached a lifetime high of 301.45 EH/s on September 4th at the block height of 752,510.
Reports at the end of August had disclosed that block times of the Bitcoin network were a lot faster than their average of ten minutes.
When block times are higher than the average consistently until a difficulty changes, it will mean an increase in difficulty.
This is exactly what came to pass on August 31st when the Bitcoin network recorded its second large increase in difficulty for the year.
However, this did not faze miners at all because the difficulty is expected to go up once more by 3% when the next change happens on September 15th.
The average block time had reached 8 minutes on September 11th. Due to the faster block discovery speed, it is likely that the halving may happen earlier than expected.
But, it is important to note that the estimate is calculated on the speeds and data right now and things could change because there is still a year to go.
The halving event
The current data makes it more likely that the fourth halving event of Bitcoin would take place in March 2024. This puts it before the previous estimate of May 3rd, 2024.
The latter uses the ten-minute block interval for calculating the date of the halving event. If actual block times are used, then the halving date would be March 2nd, 2024.
This means that rather than being 598 days later, the Bitcoin halving event is about 509 days later. There is a difference of a day or two between different counters.
The halving event for bitcoin occurs after 210,000 blocks have been mined on the network. This means that the rewards that miners get for mining blocks are reduced.
The current reward that miners receive for mining a single block is about 6.25 BTC and once the next halving occurs, miners will see their rewards reduced to 3.125 BTC for every block.
If the halving happens sooner than expected, then there is a possibility that the price of bitcoin might rise as well.
This is because trends indicate that the price of bitcoin usually rises before the reward halving is scheduled to happen and the same is expected.