Progress toward the subsequent halving of the Bitcoin block reward has surpassed 60%, according to countdown statistics based on the typical block generation time of about ten minutes. Although the majority of halving countdown clocks use the ten-minute average, the countdown using the most recent block intervals, which are around 7:65 minutes, indicates that the halving could happen as early as 2023.
Faster Block Intervals Suggest Bitcoin Halving Could Happen in 2023
On October 5, 2022, when block height 757,214 was mined, the total hashrate of Bitcoin reached an all-time high (ATH) of 321.15 exahashes per second (EH/s). Block intervals have recently been much shorter and faster than the typical ten-minute average.
The difficulty is determined by how quickly the 2,016 blocks are found between difficulty adjustments, and the current block intervals indicate a significant difficulty jump is imminent. The hashrate has remained high up until this point, before the next difficulty increase, and block times are currently around 7:65 minutes.
Since October 7, 2022, the Bitcoin network has progressed more than 60% closer to the next reward halving.
On or about October 10, 2022, the next mining difficulty retarget is planned to take place. Block rewards could very well be halved according to the protocol in 2023 if block times continue to be faster than usual even after the retarget. According to data from bitcoinsensus.com, the halving might occur on or about December 19, 2023, at a block interval of 7:65 minutes.
Bitcoinsensus.com further shows the halving time based on the average ten-minute rule which shows the halving will occur on May 1, 2024. Most countdown calculators apply the average ten-minute rule, and other data points suggest the halving could occur on April 20, 2024.
Either way, the progress toward the next halving is still more than 60% complete, and when it occurs, bitcoin miner rewards will be reduced from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC post halving. Despite the high speed now, miners could easily slow down after the meaningful difficulty increase on October 10 is recorded and if BTC prices remain low.
This, in turn, would push the halving date back to the 2024 range and after all, there’s still well over a year’s worth of BTC block subsidies to mine. A lot can change. According to a recent blog post from Blocksbridge Consulting, the difficulty change and low price range could give bitcoin miners a headache from loss of profits.
“Bitcoin’s daily mining revenue per PH/s is currently around $80. If the difficulty rises 13% on Monday and bitcoin’s price stays at $19.5K, the daily revenue would decrease to $70 per (petahash) PH/s,” Blocksbridge Consulting’s Miner Weekly issue #17 notes. “That would cause mining companies to mine at all-time low revenues on a daily basis, even lower than what we saw during the summer following the May 2020 halving.”
The blog post adds:
Unless bitcoin’s price breaks the $20,000 barrier, those who employ older-generation machines or have bloated mining operations will face an even tougher time ahead.
Viabtc’s Viawallet halving metrics show that eight blockchains are expected to see reward halvings or what’s known as “reward reductions.” Dash expects a reward reduction on June 20, 2023, as rewards will shrink from 2.76 DASH to 2.56 DASH. Other reduction events and reward halvings will stem from blockchains that include BCH, BSV, LTC, ETC, ZEC, and ZEN.