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Bitcoin’s Latest Halving is Complete, Here’s What Happened

On Friday (April 19) at approximately 8:10 p.m. EDT, the much-anticipated Bitcoin halving occurred.

The event happened when ViaBTC mined block number 840,000, reducing the reward rate from 6.25 Bitcoins to 3.125.

Bitcoin remained stable over the weekend, staying within the US$63,000 to US$65,000 range. As of Monday (April 22) at 10:45 a.m. EDT, it was at US$66,243, up 2.2 percent in the past 24 hours and 2.7 percent compared to a month ago.

While Bitcoin’s price stayed relatively stable, the cryptocurrency’s trading volume experienced significant fluctuations through the weekend, with a 45 percent increase from Friday to Saturday (April 20) followed by a 68 percent decline from Saturday to Sunday (April 21). The cryptocurrency’s market capitalization currently sits at US$1.3 trillion.

Bitcoin has rallied in the aftermath of previous halvings, but this year’s event saw the cryptocurrency take off ahead of time, reaching new all-time highs in the first quarter of this year. These peaks were largely fueled by the approval of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds in the US on January 10, which led to increased investor interest.

On March 12, Bitcoin’s market cap surpassed that of silver, positioning it as the eighth most valuable asset globally. The cryptocurrency reached its highest recorded value on March 14, hitting US$73,737.94.

Over the last year, Bitcoin’s market cap has grown by a remarkable 142 percent.

Halvings have significant implications for miners engaged in verifying transactions on the blockchain network. These events reduce the block reward that miners receive, effectively cutting their income in half. ViaBTC, the miner that mined the block that triggered the latest halving, was rewarded with ‎37.626 Bitcoins valued at US$2,402,245. Despite this significant sum, the halving will reportedly cost crypto-mining companies billions of dollars in revenue.

To counteract this revenue loss, some mining companies, like Marathon Digital Holdings (NASDAQ:MARA) and CleanSpark (NASDAQ:CLSK), have invested in new equipment and facilities. However, smaller companies may struggle to strike a balance between revenue losses and operational costs. Validating transactions is an energy-intensive process, and as interest in Bitcoin grows, competition for power intensifies, making validation more challenging.

Shares of miners have risen after the halving. Marathon Digital (NASDAQ:MARA) and Riot Platforms (NASDAQ:RIOT), two major players, saw their share prices increase by 8.77 and 6.78 percent, respectively, on Friday. This was followed by a further 11.77 percent increase for Riot at the start of trading on Monday and 4.18 percent for Marathon.

Bitcoin’s halving has once again highlighted the volatile nature of the cryptocurrency market. The event serves as a timely reminder of the potential risks and rewards associated with investing in these coins. It will be interesting to monitor the space in the weeks and months ahead, and investors should proceed with caution.

He explained that regularly rebalanced portfolios can benefit from volatile assets, and said studies show that including a 3 to 5 percent allocation of Bitcoin in a standard 60/40 portfolio could decrease overall portfolio volatility and increase expected returns. This is because the investor would be moving funds back and forth more during rebalancing.

“One area that’s critical to portfolio management, whether it has to do with Bitcoin or anything, is if the volatility of an investment is keeping you up at night, it’s not the volatility of the investment, but rather the size of your allocation to that investment,” Eberle commented.

Securities Disclosure: I, Meagen Seatter, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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