Halving refers to a process that reduces the rate at which new cryptocurrencies are created. More specifically, it reduces the reward miners get for validating blockchain transactions. Halving events ensure that a crypto asset can follow a steady issuance rate until it eventually reaches its maximum supply.
Halving is an important aspect of Bitcoin’s tokenomics, which is designed to control the supply of bitcoins over time, with the goal of creating a scarce and valuable digital asset. The total supply of bitcoins is capped at 21 million, and the halving process ensures that this limit is approached at a predictable rate over time.
Bitcoin’s next halving is expected to take place in April 2024, approximately four years after the last halving, which took place in May 2020. To date, more than 90% of all bitcoins have been mined, and it is estimated that the last bitcoin will have been mined by the year 2140.
After a Bitcoin halving, your existing Bitcoin stays the same. The halving process doesn't directly change the number of bitcoins you have. However, it can indirectly affect the price of Bitcoin and different parts of the cryptocurrency world, which is why investors, traders, and people interested in crypto pay close attention to it.
The first halving happened in 2012, cutting the block reward to 25 BTC. Subsequent Halvings in 2016 and 2020 further decreased the reward to 12.5 and 6.25 bitcoins, respectively. The next Bitcoin Halving is set to take place in April 2024 (when the block height reaches 840,000), reducing the block reward to 3.125 BTC.