Bitcoin’s halving occurred yesterday afternoon as expected, and was greeted by celebrations all across Crypto Twitter. For many in crypto, this is the first halving they’ve ever experienced. The last major surge of crypto interest happened in 2017 during the spectacular ICO bubble.
And for the folks who have only been in crypto for a few years, it’s important to recognize how far Bitcoin has come as an asset class. Even for those who have been in the industry for more than one halving, it’s easy to lose focus on the bigger picture.
So this post is devoted to the big picture, trying to encapsulate the most important changes Bitcoin has undergone in the past four years.
In July 2016, Bitcoin’s hashrate was roughly 1.5T hashes per second. Since then, Bitcoin’s hashrate has grown alongside the rising price of Bitcoin (and improved mining efficiency) to over 125T hashes per second. That’s an 83x increase in hashrate in just 4 years.
On the day of the 2016 halving, Bitcoin had roughly 434,000 active addresses. This week, that number broke the 1,000,000 mark for just the 47th time. So in a period of 4 years, the set of daily active addresses moving money on the Bitcoin network has more than doubled.
On the day of the 2016 halving, Bitcoin transaction fees were only $30k. This week, fees averaged $766k, representing a jump of more than 25x. This jump in fees is important - especially as Bitcoin’s block reward is now only 6.25 BTC per block. As block rewards trend towards zero, fees will be necessary to maintain network security.
On the day of the 2016 Bitcoin halving, Bitcoin’s outstanding supply was just 15.7 million BTC. In the last 4 years, roughly 2.6 million BTC have been mined, meaning that current supply is roughly 18.3 million BTC. This lowers the potential sell pressure going forward. Miners will only receive 1.3 million BTC as block rewards in the next 4 years.
On the day of the 2016 Bitcoin halving, roughly $250 million of on-chain transactions took place. 4 years later, and the daily on-chain transaction volume on the Bitcoin network is now over $2.5 billion per day. A 10x jump in transaction value is nothing to sneeze at, and shows that Bitcoin is increasingly being trusted with settling large transactions.