In May of this year, the bitcoin halving was initially predicted for May 20th, 2020. Today, 4 months later, the latest estimates have anticipated the halving to no later than May 6th, 2020. Therefore, it is anticipated by at least fourteen days.
However, according to some tools that take into account the hashrate and the influence on the average times per block, in the next months, the date of the halving could undergo further anticipations, shifting even to the beginning of the month of May. According to the bitcoinclock website, the halving will take place on May 2nd, 2020. The only certainty is that at the moment there are about 35,600 blocks to be mined before the reward for extracting bitcoin is halved.
On the basis of the average time set by the BTC protocol (10 minutes), this value indicates that the bitcoin halving should take place around May 16th, 2020.
Using instead the average block time from the last mining period that started about 11 days ago and that will soon result in a new correction of the difficulty, the average block time is around 9.5 minutes. Multiplying it by the number of remaining blocks, the result is that the halving of the bitcoin reward will probably take place around May 2nd/3rd, 2020.
Other industry experts also confirm that halving will take place sooner than expected if the hash continues to grow like this. According to some, in fact, there is a risk that the halving of the block reward could take place as early as April 2020.
The way hashrate is accelerating, the halving will happen in April 2020, not May.
— hodlonaut🌮⚡🔑 (@hodlonaut) September 10, 2019
Only the behaviour of the hashrate of the bitcoin network in the coming months will be able to give a more concrete answer, even though the bitcoin mining race seems to have been triggered several months ago.
Recently, in fact, the bitcoin hashrate has reached almost 90 Exahash/s and in the next few months, thanks also to the new ASICs announced by Bitmain, it will probably exceed the threshold of 100 Exahash/s.
What is bitcoin halving?
Halving is set at the protocol level by the original bitcoin source code, so it cannot be cancelled, postponed or anticipated.
On bitcoin, the halving takes place cyclically every four years, although it is more correct to speak in terms of blocks. The interval between halvings is fixed at 210,000 blocks.
Considering that a bitcoin block is created every ten minutes, on average 4 years pass between one halving and the other. However, the average time per block is a random variable influenced by the hashrate of the network, which is why it is not a constant value fixed a priori.
For this very reason, the difficulty of extracting bitcoins and therefore creating new blocks comes into play, which compensates for the growing or decreasing hashrate in order to keep the average time per block as constant as possible.
However, it often happens that the sudden growth of the network hashrate can significantly lower the average time per block, just as happened in recent months.
The first bitcoin halving took place in 2012 and reduced the premium for each mined block from the initial 50 to 25 BTC. The second halving of bitcoin took place in 2016, and led to a further halving of the block reward, dropping to the current 12.5 BTC. As a result, the next halving will see the block reward halved even further, to only 6.25 BTC. This will result in a significant reduction in BTC’s inflation.