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The "halvening," or "halving," when bitcoin's protocol automatically updates to reduce the reward for mining a bitcoin by one half. This occurs every 210,000 blocks that are mined on bitcoin's blockchain. For the first 210,000 blocks, the mining reward was 50 bitcoins (BTC). Halvening will continue until 2140, after which the result would be less than one satoshi, the smallest bitcoin unit.

The first halvening was on November 28, 2012. Bitcoin's block reward dropped from 50 BTC to 25 BTC. The second was on July 9, 2016, dropping the block reward from 25 BTC to 12.5 BTC.

Historically, each "halvening preceded a significant jump in the U.S. dollar price of bitcoin.[1] This phenomenon has helped fuel a vehement discussion of whether the halvening causes the bitcoin dollar price increase because the halvening is defined by a reduction in the pace of issuance of new bitcoin. Some observers believe that the halvening has no direct price effect in the short term because the schedule of halvenings is well known and would at all times be priced into the current price of bitcoin.[2]

The next halvening is scheduled for May 2020.[3][4]