Bitget App
Trade smarter
Buy cryptoMarketsTradeCopyBotsEarnWeb3
Hot TopicsHalvingBitcoin
Bitcoin's Fourth Halving: A Milestone in Cryptocurrency History

Bitcoin's Fourth Halving: A Milestone in Cryptocurrency History

2024-04-24 | 10m

Overview of the Fourth Halving of Bitcoin

Bitcoin halvings are programmed to occur automatically every 210,000 blocks. Each halving reduces the block subsidy reward that miners receive for validating transactions and adding them to the blockchain. Prior to the fourth halving, which occurred at block height 840,000, miners were receiving a subsidy reward of 6.25 BTC per block.

The fourth halving event saw the block subsidy reward drop from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC. This reduction in subsidy rewards has significant implications for miners and the overall Bitcoin ecosystem. Miners play a crucial role in securing the network and validating transactions, and the halving event affects their profitability and operational costs.

Additionally, the fourth halving block, confirmed at block 840,000, garnered attention due to the significant fee. With an additional 37.6256 BTC paid as fees for the transactions included in the block, the total reward reached approximately $2.4 million. ViaBTC was the one who mined the landmark 840,000 block, and thus received the $2.4 million reward.

Following the fourth halving, the Bitcoin network entered a new era, with miners now receiving reduced block rewards. This reduction in subsidy rewards highlights the importance of transaction fees, which become increasingly significant for miners as the subsidy diminishes. Transaction fees historically represented a smaller portion of miners' rewards compared to the block subsidy, but with the halving, they take on greater importance.

The industry's response to the fourth halving has been mixed. While some anticipate increased pressure on less efficient mining operations, others see opportunities for innovation and efficiency improvements within the sector. Miners may explore new regions with cheaper energy sources or invest in more efficient mining technology to maintain profitability.

Moreover, the fourth halving coincided with significant developments in the Bitcoin ecosystem, including the launch of new protocols such as Ordinals and Runes. These protocols enable the creation, storage, and trading of digital content on the Bitcoin blockchain, further driving activity and transaction fees.

The Market Following the Halving

While some anticipated a significant BTC price surge similar to previous halving events, others remained cautious about potential market weakness in the short term. Bitcoin's price was relatively unchanged immediately following the halving event, trading at around $63,783 per coin. However, in the days that followed, Bitcoin's price climbed steadily, nearing the $67,000 mark.

Bitcoin's Fourth Halving: A Milestone in Cryptocurrency History image 0

Source: Bitget

Meanwhile, altcoins, including ETH and NEAR, experienced positive gains during this period. This bullish sentiment extended to digital asset-focused stocks, with shares of crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN) and mining companies such as Riot Platforms (RIOT) and Hut 8 (HUT) rallying significantly.

While short-term market fluctuations are common in the cryptocurrency space, investors and analysts remain optimistic about Bitcoin's long-term trajectory. Historical data from previous halving events suggest that Bitcoin's price tends to experience exponential growth in the months following the halving. As such, BTC bulls have a window of opportunity to build larger long positions in anticipation of a potential price surge in the coming weeks.

Additionally, funding rates for certain altcoins and memecoins turned sharply negative following the halving event. Funding rates refer to the cost that leveraged derivatives traders must pay to maintain their positions open. When funding rates become deeply negative, it indicates a scenario where traders holding short positions may incur significant costs. This situation can lead to a short squeeze, where traders rush to cover their short positions, driving prices higher. As a result, the market may experience a swift move upward in prices for these altcoins and memecoins.

Bitcoin's Fourth Halving: A Milestone in Cryptocurrency History image 1

Source: CoinGlass

Moreover, there was a notable improvement in speculative sentiment in the market following the halving. Speculative sentiment refers to the overall optimism or pessimism among investors regarding the future price movements of cryptocurrencies. The positive sentiment, combined with cooling funding rates, created a favorable environment for leveraged long positions in the market. Leveraged long positions involve borrowing funds to invest in assets with the expectation of profiting from price appreciation. When funding rates are low and the sentiment is positive, investors may be more inclined to take leveraged long positions, further fueling upward price movements in the market.

The Birth of Runes Protocol Coinciding With the Halving

At the same block height as the fourth halving of Bitcoin, Runes protocol was born. Developed by Casey Rodarmor, Runes protocol revolutionizes the way meme coins are minted and traded on the Bitcoin blockchain.

Runes builds upon the foundation laid by Ordinals, another innovative protocol created by Rodarmor. Ordinals enable the inscription of special data, such as images, videos, and text, onto individual satoshis, the smallest units of Bitcoin. This process “attaches” these satoshis with unique properties, making them non-fungible and tradable on various platforms.

Runes protocol takes this concept further by introducing fungible meme coins that exist entirely on-chain. This integration opens up new possibilities for what people can do within the Bitcoin ecosystem.

The launch of Runes protocol sparked a leap of activity on the Bitcoin network, which led to a surge in transaction volume and fees. Within hours of its release, Runes-related transactions accounted for a significant portion of Bitcoin activity, driving transaction fees to an all-time high. For the first time ever, miners earned more in transaction fees than in block rewards over a 24-hour period.

Bitcoin's Fourth Halving: A Milestone in Cryptocurrency History image 2

Source: Coin Metrics

The surge in fees fueled speculation and debate within the cryptocurrency community. Some hailed the rise in fees as a testament to the growing utility and demand for Bitcoin transactions. Others raised concerns about accessibility and affordability, particularly for users conducting small-value transactions.

Despite the initial frenzy, the dominance of Runes-related transactions gradually subsided, and fees returned to more manageable levels. However, the impact of Runes on the Bitcoin network remains profound, highlighting the potential for innovation within the cryptocurrency space.


Bitcoin's fourth halving event marked a significant milestone in the cryptocurrency's history, with implications for miners, investors, and the broader market. While the immediate impact on Bitcoin's price was muted, the market exhibited resilience and positive momentum in the days following the halving. With historical trends indicating potential for exponential growth in Bitcoin's price post-halving, investors remain hopeful about the future of the cryptocurrency market.

Also, the surge in Bitcoin transaction fees, mostly driven by Runes protocol, reflects growing activity on the network, while raising questions about accessibility and affordability for users. As the Bitcoin ecosystem continues to evolve, stakeholders must navigate these challenges to ensure the network's long-term sustainability and viability.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are for informational purposes only. This article does not constitute an endorsement of any of the products and services discussed or investment, financial, or trading advice. Qualified professionals should be consulted prior to making financial decisions.