Waiting for Godot… Bitcoin’s halving

1_yGofJhpnr8gS4FtIT58Ohg.pngWaiting for Godot is a critically-acclaimed play written in 1948 by Irish writer Samuel Beckett. In the play. the two main characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait for the arrival of someone named Godot. While they wait, they are visited by a messenger boy that tells them the person they are waiting for is not arriving today, but is sure to arrive tomorrow. Godot never comes. That’s the point. The crypto community has been waiting for a variety of Godots, since its inception. Now it’s waiting for the next Bitcoin halving in 8 days, 8 hours and 19 minutes and 25 seconds, expected to happen on 12 May 2020 07:41:00 UTC. Godot is the expectation of someone or something to come, that can make things better. A waste of time, in which we are in idle time without doing anything, in hopes that something good will happen, something over which we usually have no control.

Ilias Louis Hatzis is the Founder at Mercato Blockchain Corporation AG and a weekly columnist at DailyFintech.com.

There is plenty of interest around Bitcoin’s upcoming halving. With the third halving in few days, there is a lot of debate on what will happen and how Bitcoin will perform.

Everyone has an opinion as to why and how the price will change. A halving basically limits the supply of coins and causes a drop in the inflation rate for Bitcoin. As with other things, scarce things are valuable. In the first four years of Bitcoin’s life, inflation was very high. At the first halving in 2012, it was around 34%. In 2016, it had already gone down to around 8% and just after that second halving to 4%. These days Bitcoin inflation is around 3.5 %.

Google search volumes have clearly demonstrated an increased interest from inside and outside Bitcoin’s core community. Search volumes for “Bitcoin Halving” are 3x higher when compared to those during the second Bitcoin halving, in July 2016.

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Historically, there have been two halvings. In both cases, they were a key catalyst in propelling Bitcoin into a new bull market, peaking around 12–18 months later.

Here’s two graphs that show in detail pre and post pricing.

Bitcoin Halving #1 — November 2012

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Bitcoin Halving #2 — July 2016

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Based on Bitcoin’s historical data, prior and after its halvings, we can only speculate how Bitcoin’s price could potentially behave, as a result of its third halving.

It’s important to understand that with each halving, there were different circumstances in play. With the first halving, no one had any real idea what to expect. The second time, the rise of Ethereum and Initial Coin Offerings was a new factor that didn’t exist in 2012.

This time around, there is much more going on, beyond cryptocurrencies. In the last two months, the COVID-19 crisis has dramatically changed the global financial landscape. We are going through one of those major economic events, that most of us in crypto have been waiting for.

But, we are not ready to fully capitalize on the opportunity today. We are still in the minimum viable product mode. We can understand this, when you look at the products available in the market. Most crypto wallets and exchanges are not very user friendly. The majority of the general public is not ready yet. It does not understand why it needs something Bitcoin.

In March we saw prices drop on “Black Thursday“, almost in perfect correlation to the stock markets. We don’t want crypto to be follow the financial markets. If the financial markets are falling, we would hope that crypto is going up, similar to gold.

Most people still have blind faith in the existing system. While the stock markets have recovered, they are imaginary at this point. Central banks are printing money like it’s going out of style and the confidence in the markets being real and rational is completely gone. We are experiencing economic collapse, something similar to the great depression, yet we are just slightly off from all-time market highs. Artificially inflating and pumping markets may protect them in the short-term, but when they correct it will be much more painful.

This virus could be a great awakening, that increases the consciousness of humanity on many levels. Now more than ever, Bitcoin is relevant to the global economy. But more work needs to be done. Crypto is not as far along as it should be or as we hoped it would be by now.

As we enter the fourth phase, we are stating to see more use cases. We are starting to see Bitcoin as a store of value, decentralized finance, crypto lending and we are starting to see the idea of holding crypto and receiving a yield from it, a fixed income return. While all of this is a big deal, the world has shown us that it’s not quite ready for Bitcoin. While, decentralized finance is going to help crypto go mainstream, the crypto industry needs to focus on building new and better products and services.

I am still very bullish in Bitcoin. I am still very bullish on cryptocurrencies. I am still very bullish on blockchain. The COVID-19 crisis could lead to an increase in the adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain. With half of the world’s population in lockdown, blockchain technology could become a solution on how to digitize value transfers, in a secure way over the internet.

This is an opportunity to restart, a gateway between one world and the next. But, mainstream adoption will depend on the ecosystem building better bridges and on-ramps, that enable people to manage cryptocurrencies with ease… and not just because Godot showed up.

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