Bitcoin halving not priced in, despite pre-event trader activity, analyst says

Quick Take

  • Bitcoin halving is not priced in despite traders attempting to position themselves ahead of the event, an analyst said. 

The bitcoin halving is not priced in and the event will see "real changes" in the digital asset's supply and demand mechanics, an analyst said.

BitGo Head of Go Network Matt Ballensweig has added his fresh take to the abundance of speculation over whether the halving has already been priced in. 

"Digital asset investors and traders constantly ask the question 'is the halving priced in' and each cycle it tends to not be. Similarly, many investors thought the spot bitcoin ETF approval was also priced in, but over the first 60 days of ETF trading the bitcoin price rallied considerably," Ballensweig said in an email sent to The Block.

Halving will see 'real changes' in bitcoin supply and demand

Ballensweig explained that certain events trigger tangible shifts in supply and demand dynamics within exchange order books and argued that the upcoming halving would exemplify this trend.  

"These particular events lead to real changes in supply and demand mechanics on exchange order books, as when the spot bitcoin ETFs were approved, there was committed capital ready to flow into those products, causing bid-side pressure and thus impacting price regardless of what trading activity looked like ahead of the event," he said.

Ballensweig added that the upcoming halving will see traders attempt to position themselves ahead of the event, "but when the event occurs, there will be less daily supply on the exchange order books and assuming constant demand, that will again lead to bid-side pressure as the sell-side is thinner," he added.

This halving is different, Coinbase analysts say

Ballensweig's perspective contrasts with that of Coinbase analysts David Duong and David Han. In a note sent to The Block in early April, they argued that the upcoming halving differs from prior events, as it comes not long after bitcoin reached its all-time high of over $73,000 in mid-March.

"This is the first halving cycle which saw bitcoin breach its all-time high before the halving, which could mean that the effect has already been priced in by savvy traders," the Coinbase analysts said.

The anticipated bitcoin halving is expected to occur on Saturday, April 20, according to The Block's Halving Countdown.

The upcoming bitcoin halving event

Every four years, a mechanism coded into bitcoin’s blockchain cuts the block reward miners earn in half.

This time around, that means each new block of bitcoin that’s mined roughly every ten minutes will yield 3.125, down from the current 6.25 BTC block reward.

Historically, many of bitcoin’s gains have come 12 to 18 months after a halving, when newly diminishing supply accompanied surging demand. At the time of 2020’s halving, for instance, one bitcoin cost less than $10,000. By the peak in 2022, prices had climbed to more than $67,000.

What's different in this case is the surging demand that has resulted from the arrival of 11 spot bitcoin ETFs

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