What is the Bitcoin Halving, and Why Should Filipinos Care?

Ethan Rose
April 17, 2024

First off, make sure you RSVP to the free online Bitcoin Halving Party hosted in partnership with the Philippine Bitcoiners meetup group! There will be an opportunity to learn more about the halving and bitcoin in general, as well as prizes, games, and special guests. For those who are already plugged in to the bitcoin community in the Philippines, this will be a reunion!

Now, let's get into it.

Bitcoin is scarce.

And it gets more scarce over time.

What is the Bitcoin Halving?

At its inception in 2009, bitcoin minted 50 new coins every 10 minutes, which get rewarded to the miner who mines the block. Built in to the bitcoin code, is a "scarcity" mechanism, the minted coins get cut in half approximately every 4-years. The cuts happened in 2012, 2016, 2020, and now 2024. That means that 50 coins got halved to 25, 12.5, 6.25.

In 3 days, the new coins awarded to miners every 10 minutes on average will be halved once again to 3.125.

I know it's pretty mathy, but hopefully the point is clear. The monetary policy is predictable (unlike central banks). And the minted supply will continue to rapidly diminish until 100+ years from now, in the year 2140, when all 21 million bitcoin has been mined. At that point, miners will be compensated purely via transaction fees, without this block-subsidy.

Since bitcoin is the de-facto global reserve currency (most people just don't realize it yet, more on that for a separate blog post), that means that the value of a bitcoin == the entirety of the world's wealth divided by 21 million.

Why Should Filipinos Care?

For the Philippines, bitcoin is hope for a brighter and more abundant future. It's a way out of the fiat system which gives the United States power to leech wealth from Filipinos. The US, with the USD as the global reserve currency, has the unfair advantage of exporting its own inflation to the Philippines and the rest of the world.

The bitcoin halving is a mathematical mechanism to drive steady, predictable, and consistent adoption of bitcoin. Those with the foresight, who do the research, are rewarded by having the ability to purchase before it's too scarce. If Filipinos are earlier to adopt bitcoin, the Philippines will start from a stronger position of wealth once the world reaches the later stages of the monetary revolution.

If you look at historical precedent, humans gravitate toward the best money available. Often, throughout history, that is gold. Sometimes, governments have played with the money supply, devaluing it (mixing common metals into gold/silver coinage, for example), and that game has always resulted in massive wealth gaps and poverty. It is theft that negatively impacts the working class while lining the pockets of those with the closest access to the money printer.

Today, the best money available to humanity is bitcoin. In fact, bitcoin has better monetary properties than gold & government issued currencies. (See: Monetary Properties of Bitcoin)

If you look at modern trends, you will notice that bitcoin already has a market cap exceeding $1 Trillion USD. Major corporations in the US, such as Tesla and MicroStrategy, are holding Bitcoin in their treasury. The largest wealth managers in the world have launched bitcoin spot ETFs. Politicians are campaigning on Bitcoin, and even entire nations (i.e. El Salvador) have embraced bitcoin and also include Bitcoin in their national treasuries.

US Dollars are currently the accepted system. But reserve currencies only last 100 years, by historical precedent, and the USD is nearing end-of-life. What will be next -- back to gold? Will the world accept the Euro? Will the world embrace China as the money printer?

Or will the world prefer the decentralized, neutral form of money -- the one with the strongest network effect that is (See: Metcalfe's Law) -- and a predictable monetary policy, enforced strictly by code?

Everyone gets bitcoin at the price they deserve. So for the sake of your family tree, start caring about it. Do your homework. Study Bitcoin.

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