First, 50.

Then, 25.

Eventually, 12.5.

After that, 6.25.

And now, 3.125.

Four halvings later, we enter the fifth of 33 epochs of Bitcoin. The first 32 epochs, in Bitcoin-terms, last 210,000 blocks, with the 33rd lasting until the heat death of the universe.

At 10 minutes per block, on average, that means just about every four years, Bitcoin cuts its supply issuance in half. The specific numerical finite-ness that comes downstream of this mechanism –– that defines bitcoin’s scarcity in a nearly infinite universe –– is ultimately irrelevant. Satoshi could have started at a 100 bitcoin block reward and we would have arrived at just about the same place today. But there are some statistical conveniences of starting at 50, such as that 50% of all bitcoin to ever be issued are during the first epoch. And thus, 25% of all bitcoin to ever be issued were issued in the second, and so on, and so forth.

Speaking of fourth, the fourth epoch terminates in the fourth month of 2024 at the completion of the fourth halving at block 840,000. A lot happened the fourth time around: El Salvador making bitcoin legal tender, Wall Street’s ETF play, the Taproot-enabling softfork, and even Ordinals.

Every new halving brings up the legitimacy of cycle theory, of whether or not supply issuance can be “priced in”.

Each halving is a time of self-reflection for bitcoiners and the culture they curate. Not only is Bitcoin arguably no longer a counter-culture with nation-state and Wall-street adoption (co-option?), but it is no longer a mono-culture. While many things were born during this epoch, it is perhaps the death of the homogenous bitcoiner that is the most apparent.

Bitcoin is for anyone; Salvadorans, Larry Fink, Bored Apes, and ESG’ers.

Welcome to the Fifth Epoch.

The Editors


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