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Definition Every four years, the number of bitcoins awarded to miners is halved until all 21 million bitcoins are virtually mined (likely around the year 2140). The halving mechanism helps maintain a scarcity of bitcoin and makes it a hedge against inflation. Despite being a digital currency, Bitcoin cannot be created infinitely. Verifiable scarcity is crucial to its value proposition. Two key concepts regarding scarcity are fundamental to the Bitcoin protocol. Firstly, the number of bitcoins will not exceed 21 million. (By the end of 2020, less than 2.5 million bitcoins remained to be "mined" virtually). Secondly, the number of new bitcoins added to the network will be halved every four years. This latter concept is known as halving. At the beginning of 2020, every 10 minutes, 12.5 new bitcoins were added to the network through virtual "mining". In May, this number halved to 6.25. In 2024, it will decrease to about 3.125, and this process will continue until all 21 million bitcoins are mined (which is estimated to occur around 2140). Around April 16, 2024, there will be another Bitcoin halving, as a result of which the mining reward will drop to 3,125 bitcoin per block. Why is Bitcoin halving important? By emitting fewer bitcoins