For only the third time in history, Bitcoin’s mining subsidy was cut in half this month. It was a moment that garnered attention from around the world, reminded us of the protocol’s programmable scarcity and inherent value proposition and gave some of the space’s technological and cultural principals reason to reflect on the past and future.
Further Reading: What Is the Bitcoin Halving?
Bitcoin Magazine’s BitcoinHalving.com live stream, held for 21 hours continuously around the third Halving, shared some of these reflections with thousands of viewers and created a broadcast that reminds us why the technology has been so important to date, and of the vast potential it still holds.
Samson Mow’s Bitcoin Predictions for After the Halving
In a video for the BitcoinHalving.com live stream, Blockstream CSO Samson Mow offered predictions for Bitcoin’s fourth epoch, the period between this most recent Halving and the next. For instance, he weighed in on the potential energy use of Bitcoin mining in the coming years — something Blockstream has a firsthand stake in.
“Right now, we’re probably using 77 terawatt hours per year, and that’s really miniscule compared to 157,000 terawatt hours per year that’s being used for everything else around the world,” Mow explained. “I think at the next Halving, we’ll be doing pretty well if we can reach 0.1 percent [of the world’s total energy use]. It could be higher, but we also see a lot of efficiencies being gained all the time by ASIC manufacturers.”
When asked to offer a prediction for one of the biggest issues in Bitcoin, which is only poised to grow as interest in the technology does, Mow offered some more advice based on his own experience.
“For us at Blockstream, we actually see a lot of people getting scammed by cloud mining schemes. They’re using our name and even before we started mining, they were scamming using this concept,” he said. “But I think overall, the biggest new scam is always the new coins that are coming out. The new coins that promise to be better than bitcoin or solve some deficiency of Bitcoin.”
Reflecting on the Halving and Bitcoin’s Epochs With Andreas M. Antonopoulos
As an author and educator for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies since its earliest days, Andreas M. Antonopoulous brought some historical perspective to the BitcoinHalving.com live stream. In a discussion with Christie Harkin, he shared some of that perspective as a way to add context to the most recent Halving.
“Those were the obscure years,” Antonopoulos said of Bitcoin’s time before the 2012 Halving. “I remember going to the first conference in San Jose and meeting basically everyone. The entire Bitcoin community almost at the time that was in the U.S. was there. And you could fit everybody in a room.”
Eight years and two Halvings later, the Bitcoin community spans the world and totals innumerable self-described “Bitcoiners.” But, as Antonopoulos continued, some lessons learned will likely still apply in this latest epoch.
“I think that the same prediction that I made the previous two Halvings applies again, which is that a whole lot of nothing is going to happen, for now,” he said. “The monetary effects take quite a while to make themselves felt in the markets… It’s gonna take a long time before the signal from the fundamental change in the inflation … becomes a dominant signal that is really felt in the market.”
Celebrating the Growth of Bitcoin Art at the Halving
Beyond energy use predictions or price expectations for Bitcoin’s new epoch, the BitcoinHalving.com live stream leveraged the spotlight of this historic moment to recognize the vibrancy of the Bitcoin community.
This, of course, meant checking in with some of the space’s most vibrant artists about their work and outlook for the near future.
“My goal in general is to — if not find someone else who connects with my work in some sort of way through their journey through discovering Bitcoin and crypto and what it does for them financially or in terms of the principals — then is at least to bring interest and awareness to other people that maybe aren’t familiar with it,” visual artist Josie Bellini explained. “I’ve even been able to share with some of my friends through artwork the meanings behind what’s going on in them… Bringing them on that journey with me through artwork.”
The conversation included six artists who work in a range of media and approach the creation of “Bitcoin art” in various ways. But each of them shared a positive outlook, pride in their messaging and enthusiasm for what the Bitcoin community has in store next throughout the panel.
“My artistic process is I first take a bunch of ASIC motherboards and I crush them into a fine powder and then what I do is take the fine powder and I draw a 21-sided star and then I light candles and I channel the spirit of Satoshi and he visits me and it’s pretty glorious and I do whatever he tells me,” Brekkie von Bitcoin, a visual artist, advocate and creative director, said with a satirical tone. “If I do it wrong… I get this Craig Wright form that appears with devil horns.
To see more of Bitcoin Magazine’s 21-hour BitcoinHalving.com live stream, visit our YouTube page.
Peter Chawaga is a senior editor at Bitcoin Magazine. He HODLs BTC.