Bitcoin’s Halvings: Reflections on a Journey Marked by Milestones, Scandals, and Global Events

Bitcoin’s journey through its halvings has been intertwined with various global events, including scandals, collapses, and geopolitical tensions. Following the second halving in 2016, Bitcoin faced scrutiny due to high-profile scandals like the collapse of the Mt. Gox exchange in 2014, which led to significant losses for investors and raised questions about the security of cryptocurrency exchanges.

In 2017, as Bitcoin reached new heights in value, the cryptocurrency faced increased regulatory scrutiny, with governments around the world implementing measures to curb its use in illicit activities. Additionally, the collapse of the FTX exchange in 2018 further highlighted the risks associated with centralized exchanges and the importance of security measures in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Geopolitical tensions, including trade wars and conflicts, have also influenced Bitcoin’s trajectory. In regions experiencing economic instability or currency devaluation, Bitcoin has emerged as a viable alternative for individuals seeking financial security and autonomy. Moreover, Bitcoin’s decentralized nature has made it resilient to censorship and government control, making it a valuable asset in regions affected by political turmoil.

The COVID-19 pandemic further underscored Bitcoin’s role as a hedge against economic uncertainty, prompting increased interest from institutional investors and mainstream adoption. Against this backdrop, El Salvador’s decision to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender in 2021 represented a significant milestone for the cryptocurrency, signaling growing acceptance at the national level and paving the way for broader adoption in other countries.

Bitcoin’s halving events serve as milestones that prompt reflection on its journey and speculation about its future. The recent Bitcoin halving in 2024 coincided with a day of reflection for Dante Cook, head of Swan Bitcoin, as he gathered with members of his church to review the past year and ponder the future. The halving, which occurs every four years, reduces the supply issuance of Bitcoin, marking a significant event celebrated by Bitcoin enthusiasts worldwide.

Reflecting on the past four years since the previous halving, Cook recounted a series of notable events that shaped Bitcoin’s path. In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic due to COVID-19, leading to widespread economic disruption. Bitcoin’s price experienced volatility, including a significant drop just days after the pandemic declaration. Despite the challenges, Bitcoin’s third halving in May 2020 saw its supply issuance cut in half, coinciding with increased institutional adoption.

Notable milestones followed, including business intelligence firm MicroStrategy’s historic purchase of Bitcoin for its corporate treasury in August 2020, signaling a shift toward institutional adoption. In November 2020, the world witnessed the first usable prototype of decentralized social media with the launch of Noster, highlighting Bitcoin’s potential beyond a store of value.

The year 2021 brought further institutional adoption, with Tesla’s investment in Bitcoin and El Salvador’s groundbreaking decision to adopt it as legal tender. However, regulatory challenges and geopolitical tensions, such as China’s ban on Bitcoin mining, also affected its price.

The year 2022 was marked by scandals, conflicts, and market turmoil. The Ukraine-Russia conflict stirred fear in global markets, while Bitcoin mining company Core Scientific faced financial difficulties, contributing to market volatility. Additionally, scandals involving crypto exchanges and the collapse of FTX added to the uncertainty.

As Bitcoin entered 2023, the global financial system faced challenges, with the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank reminiscent of the 2008 financial crisis. Regulatory scrutiny intensified, with lawsuits against major exchanges like Binance and Coinbase. Despite these challenges, Bitcoin’s price rebounded, ending the year at over $42,000, vindicating proponents like MicroStrategy’s Michael Saylor.

Looking ahead, uncertainties persist, including geopolitical tensions, fiscal irresponsibility, and inflationary pressures. However, Bitcoin remains a beacon of hope for those seeking financial freedom and autonomy. Cook encouraged reflection on personal growth and adaptation over the next four years, challenging viewers to consider how they can contribute to a better future amidst the evolving landscape of Bitcoin and global events.