Why The Halving Cannot Be Completely Priced In: Bitwise CIO

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With the Bitcoin (BTC) halving only hours away, analysts are at odds over whether the one-in-four-years event is already “priced in” to the crypto market.

According to Bitwise CIO Matt Hougan, the answer is yes – but it comes with some important nuance.

The Bitcoin Halving And Efficient Markets

In a Twitter thread posted on Friday, Hougan acknowledged that the halving is both “well-known” and predictable for all market participants.

Specifically, at block 840,000, the newly created BTC attached to each Bitcoin block will fall from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC, reducing its daily supply issuance by roughly 450 BTC per day.

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Since this change has been programmed into the network’s code since its creation, the Efficient Markets Hypothesis (EMH) would suggest that Bitcoin’s current market price should already reflect that this halving will occur.

“I think this is broadly true,” Hougan wrote. “What the EMH folks leave out, however, is that… current prices only reflect the market’s best guess of future demand for bitcoin.”

Hougan’s firm Bitwise is a sponsor of one of the newly launched U.S. Bitcoin spot ETFs, which have collectively absorbed over $12 billion of net inflows since launch.

Though flows have stagnated in recent weeks, Hougan has previously predicted that a second wave of demand will arrive for the ETFs as professional investors slowly adopt them over the next two years.

Post-halving, the effect the second wave could have on Bitcoin’s price may be even more drastic given the changed composition of sellers in the market.

Forced Seller VS Willing Sellers

As Hougan explained, Bitcoin miners – the first recipients of new BTC – are Bitcoin’s only “forced sellers” who will liquidate their BTC at any market price, given their high marginal costs of doing business.

Miners’ share of daily sell pressure will fall drastically after the halving, putting a much greater share in that of “willing sellers” who only sell when they want to, and typically demand much higher prices per coin.

“That’s why I find the halving bullish,” Hougan concluded. “I think the market has underestimated the long-term demand for bitcoin, and I like the idea of that excess demand having to chase bitcoin almost exclusively from people who don’t need to sell.”

Google Trends data shows that searches for the term “Bitcoin halving” have recently touched their highest level ever, indicating broad excitement for the event.

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