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Bitcoin on Friday completed its fourth-ever “halving” with prices for the world’s largest cryptocurrency remaining relatively stable through the weekend in the aftermath of the event.

Bitcoin prices, which recently hit an all-time high of $73,803 in mid-March, were at about $64,036 prior to the halving that occurred after 8 p.m. ET on Friday. Prices fell by 0.47% to $63,747 immediately after the halving, then rose over the weekend to around $65,000 on Sunday.

The halving changes the rate at which new bitcoins are created and was included in bitcoin’s code at its inception by the cryptocurrency’s pseudonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, who capped the overall supply of bitcoin at 21 million tokens.

When the halving occurs, the rewards received by cryptocurrency miners for creating new tokens are cut in half, which makes it more expensive for them to put new bitcoins into circulation.

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Halvings happen about every four years, with previous halvings occurring in 2012, 2016 and 2020. Some crypto fans point to price rallies that followed the halvings as a sign that its price will rise following the latest halving – though analysts are skeptical.

“We do not expect bitcoin price increases post halving as it has already been priced in,” JP Morgan analysts wrote this week. They said they anticipate bitcoin’s price falling after the halving because it’s been “overbought” and venture capital investment in the crypto industry has been “subdued” this year.

Bitcoin’s rise to an all-time high last month came after the cryptocurrency spent much of 2023 recovering from a dramatic plunge in 2022, when crypto markets were roiled by the collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX cryptocurrency exchange. Bitcoin reached a then-record high of $67,802 in November 2021 before sliding to below $17,000 for much of November and December in 2022.

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Bitcoin and binary code

Financial regulators have long warned that bitcoin is a high-risk asset that has limited real-world uses, although more regulatory bodies have approved bitcoin-linked trading products.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved a number of spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in January that expanded investors’ access to the cryptocurrency without requiring them to buy tokens through a crypto exchange. 

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Digital asset bitcoin.

Spot bitcoin ETFs allow investors to efficiently track the price of the cryptocurrency and invest in the asset by buying ETFs through their brokerage account.

Among the bitcoin ETFs that have been approved are those from ARK/21Shares (ticker symbol ARKB), Bitwise (BITB), BlackRock (IBIT), Fidelity (FBTC), Franklin Templeton (EZBC), Grayscale (GBTC), Invesco/Galaxy Digital (BTCO), Valkyrie (BRRR), VanEck (HODL) and WisdomTree (BTCW).

Bitcoin prices have been relatively flat in recent weeks since hitting a new record high in March amid elevated geopolitical tensions and expectations that central banks will keep interest rates higher for longer amid persistent inflation.

FOX Business’ Suzanne O’Halloran and Reuters contributed to this report.

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