A version of this post titled “Bitcoin halves and have-nots” originally appeared in the Cyber Saturday edition of Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily tech newsletter.
Bitcoin, the digital money, has just undergone its second-ever “halving” event.
Hard-coded into cryptocurrency’s rulebook is a law that cuts in half the value of the digital payout that so-called miners receive for supporting the network with their computing power. The event happens about every four years. (More specifically, after every 210,000 blocks of transactions are processed.)
As Balaji Srinivasan, CEO of the Andreessen Horowitz-backed Bitcoin company 21, described it, the occasion is a sort of New Year’s Eve for financial futurists.
Bitcoin’s halving: a New Year’s Eve experienced simultaneously by people in the same social network rather than in the same physical place.
— Balaji S. Srinivasan (@balajis) July 9, 2016
The halving event has proven—and will continue to prove—consequential for the mining set. The Bitcoin backers who supply the CPU time and electricity that fuel the Bitcoin network do so to recoup a reward. Although the markets have been pricing in the impact of the long-awaited trim over the past few weeks, some miners face an uncertain fate: their prize just dropped to 12.5