The bitcoin network underwent a significant change on Monday as the number of new bitcoins produced in each block fell by half. This is according to a schedule established by bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto almost 12 years ago.
Previously, each block in the blockchain came with 12.5 new bitcoins worth roughly 55,000.
That’s a challenge for the bitcoin mining industry, which derives the lion’s share of its income from these block rewards. But it has a happy side effect for everyone else: the bitcoin network’s energy consumption is likely to fall in the coming months as lower profits from bitcoin mining force miners to tighten their belts.