In a move that is designed to keep inflation down for the virtual currency known as bitcoin, the amount being made available globally is being halved, Reuters reported.
The supply, which is automatically dictated by the currency’s coding, is now at 12.5 bitcoin every 10 minutes, as opposed to the previous tally of 25 seen across the same timeframe. The automatic ratcheting down of supply, said Reuters, is designed to help limit bitcoin inflation.
If fewer bitcoin are on offer, then, according to the newswire, mining companies must operate in as lean a manner as possible.
So, ultimately, the competition extends to see who can “outwait” peers as they drop out of the game, amid profit pressure. Some miners lie in wait to scoop up the market share of those firms that have departed.
As Reuters reported, the reality is that bitcoin firms are hard to track, in terms of how many miners there are and how big they may be. But the power is considerable, as the network is estimated to be 43,000 times more powerful than the world’s top 500 supercomputers.
The computers that are out in the field are ones that record, but also make efforts to verify, the estimated 225,000 daily transactions that take place — and, in turn, gather up more bitcoin — with this virtual currency, which is estimated to be worth about $10 billion cumulatively.