The mining of bitcoins just got a lot harder this weekend: the reward for miners was halved yesterday. Where there were previously 25 bitcoins (approximately $16,000) to be mined every 10 minutes, there has now to be fought over 12.5. This measure automatically kicks in every four years as part of an attempt to curb inflation that would come from both a growing number of miners and ever-faster computers.
This could lead to a rise in the price of bitcoins, because there are less bitcoins in the circulation. For the time being, the rise is a bit disappointing, with the price of one bitcoin being $647,77 as I'm writing this. This should not spoil the fun though, there are 'halvening parties' everywhere on the world, where people celebrate the halving of the reward.
Where there are winners, there are losers as well. The less efficiently working miners see their rewards halve just like that. Some of them are already bankrupt.