What is the Bitcoin Mining Block Reward
The Bitcoin block reward refers to the new bitcoins distributed by the network to miners for each successfully solved block.
How is the Block Reward Determined?
Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s creator, set the block reward schedule when he created Bitcoin. It is one of Bitcoin’s central rules and cannot be changed without agreement between the entire Bitcoin network.
The block reward started at 50 BTC in block #1 and halves every 210,000 blocks. This means every block up until block #210,000 rewards 50 BTC, while block 210,001 rewards 25. Since blocks are mined on average every 10 minutes, 144 blocks are mined per day on average. At 144 blocks per day, 210,000 blocks take on average four years to mine.
Importance of the Block Reward
The block reward creates an incentive for miners to add hash power to the network. The block reward is what miners try to get using their ASICs, which make up the entirety of the Bitcoin network hash rate.
ASICs are expensive, and have high electricity costs. Miners are profitable when their hardware and electricity costs to mine one bitcoin are lower than the price of one bitcoin. This means miners can mine bitcoins and sell them for a profit.
The more hash power a miner or mining pool has, the greater the chance is that the miner or pool has to mine a block. As miners add more hash rate, more security is provided to the network. The block reward acts as a subsidy and incentive for miners until transaction fees can pay the miners enough money to secure the network.