Block Reward

Key Takeaways

  • Block reward refers to the new bitcoins given to miners for validating a new block on the blockchain.
  • The block reward incentivizes miners to maintain network security and confirm transactions.
  • The block reward halves approximately every four years in an event called 'Halving'.

What is the Block Reward

The block reward serves as the main incentive for miners to secure the network and validate transactions.

Every time a miner or a mining pool successfully adds a new block to the blockchain, they receive a set number of bitcoins as a reward.

This process is what introduces new bitcoins into circulation.

In essence, the block reward compensates miners for their efforts in maintaining and operating the Bitcoin network.

Mining requires significant computational power and electricity. The block reward ensures that miners are financially motivated to continue their operations, providing security to the network.

Importance of block reward

The block reward has several critical roles in the Bitcoin ecosystem:

  • Incentivizing Miners: Without the block reward, miners might not be inclined to expend resources to validate transactions.
  • Introducing New Bitcoins: The block reward is the primary method by which new bitcoins enter circulation.
  • Maintaining Network Security: By incentivizing miners, the block reward ensures that the Bitcoin network remains secure against attacks.

The Halving Phenomenon

Approximately every four years, the block reward is cut in half in an event known as “Halving”.

This mechanism ensures that the total supply of bitcoins will never exceed 21 million.

There have been three halvings:

One in 2012, another in 2016, and the latest in 2020.

  • Impact on Miners: Halvings can affect the profitability of mining. As the reward decreases, miners need to ensure that their operations remain efficient to stay profitable.
  • Price Implications: Historically, halvings have been associated with price increases in Bitcoin. However, past performance does not guarantee future results.

Future Implications of Decreasing Block Rewards

As the block reward continues to halve, there will come a time when the reward becomes negligible.

When the block reward becomes too small, miners will rely more on transaction fees as an incentive to validate transactions.

There’s an ongoing debate about how the reduction in block reward might impact the security of the Bitcoin network in the long term. However, it remains to be seen.

Article Sources

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