A mining reward is a payment or incentive given to miners who successfully validate and add new transactions to the blockchain of a cryptocurrency network.
In the context of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, mining is the process of solving complex mathematical problems using powerful computers to validate transactions and add new blocks to the blockchain. The first miner to solve the problem and add a new block to the blockchain is rewarded with a certain amount of the cryptocurrency. This reward serves as an incentive for miners to invest resources into the network and maintain its security and integrity.
The mining reward is typically a combination of newly-created cryptocurrency, as well as transaction fees paid by users to have their transactions validated and added to the blockchain. The reward is usually halved at regular intervals to help control the supply of the cryptocurrency and prevent inflation.
For example, in the case of Bitcoin, the mining reward started at 50 BTC per block and is halved approximately every four years. As of 2021, the current mining reward for adding a new block to the Bitcoin blockchain is 6.25 BTC, plus any transaction fees associated with the transactions included in that block.
The mining reward serves as a key part of the incentive structure of cryptocurrency networks, encouraging miners to participate in the network and maintain its security and integrity.