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Must a block contain a coinbase transaction? If so, how is this enforced?

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2 Answers 2

Yes, it must.

Block without coinbase transaction will be rejected by network.

From the Protocol, rule #6:

First transaction must be coinbase (i.e. only 1 input, with hash=0, n=-1), the rest must not be

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Every block must include one or more transactions. The first one of these transactions must be a coinbase transaction which should collect and spend the block reward and any transaction fees paid by transactions included in this block.

Bitcoin Foundation Developer Guide— https://bitcoin.org/en/developer-guide#transaction-data

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