can someone confirm if this is true or false. When a miner started to mine in 2009, they were automatically given five bitcoins? That is 5 BitCoins automatically appeared in their wallet almost like a signing-on bonus. Not much of a bonus since the value was less than a cent but you know what I mean.

Thank you

2 Answers 2


I believe all the following has applied since the beginning and is still what happens.

The mining reward is not given when starting to mine but is allocated when each block has been successfully mined.

The miner chooses what happens to the mining reward. They include as the first transaction in a block a special "coinbase" transaction that has no inputs and at least one output. The sum of the outputs cannot exceed the sum of the currect mining reward plus the total of transaction fees offerred by each transaction they include in that block.

The mining reward cannot be spent until 100 further blocks have been mined (by any miner) in a chain including the mined block.

The mining reward halves every four years roughly.


  • Thank you. I can recall downloading BitCoin in 2009 and mining. Frankly, I cannot remember a great deal other than stopping after a few days (maybe a week) because the coins were worth less than cents and I could not see how I would cover the electrical cost. What I remember though is I started off with some BitCoin before I mined, maybe I am wrong about this.
    – Joe Bloggs
    Commented Apr 19, 2021 at 17:02
  • I think the asker may have mixed up the story of Gavin Andresen giving away 5 BTC a pop from his faucet with mining.
    – Murch
    Commented Apr 19, 2021 at 17:24
  • No, I am being serious so no mixup. Remember, this was before all the buzz and hype. I merely stumbled on BitCoin when conducting research in other areas back in 2009. Being an Economics grad' I like the idea and thought it had potential but after mining for a short time, I thought the cost of electricity would make it a bad bet. I am in the process of trying to recover the wallet.dat from multiple HDDs. It is a long shot but worth a try; there was certainly BitCoin in the Wallet but I have no idea how many; why would I pay much attention to it back then?
    – Joe Bloggs
    Commented Apr 19, 2021 at 17:36
  • In 2009 there were no mining pools.The first mining pool ever was Slush pool and it was started in 2010. All bitcoins were generated from block rewards. So, you might have mined a block in 2009 easily and that would be 50 BTC. Or you might have created a wallet on Coinbase or Blockchain.com, I think the former might have given $10 on sign-up for a while. But all these things were started later, there would have been no way to "sign-up" in 2009, and a block reward would have been 50 not 5 BTC.
    – Murch
    Commented Apr 19, 2021 at 17:44
  • Since you're talking about a wallet.dat, I think you may have been running the Bitcoin client, though.
    – Murch
    Commented Apr 19, 2021 at 17:45

The mining reward used to be 50 btc in 2009, for a successfully mined block. So not really at all like a "signup bonus", you actually had to do the work (and be the fastest to get the correct hash!) to get it.

  • Thank you. I am just trying to recall all the details. There is no point typing successfully in bold; I refer to 2009 when btc was worthless and successful mining was a trivial task.
    – Joe Bloggs
    Commented Apr 19, 2021 at 17:43

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