I'm new to blockchain and want to start my own private network. I've gotten a lot of information here about coinbase transactions and how they make mining "empty" blocks useful. I would like to get precise answers to one major question and some offshoot questions:
- Is the coinbase transaction the one and only means of minting new coins?
- Is the coinbase transaction implicated in anyway in the creation of the first initial suppy of bitcoins or the creation of the genesis block?
- Since coinbase transaction blocks don't include any previous transaction history (except reward transaction to the miner), is it less computationally expensive to mine than blocks with actual transactions? And does this expense grow with the size of the blockchain or is it constant?