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I am poking around in the testnet blockchain, and I saw a block mined recently where the outputs added up to just 0.04953672 BTC. Since there is no output for the 50BTC block reward, does that mean that it was just discarded? (I.e., there is no input script that can claim it.)

Why is the input (coinbase) script:

OP_PUSH<03> <208621>
OP_FALSE
<coinbase data>

Does this match a convention, or is it just whatever the miner wanted to put there?

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First, 0x855996c9444827112b68c0606d8dfec62385d1b3448e412bc1c721633a641669 isn't a block. It's a transaction.

Secondly, The last testnet block is ~2,197,048. I think that bitcoin's reward at this stage is very low.

Have a look at these following bitcoin blocks :

...

You should understand it now, the reward decreases. According to Bitcoin's blockchain protocol, the Bitcoin block reward gets cut in half after every 210,000. The transaction 0x855996c9444827112b68c0606d8dfec62385d1b3448e412bc1c721633a641669 belongs to the block 2,197,024 (https://www.blockchain.com/btc-testnet/block/2197024). 2,197,024 is very hight. The Bitcoin testnet follows pratically the same rules of the Bitcoin mainnet. There's a little differences regarding magic bytes or P2PKH prefix...

Regards.

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  • You're right, thanks! I had a TXID instead of a block ID, and the testnet block reward really is that low now. Next, I have to figure out segwit transactions.
    – Dave M.
    Apr 24, 2022 at 14:37

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