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As of 2014, miners that successfully mine a block are entitled to 25 bitcoins.

Can miners refuse to receive those 25 bitcoins, thereby reducing the total number of bitcoins that will ever be mined?

  • It's not so different from simply never using the coins. They are effectively lost and thus out of circulation. – Tim S. Jan 14 '14 at 16:56
  • Pieter Wuille mentioned some blocks that took less than the full reward on Will there be 21 million bitcoins eventually?. – Murch Mar 11 '16 at 10:27
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For the block to be valid there must be a coinbase transaction but it is only checked that it spends at much the reward and the fees generated in the transactions included in the block. So it is possible to generate a valid block with a coinbase transaction spending less than the available coin and thus destroying coins forever.

But you can always send the reward to a random address in the hope that no one will ever be able to find it's private key and that it does not belongs to anyone.

  • Contradicts this answer which sources the Bitcoin code. You could set the script to OP_RETURN to make it provably unspendable or if I'm not mistaken you could just refuse to include a coinbase transaction (it's not enforced). – kaoD Jan 14 '14 at 15:02
  • Yes it seems that the code does not check every posible situation, an unique coinbase as the first transaction of the block is enforced but there is no check if the value is less than what it should be, I will update accordingly. – frisco Jan 14 '14 at 15:48
  • Oh, you're right! I thought coinbase wasn't enforced but apparently it is (don't know where I read it). Gotta fix my own code then :) – kaoD Jan 14 '14 at 15:52

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