Sorry, this may be noobily phrased. My understanding was that each individual "miner" crosschecks and validates the overall blockchain, ensuring decentralized verification of the bitcoin transactions. The reward for devoting your processing power to this verification system is newly "min(t)ed" Bitcoins.

So, I'm wondering, when there are no Bitcoins left, as in it reaches 21 million (out of the ~15 million in circulation now), how will the blockchain transaction system be validated any more? As in, the reward incentive of getting a piece of newly hashed Bitcoins will be gone, so nobody would mine any more?

I figure there's something I'm missing, but from my limited understanding it sounds like the verification backbone of Bitcoin will be in trouble. I assume there's existing threads on this topic, I just am having trouble phrasing my question, so it's hard to search


1 Answer 1


Mining rewards are not the only source of income for miners. There are also transaction fees. When there are no more bitcoins to be mined (happens around 2140) then miners would be mining for transaction fees only.

  • 1
    Thanks, Jimmy. Do you think this would put Bitcoin more at risk for the so-called "Death Spiral"? As in, reducing the reward to only transaction fees will in fact give less incentive to mine. Sure, scarcity may also drive up the price, making it worth it, but this is not fact it's speculation.
    – Mike Cohen
    Jun 24, 2016 at 19:10
  • That's a long way away and having a fee market will certainly help. I suspect that's what the core devs are thinking.
    – Jimmy Song
    Jun 24, 2016 at 22:45

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.