When a block is added to the blockchain, the miner gets rewarded. But what would happen to the mining reward if the network replaced the block's branch with another because the latter is longer? If it was legit then how would the miner reference to the block which generated his coin?

P.S. - I'm new to SE, so I really don't know much about it.

2 Answers 2


If the block doesn't end up in the main chain, the miner effectively doesn't get the reward. Attempts to spend it will not be accepted as valid payment by others.

There is a "maturity" rule that rewards cannot be spent at all until 100 more blocks have been added to the chain following it. This helps ensure that a miner doesn't spend coins from a reward which is later invalidated, thus leaving the recipients of those payments in the lurch.

  • Thanks. I really didn't know about the maturity rule. Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 2:56

The act of mining a block does not reward the miner with coins. The miner has coins attributed to him if a block he mined is on the blockchain.
Say miner A successfully mined a block and now has +12.5 BTC attributed to him.
After some time, the chain he is on becomes shorter than some other chain.
On that other chain, mining a block by miner A never happened. So there is no record in history to attribute coins to miner A. Some miner B, who mined the block that got accepted to the longer chain, now has +12.5 BTC in his account. Miner A's chain becomes an orphan chain.

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