I have been playing with the blockchain lately and studying how Bitcoin works. I was wondering though, what is the functional reason for the mining process? I understand that you get a reward for mining, but you could implement that reward also in another way, or do away with it completely.
I first thought it would be to make the blockchain more tamperproof, because the mining will make it extra hard to change a block somewhere up the chain. But, using the signatures and the distributedness this is nigh impossible anyway.
So, why mine?