The block reward is made up of two parts: a block subsidy and a mining fee.
This definition begs the question: what is a block subsidy? The block subsidy is part of the block reward, but it is also related to Bitcoin’s controlled supply.
The amount of bitcoin that a miner receives in the block reward is made up primarily of the block subsidy. Under normal conditions, mining fees hover around a few thousand satoshis. On the other hand, the block subsidy is measured in full coins; at least for now.
The block subsidy changes every four years in an event called the halvening. The table below shows the changing block subsidy from Bitcoin’s inception through 2024 (and beyond):
|Block subsidy||Block height range||Year range (rough)|
|50 BTC||0 – 210,000||2009 – 2012|
|25 BTC||210,001 – 420,000||2012 – 2016|
|12.5 BTC||420,001 – 630,000||2016 – 2020|
|6.25 BTC||630,001 – 840,000||2020 – 2024|
|3.125 BTC||840,001 – 1,050,000||2024 – ?|