A name for the transaction that produces new bitcoins. A block consists of one coinbase minting transaction, among other things. (See Block ) Initially each new block awarded 50 bitcoins. The minting rate is programmed to decrease by half approximately every four years upon the verification of 210,000 blocks and at this writing sits at 25 bitcoins. The minting rate is programmed to reach zero when the total supply reaches 21 million bitcoins. The coinbase transaction also serves to claim all the fees in the transactions collected in the block. Both mining and fees motivate persons to create blocks and hence keep the system alive. Also refers to the input script that generates new bitcoins. The input of such transactions contains some arbitrary data where the scriptSig would normally appear. This data is sometimes called the coinbase. The Nakamoto genesis block transaction contains a reference to a The Times article from January 3, 2009 to prove that more blocks were not created before that date. Some mining pools put their names in the coinbase as a means to estimate how much hash rate each pool produces. Coinbase is also used to vote on a protocol change. (An example is Pay-to Script Hash.) Miners vote by putting some agreed upon marker in the coinbase. If a majority of miners support it and expect non-mining users to accept it, then they simply start enforcing the new rule. The minority must then choose to continue with a forked blockchain, thus producing a new altcoin, or accept the new rule.
Malone, J.A (2015). Glossary of Bitcoin Terms and Definitions. United States: Lulu Press, Inc
Coinbase is analogous to etherbase, but is a more generic term for all cryptocurrency platforms.