Was something changed recently? I've been getting less and less ether per block - is this tied to difficulty level?
I thought difficulty would affect the rate of mining a block, not the number of ether per block. My last block got me 3.75 Ether.
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If you got 3.75 ether, this was an uncle mining reward. Kind of the "second place" of mining on Ethereum. You found a solution but someone else found the solution before you. Thankfully for you, it was soon enough from the original block that a reward was paid out.
It's still 5 ether per block for a mining reward.
Update: As of Oct-16-2017 05:22:11 AM +UTC (Block #4370000), it's 3 ether per block
Update: As of Feb-28-2019 07:52:04 PM +UTC (Block #7280000), it's 2 ether per block.
The mined block is an uncle. The uncle reward formula is
(U_n + 8 - B_n) * R / 8 where
R is the static reward of
U_n is the uncle number and
B_n is the block numer, so:
Here's an example:
B_n = 1337, R = 5 U_0 = (1336 + 8 - 1337) * 5 / 8 == 4.375 U_1 = (1335 + 8 - 1337) * 5 / 8 == 3.750