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Let's say someone broadcasted a solution to the recent block. Why, as a node, would I accept it? I can just copy and broadcast it myself instead. Yes, most of the times the first node would win, but in rare occasions I would get ahead of that node (mine would propagate faster) and get the reward, no?

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Well, you could. But you would not get the reward.

The mining reward receiver is added inside the block as beneficiary (or miner) and therefore you can't change that without remining the block. Here's some more info: What is the beneficiary in block header?

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    Can't we just change the beneficiary to ourselves? Commented Aug 30, 2020 at 18:04
  • As I said in my answer you can't change it without invalidating the block. Any change in the block data results in a different hash value and the new value does not meet the mining target anymore, so you would have to solve the mining puzzle again Commented Aug 30, 2020 at 19:18

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