The Internet Computer blockchain mints new ICP utility tokens to reward and incentivize those playing important roles that enable the network to function, including the provision of “node provider rewards” to those operating the node machines that are hosting the network.
To earn ICP rewards as a node provider, you must have well-behaving nodes in the network. The NNS and the open market set transparent standards for what node providers are paid.
The long-term design goal is to create a healthy network that incentivizes node providers to have necessary hardware available and ready in data centers.
For more information on node rewards and remuneration, read the DFINITY Forum post, Improvements on Node Provider Remuneration.