In Bitcoin, the total supply is capped at 21 million BTC. Is the total supply of Ether capped? How much will be mined before the Proof of Stake (POS) transition, and how will POS affect the issuance model?

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    I'm not sure anyone really knows the answer, as it hasn't been decided, AFAIK. – Tjaden Hess Jan 25 '16 at 20:42
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    Thanks. Was afraid of that. Hope that gets decided soon - would vastly prefer a fixed money supply at time of Proof of Stake with mining paid for by transaction fees only. – Matthew Light Jan 25 '16 at 21:02
  • To clarify, homestead and PoS start are not necessarily the same milestone. Makes things a little close, but in my mind that means these are not the same question. – Jeff Coleman Jan 26 '16 at 5:39
up vote 40 down vote accepted

From reddit post

60 million + 12 million + 18million = ~90million
60 million - is the Pre-sale.
12 million - is the dev fund, 0.2coins per 1 coin sold in the crowdsale.
~18 million - 1 million coins mined per month for 18 months prior to going from POW to POS.

Update #1: 91,018,773.78 (April 25, 2017).
Update #2: 97,017,191.75 (Dec 13, 2017).

Some discussions

  1. https://forum.ethereum.org/discussion/46/total-supply-of-eth
  2. https://etherscan.io/stat/supply

inflation

After a while, 15,626,576 ether won't represent much of the total ether available, making the system dis-inflationary (i.e., inflation perpetually trending towards 0 but never reaching it).

  • is there inflation after all coins are mined? – Patoshi パトシ Feb 2 '16 at 20:55
  • @duckx i dont think, because the value will be high and it will keep increasing hopefully – niksmac Feb 3 '16 at 2:34
  • @NikhilM we've seen this story before: if it doesn't take much Ether to actually create a contract then absent other drivers for demand the value will plummet. The rallies are driven purely by the low float, which is great for perception, but one must look at the risk factors for both the economics and their associated investment. Cryptocurrencies make this difficult due to the need to own them as an asset thereby clouding objective analysis, but I posit that it is still possible to be impartial. – CQM Mar 11 '16 at 0:00
  • @CQM my answer has nothing to do with all you discussed, it just answers OPs question. IMHO. – niksmac May 18 '16 at 1:01
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    @niksmac please fix the answer as at the time of this comment there are 91,018,773.78 ether in circulation. Also the url needs to be fixed: etherscan.io/stat/supply – Shayan Apr 24 '17 at 21:41

The issuance model is not fixed yet. It is an ongoing discussion whether or not the costs for the consensus needs to be financed by inflation that basically taxes every coin holder or if transaction fees are sufficient.

Please note that the costs for secure consensus are much lower with Casper compared to current proof of work. More details here

For this reason it is guaranteed, that the current issuance amount will not be increased and might even drop to 0. Another ongoing discussion is whether or not issues of new coins should be used to fund ongoing development. A prerequisites for this would be a DAO with a widely accepted mechanism to control spending of funds effectively. But also in this case the newly issued coins would not increase.

  • How it comes? If something can be finance from inflation, the the currency is not centralized. Is it? – Tomas Kubes Jun 20 '17 at 18:28

From StephanTaul on the Ethereum Forums on September, 2014:

There is no maximum. 60,102,216 ethers were created during the sale, plus 2x pools of 9.9% each. 26% of 60,102,216 will be created through mining every year. This means that 15,626,576 will be created every year on top of the 60m and the two pools.

After a while, 15,626,576 ether won't represent much of the total ether available, making the system dis-inflationary (i.e., inflation perpetually trending towards 0 but never reaching it).

After the implementation of Casper, I believe the rate is expected to be fixed and miners will earn from both mining fees and fees offered up in other on-chain tokens or currencies/assets.

However, as Casper is currently in development, everything can and will likely drastically change from here and actual implementation within one year.

Other answers have covered the topic well and 2 things to clarify:

  1. The current issuance rate is known: 5 ETH every ~15 seconds (Bitcoin is currently 25 BTC every ~10mins).

  2. With any changes to Ethereum, such as the transition to PoS, the issuance rate is guaranteed to not increase. But it may decrease, possibly to zero or something much less than 5 ETH, when the transition to PoS happens.

  • Can you clarify exactly where the "guaranteed" comes from "with any changes"? I think I understand what you're saying, but couldn't there be a change to simply raise the mining reward? Are you saying "any conceivable change" or "any actual change that gets implemented"? – Thomas Jay Rush Feb 4 at 16:21
  • @ThomasJayRush You're correct nothing is guaranteed, but I mean the social consensus is the guarantee: increasing the ETH issuance rate would have parallels to increasing Bitcoin's 21M fixed supply. – eth Feb 18 at 7:53

protected by eth Jun 30 '16 at 23:07

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