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?

  • 3
    I'm not sure anyone really knows the answer, as it hasn't been decided, AFAIK. Jan 25 '16 at 20:42
  • 1
    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. 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. Jan 26 '16 at 5:39

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


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? 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
  • 1
    @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? 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).


EDIT: May 2021

The total supply of ether (ETH) will vary because EIP 1559 will burn ETH, and Proof of Stake replacing Proof of Work will reduce the amount of ETH created per block.

If more ETH is burned than created, it would actually decrease the total supply of ETH.

Justin Drake, Ethereum Researcher, discusses the supply in Modeling Ultra Sound Money. His spreadsheet from his tweet:

enter image description here

The total supply of ether on April 25 2021 is 115,620,035 ETH.

Very old answer below.

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"? Feb 4 '18 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 '18 at 7:53

At the point of writing this the supply of ether is still "infinite". Every 15 seconds two new Ether are generated.

Currently we are at 107,682,753.47 Ether. These are from:

  • Genesis (60M Crowdsale 12M Other): 72,009,990.50 Ether

  • Mining Block Rewards: 33,168,789.59 Ether

  • Mining Uncle Rewards: 2,503,973.38 Ether

The change to PoS got delayed a few times already. When finally switching to pure PoS with the Serenity update the total supply of ether will be known. "Miners" in the PoS system get their rewards only from the transaction fees.

Casper will bring a hybrid PoW and PoS system. Therefore the supply of Ether will increase further.


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.

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