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Ethereum’s Supplygate Has Nuanced Answers & Hard Questions On Money

Following another heated Bitcoin (BTC) vs. Ethereum (ETH) debate, it looks like there is still no consensus on the exact supply of the world’s second-most valuable cryptoasset, ETH – or if it even matters. However, there is an approximation. (Updated at 12:51 UTC: updates in bold.)

It’s a tale as old as ether-time: a story of a coin which the crypto-villagers have claimed for years has an infinite supply, wondering how and why. Others have been pointing out that there is a discrepancy in numbers on different block explorers.

Part of the Cryptoverse has been up in arms again, demanding for the Ethereum camp to reveal the exact number, as a part of what some have termed “the Supplygate” (a reference to the Watergate scandal in the US).

Much of the discussion lies in the argument that project leaders, developers, and the community must know the exact supply at all times for the coin to be sound money. Others disagree with this assumption.

MakerDAO developer Marc-André Dumas’ initial calculations led to a report of 112.43 million. Following a report of a bug in the script, he made a correction to ETH 112.093 million. “You can now be assured that there are are no nasty inflation bug in Ethereum. 112.1M is the number,” he stated yesterday.

However, just the amount of discussions led over the three days of his calculations, the corrections made, and the details that had to be taken into account would suggest that this was no easy task.

SetProtocol product marketing manager Anthony Sassano gave his two cents on this “noisy” discussion as well. “Even if you have a really great script, calculating the exact circulating ETH supply (and keeping it up to date) is tricky for a few reasons,” he wrote. It’s “rather difficult and there’s plenty of edge cases that need to be accounted for.” But Sassano noted that there are people who are calling for “making this a function call in Ethereum clients as well which should (hopefully) solve this issue once and for all!”

Meanwhile, crypto market analysis firm Coin Metrics introduced today their Quarterly Supply Transparency Report. Per this report, Ethereum Free Float Supply has consistently increased some 1.2 million for each of the last five quarters – since the block subsidy adjustment from ETH 3 to ETH 2. “This is almost solely attributable to the newly mined supply that is introduced every block, with ETH 1.24m mined during Q2.” Also, the Ethereum Foundation issued ETH 11,000 through this quarter, which led to a total increase to a free float of 1.25 million for Q2.

Bitcoin evangelist at Kraken, Pierre Rochard, who seems to have started this latest round, was not satisfied with the number provided by Dumas, calling out the Ethereum supporters and asking them to “run the scripts,” “actually run the numbers,” and “do the math.”

The present supply is clearly known, here it is. What you’re looking for is verification that the consensus rules were followed, which you can do by running one of multiple implementations.

— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) August 7, 2020

The discussion between the two is ongoing, with Buterin claiming that the number is known, and Rochard demanding that the scripts he claims to have paid for be run (as he created a bounty), neither backing down.

However, a number of people argued that there is simply no reason to fight over this question, comparing ETH to BTC, given that these are two different projects that function differently.

For example, Bitcoin educator, author, and entrepreneur Andreas Antonopoulos, claimed that “this whole “what is ETH supply” thing is a silly gotcha that doesn’t make much sense if you understand how Ethereum works.” He compared accusations leveled towards ETH to “the silly gotchas [Peter] Schiff and [Nouriel] Roubini level at bitcoin.”

In his Twitter thread, Antonopoulos went into details of what he finds are the greatest differences between the two chains, how Etheruem functions, why it’s difficult to arrive at one concrete answer to the “what is ETH supply” question, and stating that it is, in fact, a nuanced answer. The lack of understanding of these technologies, he stated, leads to false claims.


ETH supply is 112,100,917.

The world is big enough for more than one money.

BTC is money.

ETH is money.

Save Monday’s post for something that helps the movement.

We’re not here for BTC vs ETH.

We’re here to go bankless.

— Ryan Sean Adams – rsa.eth (@RyanSAdams) August 9, 2020


More “hedging” & blatantly unstable attempts to “reconcile” two theories that cannot, by their nature, be reconciled

… so long as Bitcoiners in the digital asset camp have a fundamentally flawed grasp on the nature of their “OWN” coins.

— Crypto Law Review (@CryptoLawRev) August 10, 2020


Roughly 112 million-ish. #Ethereum #SupplyGate

— Samson Mow (@Excellion) August 10, 2020


Learn more:
XRP & Ripple Slammed Too as Team Bitcoin Expands Ethereum Battle
Watch Out, Bitcoin, Altcoins Are Turning More and More to Payments
Now That Bitcoin ‘is Digital Gold,’ Which Crypto is For Payments?


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