The maximum supply of a cryptocurrency
refers to the maximum number of coins or tokens that will be ever created. This means that once the maximum supply is reached, there won’t be any new coins mined
, minted or produced in any other way.
Normally, the maximum supply is capped by the limits defined by the underlying protocol of each digital asset. Therefore, the maximum supply and issuance of new coins are usually defined at the genesis block
according to the project’s source code (which also defines many other features and functionalities).
Setting a steady issuance rate together with a predefined maximum supply can be valuable for controlling the inflation rate of a cryptocurrency, which may potentially lead to a long-term appreciation of the asset. Generally speaking, when the maximum supply is reached, there will be fewer coins available on the market. This is expected to create market scarcity, which may eventually lead to deflation conditions (or 0% inflation
However, some cryptocurrencies do not have a predefined maximum supply, meaning they can be mined or minted continuously. Ethereum
is a notable example of a cryptocurrency system that has no predetermined maximum supply. Ether’s supply
is constantly increasing as new blocks are generated.
As mentioned, the calculation of max supply includes all coins that were already produced (or mined) plus the coins that are yet to be issued (in the future). On the other hand, the total supply
includes only the coins that were already produced minus the units that were destroyed, for instance, in coin burn