Bitcoin, Ethereum Thought Leaders Fight It Out over “SupplyGate”

Over the past week, Bitcoiners insisted that Ethereum’s total supply is impossible to calculate, however, those in the Ethereum community disagreed and say its relatively easy. It resulted in a huge debate of sorts, termed “SupplyGate” by those in the space.

Ethereum Supply Sparks Questions

How to quickly and easily calculate the supply of ether tokens has become a huge question in the cryptocurrency space. For the uninitiated, there’s no upper limit – unlike Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies – on the total supply of Ethereum, a point that is starting to irk Bitcoiners.

The Ethereum community can’t figure out what the total outstanding supply of the asset is, said co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital Anthony Pompliano, on Monday, stating it was a “major problem” that showcased ether was “not good money.”

It started when Micheal Goldstein commended on Arcane Research CIO Eric Wall’s Twitter thread; “Can they articulate how to easily and independently verify the monetary supply of ETH?”

Eric Wall claimed ETH maxis are more articulate and refined than Bitcoiners. The latter pointed to Etherscan – a public platform – when asked to provide total Ethers in circulation. 

Pierre Rochard, a Bitcoin developer, requested a script for self-verifying, but the Ethereum support said it was “too trivial” to do Pierre proposes bounty for the script. Later, someone else put together a supply script in Javascript, which did not match to Etherscan’s figures.

Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, then stepped up and posted a screenshot of the website as supply proof, causing Bitcoiners to mock the 26-year-old for not being able to provide a basic script/ answer for the simple question: How many ETH anyway?

Over time, the Ethereum community gave up trying to calculate the figure and stated it was not required anyway. Bitcoiners, on Twitter, laughed that off, stating “supplyGate” mattered.

Ethereum Devs Speak up

Ethereum developers have since chimed in with their thoughts on why the ether supply is difficult to calculate. Ben Edgington of Teku, an Eth 2.0 client operator, said people were “not particularly interested” in finding out the supply of Ethereum, he said.

Ethereum core developer, Martin Holst Sweden said the current total supply was about 112 million ETH, which approximately corresponds with data from Coinmarketcap, Etherscan, and other aggregators.

Holst Swende claimed to have a “mechanism” to arrive at a calculation but said:

“The degree of importance one places on knowing the exact figure at some specific block is obviously subjective. I personally see it as more important that it can be calculated, which it obviously can, fairly easily.”

The Ethereum community had earlier called for a reduction in the issuance of new ETH to near zero. Over 10 million ether were generated by mining firms and miners in 2017 alone, an almost 10% increase in its total supply.

Meanwhile, the issuance reduction proposal, named EIP 1559, seeks to introduce a mechanism that burns part of a transaction fee and takes it out of circulation.

Until then, SupplyGate rages on.

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