Some questions will never be answered easily in the cryptocurrency industry. Who is or was Satoshi Nakamoto really, is one of those questions. Another conundrum pertains to the current Ethereum supply, which seemingly can’t be obtained all that easily.
An Ethereum Supply Question
There have been a few interesting discussions pertaining to the Ethereum supply on Twitter lately. It appears that, for anyone trying to figure out the exact supply right now, the numbers may be different. That in itself is always a it of an interesting and worrisome situation rolled into one.
Although the numbers could always differ slightly, there are discrepancies as high as nearly 400,000 Ether. Quite a steep sum, as that represents over $152 million in value. None of the crypto data aggregators seem to be providing the exact same numbers. Given the vast number of such aggregators available today, such wide discrepancies should not happen.
Quick script to compute the total eth supply. Gives a result close to etherscan, but don't trust me and etherscan, review the code and run it yourself.https://t.co/dnDFTs6YlO pic.twitter.com/9ECDtF1509
— Marc-André Dumas (@marcandu) August 7, 2020
Using an Ethereum block explorer will not help much. The different explorers offer varying results as well. For example, the difference between Tokenview and Etherscan is even greater. The same goes for Etherchain and CoinMarketCap, which has a spread of over 340,000 ETH. No one knows where these differences are coming from, or why it’s so difficult to figure out the current Ethereum supply.
I didn't believe so I just testedhttps://t.co/0CbDOSTduf 112086620https://t.co/Q4zY8cc4Wn 112429827https://t.co/fnj6CHINYs 112086460https://t.co/erY12BzMDC 112086233https://t.co/QN07Qj7Yn0 109372852https://t.co/jbz6GeQXWk 112086403https://t.co/FCBjIASD6J 111,743,459
— Leon, the fact checker (@factcheckmypost) August 7, 2020
Coders have been putting together some scripts to offer a helping hand. These results are, as to be expected, somewhat inconclusive as well. Even if two matching results are found, something else appears to be amiss. As the Bitquery team explains, the genesis emission doesn’t line up correctly.
However what does not match is genesis emission. Here etherescan does not match itself – transactions in block 0 give 72,563,559.5 versus 72,009,990.50 Ether on their Eth page
— Bitquery.io ( Bloxy ) (@Bitquery_io) August 7, 2020
Estimating vs Validating and Uncle Rewards
It would appear that this conundrum will not be resolved in the near future. There is a big difference between estimating the nominal issuance, and validating the actual issuance. Because of this difference in calculations, the results will continue to be all over the place.
Furthermore, Ethereum has “uncles”, This type of block is created when two blocks are mined at virtually the same time. It is similar to a Bitcoin orphan block, but they have an actual use. Moreover, Ethereum miners receive a reward for mining uncle blocks. This directly affects the current Ethereum supply.
All of these factors need to be taken into account properly. Unfortunately, it is proving somewhat difficult to do so. Rest assured that people will continue to try and determine the current Ethereum supply. Whether they will find the one true answer, is a different matter.
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