It’s no secret that Ethereum has been one of the hottest cryptocurrencies on the market over the past year. With its price skyrocketing from around $10 in early 2017 to over $1,000 at its peak in January 2018, investors are wondering if there is an Ethereum supply limit and whether or not it will eventually run out.
Ethereum’s supply is not infinite. In fact, there is a hard cap of 18 million ETH that can ever be mined.
This number was decided when Ethereum was first created and it cannot be changed. However, this doesn’t mean that Ethereum will necessarily run out of coins to mine.
The 18 million ETH hard cap only applies to miners who are using proof-of-work (PoW) to validate transactions on the network. However, Ethereum is in the process of transitioning to proof-of-stake (PoS) which will drastically reduce the amount of ETH needed to secure the network.
Under PoS, users who hold ETH will simply stake their coins by putting them up as collateral to validate transactions. This means that there will be less demand for new ETH from miners and, as a result, less ETH will be mined over time.
It’s also worth noting that not all of the 18 million ETH mined so far is actually in circulation. A large portion of it is locked up in various smart contracts or held by early investors who may never sell it.
This means that even if all 18 million ETH were mined today, there would still be a significant supply shortage if everyone tried to sell their ETH at once.
In conclusion, while Ethereum does have a finite supply, it is highly unlikely that we will ever reach the point where all 18 million ETH have been mined and are in circulation. The transition to PoS and the fact that a large portion of mined ETH is locked up means that Ethereum’s supply should be able to meet demand for quite some time into the future.