Ethereum’s circulating supply – Error 404?

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Ethereum‘s market has been noting tremendous growth lately on the back of various decentralized finance [DeFi] applications. However, it didn’t take long for the growth story to be eclipsed by yet another heated discussion on the credentials of Ethereum.

Over the past few weeks, some have attributed such growth to Ponzi schemes running on the network, schemes that are also causing congestion issues. In fact, just recently, Lex Sokolin, Global Fintech Co-head at ConsenSys, spoke of weed-like Ponzis growing underneath the DeFi ecosystem, including MMM and Forsage.

Forsage has been a major factor behind the congestion on the Ethereum blockchain as it is eating up nearly 25% of Ethereum’s bandwidth. Being a DApp, it has the most users and volume and seems to be outperforming legitimate DeFi projects like Compound and Kyber network.

As soon as this pyramid came to light, there were other members of the crypto-community who were quick to take a shot at the efficiency and security of the Ethereum network. Naturally, most of them were maximalists.

Udi Wertheimer, a Bitcoin proponent, spoke of an incident from August 2010, one wherein a bug in the Bitcoin client “accidentally allowed nodes to accept an invalid block with 92,233,720,368 new bitcoins.” The issue was resolved and fixed in time, but Wertheimer was of the opinion that,

“If it happened in Ethereum, no one would know! Maybe it already happened!”

While such attacks from Bitcoin proponents or so-called “Maxis” are not new for Ethereum and Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, many others soon joined to highlight an issue with the simplest of metrics – Ethereum’s circulating supply. While Buterin tried to clear the air about the current supply by providing data from a data website, some like Blockstream CSO and Bitcoin maximalist Samson Mow were not convinced.

Pierre Rochard joined the Bitcoin proponents to highlight that the present supply of ETH is not “clearly” known, while Mow provided Bitcoin’s proof of supply to Buterin, once again pitting the two coins against each other.

However, certain members from the Ethereum community did not see this as a problem. According to Buterin,

“Because we roughly know what it is according to the protocol rules, and we know that there’s so many people running different implementations that a bug would get caught?”

While the debate on circulating supply caught fire, a programmer at MakerDao, Marc-Andre Dumas, jumped in to provide the code that outputs the supply of Ethereum. Dumas asked Rochard to look at his calculations, but like most debates on Twitter, this seemed to be going nowhere.

With the bright minds of the crypto-community trying to figure out the *ACTUAL* supply of Ethereum, the network recently saw transaction fees dip by 75% recently as congestion eased. The transaction fees surged in July, a development that had kept many from carrying out transactions on-chain. However, as per EthGasStation, the average gas fee on Wednesday was notably between 30 and 40 Gwei. The minimum gas was 6 Gwei to confirm the transaction within 30 minutes.

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