On April 1st, 2018, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin announced a proposal that he now terms a “meta-joke”. In a surprise, Ethereum improvement proposal (EIP) Buterin suggested a hard cap for currently uncapped Ether (ETH) of 120 million coins.

“In order to ensure the economic sustainability of the platform under the widest possible variety of circumstances, and in light of the fact that issuing new coins to proof of work miners is no longer an effective way of promoting an egalitarian coin distribution or any other significant policy goal, I propose that we agree on a hard cap for the total quantity of ETH,” said Buterin. The Ethereum community immediately began to discuss the EIP with many wondering if it was an April fools joke, or if Buterin was actually serious.

Nevertheless, the arguments for and against began to appear. “We don’t know what Ether supply model is optimal,” answers Zamfir, project lead for the Casper Update in a Medium post on April 15th, 2018.

“It’s still unclear today how much issuance will be required (if any) for the security of the consensus protocol. This is true today with PoW, and in the future with Casper and sharding.” Zamfir is the project lead for the Casper update, which as part of the Constantinople upgrade will likely hard fork Ethereum and change the consensus algorithm from proof of work (POW) to proof of stake (POS).  He calculates that Ethereum has around $10 million USD per day of issuance for miners and questions the correct rate to achieve consensus, saying he is confident the price is not right.

He goes on to point out “we don’t know” what the optimal supply of Ether will be or what publicly beneficial supply numbers should be. He doesn’t believe that the Ethereum community has enough understanding of Ethereum’s future economic realities to make a decision on an Ethereum hard cap. Read more from coinjournal.net…

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