EOS token supply explained: what’s the difference between circulating supply, total supply and max supply?

for EOS mainnet tokens ($EOS) as well as native tokens (like $IQ, $PEOS, or $DICE), supply is a central part of calculating marketcap. that’s what we do, so we probably understand how supply works as well as anyone. i thought it might be useful for us to create a guide explaining it. if you have anything to add or correct, please let us know in our telegram.


in EOS, there are three types of supply:

  • circulating supply: total number of tokens that are circulating in the market and are available to be traded or used.
  • total supply: total number of tokens that have been created.
  • max supply: total number of tokens that can ever be created.

as you may have figured out, both total supply and circulating supply are a subset of max supply; and circulating supply is a subset of total supply.

so this will always be true:

circulating supplytotal supply max supply


max supply and total supply are the easiest to understand and figure out. let’s start there. we can simply send a request to EOS API’s to get them.

$ cleos -u https://eos.greymass.com get table thepeostoken PEOS stat

returns:

supply is total supply, which is: 592366008.1388 PEOS

max_supply is max supply, which is: 767962232.3084 PEOS

so 767962232.3084 PEOS can ever be created and 592366008.1388 of them have been. it makes no difference what the tokens are being used for or who owns them. the only difference is whether the tokens have actually been created. if they’ve been created, they are counted in total supply. max supply includes all of those plus tokens that can be created but haven’t yet.


circulating supply

circulating supply is the hard one. you can’t get it via an API and the very method of figuring it out is subjective and prone to errors. however circulating supply is the most common method for calculating cryptocurrency marketcap.

as our definition states:

total number of tokens that are circulating in the market and are available to be traded or used.

that means all tokens in total supply except those which are:

  • not circulating in the market, or
  • not available to be traded, or
  • not available to be used

an example would be tokens that have been created but wont be released until they are mined. another example would be tokens owned by a project team which aren’t liquid and cannot be sold.

deciding what counts toward circulating supply is as much art as science. applying a methodology to thousands of tokens isn’t going to produce perfect results. it is for this reasons so few large sites have reliable data on circulating supply of cryptocurrencies. and none that I’m aware of for EOS.


at present, marketcap.one uses total supply for our marketcap figures and max supply for fully diluted. circulating supply is an area we see a lot of room for innovation and we have some exciting stuff in the works in this area.

join the discussion at our telegram or twitter.