Numerai just locked up 3 million NMR tokens (worth ~$45 million) until 2028; here’s why.
In a cryptoeconomic application, users make choices about what to do with a crypto token — that’s the crypto part. But the token needs to be a scarce resource for these decisions to be meaningful — that’s the economics part. Understanding the supply of a token is therefore essential for making good decisions in a cryptoeconomic system such as Numerai. So we want to explain the supply of NMR, and our intentions for it.
3 million NMR lockup
The NMR smart contract has a cap of 21 million NMR tokens. Numerai initially gave away 1 million NMR to our users but the smart contract also allows Numerai to mint new NMR each week (~100,000 per week).
Because we haven’t needed it, the NMR we are allowed to mint recently exceeded 4 million NMR. We want to use this available NMR to continue to grow the Numerai network in new ways such as with new airdrops or new partnerships with investors who have experience growing decentralized applications. But we do not need all 4 million NMR to do this so we have decided to lock up 3 million NMR (worth ~$45 million) until 2028.
We want this lock up to be irreversible and verfiable so we locked up the NMR using the NMR staking contract on the Ethereum blockchain. This means it is impossible for Numerai to access this NMR until 2028, and anyone can verify this fact for themselves.
To do the lockup, we created a dummy round in tournament 0, round 5 with a resolve date of 2028, and staked 3 million NMR on it. You can verify the lock up transaction here: https://etherscan.io/tx/0x2a7892a5315c5fb46471f7b524b6c1854f1bf6724018447417d1cb0f323f01a4, and you can check the stake here: https://etherscan.io/address/0x1776e1f26f98b1a5df9cd347953a26dd3cb46671#readContract in the `getStake` function with arguments 0, 5, 0x000000000000000000000000000000000001ee9d, and “\0”. You can verify the resolve date of the round by calling `getRound` with arguments 0, 5. The final returned timestamp is the resolution date in Unix time (number of seconds since January 1, 1970).
Just this week, we had the highest number of NMR stakes ever — up 4x since January. NMR is one of the most used utility tokens on Ethereum, and we want to keep it that way.
Overall, this lock up takes a large supply of NMR out of the control of Numerai shifting power towards the community. We hope that this helps simplify the supply of NMR, and helps our community better understand it.