How Many Ethereum Are There? 28 Interesting Ethereum Stats and Facts
Ethereum is the next evolution of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. The project has come a long way since Vitalik Buterin initially envisioned it in 2013.
Now it’s the second-largest coin in the industry, provides a platform for many other crypto projects, and has paved the way for the second generation of cryptocurrencies.
Since the project has continued to receive updates over the years, there have been many changes. Some of the recent ones directly affect how many Ethereum are there. We’re going to examine how Ethereum is faring so far and what changes Ethereum developers have deployed on its network.
What Is Ethereum?
Ethereum is much more than a platform powered by Ether (ETH), its native cryptocurrency. It’s a decentralized global network with a software platform that integrates blockchain technology.
Thanks to smart contracts, anyone versed in Solidity, the platform’s programming language of choice, can create applications, decentralized organizations, financial platforms, and more. These are the building blocks that make Ethereum unique and the next evolvement step in the cryptocurrency industry.
Such technology makes Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and decentralized applications possible. The Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) executes these autonomous programs that, in turn, complete certain functions if the conditions have been met.
Key Ethereum Stats
- Today, there are over 120 million ETH tokens, and the supply is dropping.
- More than 2.7 million ETH have been permanently destroyed.
- Ethereum uses less electricity than PayPal.
- Ethereum has been verifying transactions by using proof of stake since September 2022.
- Ethereum isn’t the original project’s blockchain; instead, that’s Ethereum Classic.
- The price of ETH in the ICO phase was $0.31.
- The foundation raised 31,500 BTC to fund the Ethereum project.
- The highest market cap of ETH was $558.9 billion.
- The all-time highest ETH price was $4,860 in 2021.
- Ethereum will process 100,000 transactions per second after the Sharding upgrade.
Facts and Figures about Ether - Token Powering Ethereum Network
Ether is often called Ethereum’s coin or token, and it’s used interchangeably with the platform’s name. It is used to execute and deploy smart contracts on the network. It’s also used for payments, and its price is often a subject on many investors’ minds. So, how many Ethereum coins are there, and what is their value?
There are currently over 120 million ETH tokens in circulation.
Ethereum was initially designed as a currency that won’t have a hard cap like Bitcoin. The total amount of ETH is still fluid, as recent network upgrades have made it possible to see changes in both directions.
As part of the London upgrade, Ethereum took its first steps towards becoming deflationary.
EIP-1559 changed how mining rewards are distributed for verifying transactions before new Ethereum blocks are added to the blockchain. The transaction fee that usually went to miners is now burned, meaning it’s permanently destroyed. This process slowed down the issuance of new ETH tokens.
Since EIP-1559 was introduced, more than 2.7 million ETH have been burned.
(ultra sound money)
The upgrade was just one in a series that was supposed to prepare the Ethereum network for The Merge upgrade, where the consensus algorithm, the method used for verifying transactions, was to undergo significant changes.
Ethereum Mining and Consensus Algorithm
How much Ethereum is there for mining? This was one of the most important questions for miners investing in expensive computer rigs to ensure the network's safety and security.
The proof of work (PoW) consensus algorithm used to ensure network integrity was power intensive. It also wasn’t as accessible to everyone because of high computer hardware prices, which were further exacerbated by the crypto mining boom.
Miners verified transactions on the Ethereum network using significant amounts of electricity.
Anticipating some of the problems that PoW brings, Ethereum always included in its development roadmap a plan for changing the consensus algorithm to proof of stake (PoS).
After implementing PoS, the Ethereum blockchain uses 100 times less electricity than PayPal.
Currently, computers verifying transactions on Ethereum’s network by staking ETH spend 0.0026 TWh of electricity, significantly less than miners spent previously. At its peak, ETH miners consumed almost 94 TWh per year. PoS reduced electricity consumption by 99.997% or about 36,154 times.
The Merge upgrade was preceded by The Beacon update, which first introduced PoS on the Ethereum network.
So, how long has Ethereum been around, and how long was the PoW system used? The project launched in 2015 and used PoW exclusively till 2021. With the introduction of the Beacon chain, the Ethereum network effectively had both PoS and PoW operational simultaneously.
Since September 15, 2022, the Ethereum mainnet has merged with the Beacon chain, and new ETH could be created through the staking process.
(Ethereum.org, ultra sound money)
Since the merge, the growth of new tokens has been reduced significantly.
According to projections at the time of writing, the amount of ETH generated every year will drop by between 0.06 and 0.006% based on the past 30-day data. Bear in mind that this is a highly fluid process, and predictions can be inaccurate as data changes on a daily basis.
ETH became deflationary for the first time on November 9, 2022.
(ultra sound money)
For the first time since the launch of the Ethereum project, there are fewer ETH tokens issued as rewards than the amount burned.
While it’s still a tiny amount compared to Ethereum’s total supply, having a reduction of approximately 4,000 ETH since merging with Beacon Chain is still a significant adjustment for the market.
If the current trend continues, according to projections, there could be 10 million fewer ETH in 2030. The trend is to continue for the foreseeable future until the new token issuance and burn rate reach an equilibrium.
At this point, ETH is one of the rare cryptocurrencies in the industry that has such a system besides projects such as CAKE, BNB, and MATIC.
By the end of 2021, there were 114 million issued ETH tokens.
(ultra sound money, Coindesk)
The potentially unlimited supply of Ether could have presented a serious inflationary issue. However, with the merger, it fell from 3.5% annually to below zero. The supply will drop with increased usage as more ETH gets burned with each transaction.
Interesting Ethereum Facts
The Ethereum project brought exciting innovations to the cryptocurrency industry. It was the first cryptocurrency that aimed to implement more than simple trade of value and offer a software platform that is open source and free to use by anyone.
The implementation of ERC-20 tokens on Ethereum opened wide possibilities for different projects.
The ERC-20 standard implemented on Ethereum allows users to create their own tokens. Now it’s used by stablecoins such as Tether USD (USDT), USD Coin (USDC), Basic Attention Token (BAT), Uniswap (UNI), Aave (AAVE), Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), and many others.
Besides creating new tokens, Ethereum supports creating decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). However, one of the first such projects on the Ethereum platform has proven rather unsuccessful.
The DAO hack was behind Ethereum’s first hard fork and the creation of Ethereum Classic (ETC).
(WSJ, The New York Times)
In 2016, The DAO was governed by a set of smart contracts which had a bug allowing malicious parties to drain $50 million in funds from the decentralized organization.
To disrupt the damage done by hackers, most of the Ethereum community agreed on a hard fork, splitting the cryptocurrency.
The total Ethereum supply didn’t change; instead, it split the community into those who believed that the code of the platform shouldn’t be changed and those that agreed to roll back transaction history to the time before the hack.
Funds stolen by the attackers were returned to the investors, but the hackers didn’t end up empty-handed, as they had $8.5 billion worth of ETC after the hard fork.
In hindsight, the actions that Ethereum developers, mainly Vitalik Buterin, took have saved the project in the long run and helped cement the cryptocurrency as a highly tested, secure, and stable platform.
Ethereum uses several testnets to ensure that updates are stable before they go live on the main blockchain.
There are five testnets currently in use by Ethereum, and they are called Sepolia, Pinkeby, Ropsten, Kovan, and Goerli. One of the more interesting facts about Ethereum is that the testnets got their names from metro and train stations worldwide.
Kovan is a station in Singapore, while Ropsten and Rinkeby are red and blue lines of the metro in Stockholm. Goerli is the name of the train station in Berlin, and the Athens metro line is called Sepolia.
Ethereum can be divided into 18 decimal points.
Like with Bitcoin, which is divisible into smaller fractions.
While one satoshi, the smallest BTC unit, is the 100 millionth part of a BTC, the smallest ETH unit goes even further to one trillionth part of an ETH, called a wei. There is also a gigawei or gwei, which is worth 0.000000001 or ETH or one billionth of an ether.
Vitalik Buterin is the last of eight co-founders still directly involved with the development of Ethereum.
The project had eight co-founders, and besides Vitalik, there were also Anthony Di Iorio, Mihai Alisie, Charles Hoskinson, Amir Chetrit, Jeffrey Wilcke, Gavin Wood, and Joseph Lubin. Some of them are still working on projects in the cryptocurrency sphere:
- Mihai Alisie is working on Akasha, a social framework for Ethereum.
- Charles Hoskinson moved on to co-found Cardano.
- Gavin Wood is involved in Polkadot.
- Joseph Lubin launched Consensys.
How High Will Ethereum Go?
Investors and the general public are most interested in how much they can earn back from investing in Ether and primarily focus on financial gains rather than on how technology will improve.
Even with the successful launch of Ether 2.0 (PoS integration), people still focus on why ETH hasn’t doubled or tripled in value, even though such a significant change came with the global recession and other hardships, which heavily affected the crypto and stock markets.
Even if you bought ETH in 2016 at its highest price, you would still have 6,000% returns by the end of 2022.
(Live Coin Watch)
The price of ETH first surged in June 2016, going over $20 after starting the year at just over $2. Even though it crashed in 2022 compared to 2021, even the smallest investment back in 2016 would have produced huge returns as Ether is currently sixty times more expensive.
In January 2018, ETH's price surged above the $1,000 mark for the first time.
(Live Coin Watch)
After that important landmark price for Ethereum, the price stagnated until the first signs of recovery in early 2021.
Ether reached an all-time high price of about $4,860 in November 2021.
(Live Coin Watch)
After the economy started to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, there was much optimism from investors in all markets, including the crypto industry.
Many cryptocurrencies, including Ether and Bitcoin, have reached record-breaking prices. The total market cap has reached about $3 trillion in value for the first time.
Ether is the second largest cryptocurrency according to its market capitalization.
(CoinMarketCap, Live Coin Watch)
According to crypto stats in the past, Bitcoin has consistently been the cryptocurrency with the highest total market cap. This is helped by the fact that on most exchanges, you can directly buy or sell Bitcoin using other cryptocurrencies.
Ether has the same exchange value, which is further increased if you consider that USDT, Ethereum’s ERC-20 token, is also a popular currency to pair up ETH with.
Ether’s crypto market share in 2022 is around 17%.
(Live Coin Watch)
Even though Ethereum’s price took a dive in 2021, most cryptocurrencies also took a hit, along with other markets. Bitcoin’s market dominance is below 40%.
Interestingly, two stablecoins on Ethereum’s platform, USDC and USDT, make up around 6.5% and 7.5% of the total market cap.
If you invested $1,000 in Ether in January 2016, you would have been a millionaire in 2022.
(Live Coin Watch)
ETH was worth less than $2 at the start of 2016, and early investors that held on to the cryptocurrency at least until 2018 could have cashed out with more than $1 million.
If they instead decided to sell at the cryptocurrency price peak of 2021, they would have $4.5 million in their bank account. That’s, of course, without calculating the taxes on their crypto earnings.
Ether’s all-time highest market cap was $558.9 billion in November 2021.
At the time of record prices, Ethereum’s circulating supply was 117.8 million tokens. The 24-hour volume recorded that day was $18.3 billion, which wasn’t an all-time high for ETH.
$78.4 billion is the highest daily trading volume for ETH.
Ether reached this record-breaking figure on May 13, 2021, with a trading price of $3,828. Trading volumes on the day before and after were about 30% lower. In 2022, ETH’s 24-hour volume is at around $30 billion.
At the ICO (initial coin offering) stage, ETH was worth $0.31.
To fund and develop the project, the Ethereum Foundation had to hold a public ICO, similar to how companies hold initial public offerings (IPOs) before listing on a stock exchange.
There were more than 60 million Ether coins for sale, meaning that the project raised $18.3 million in funding from the ICO. Such info about Ethereum puts into perspective just how big its launch was.
The return on investment on ETH at the all-time high price in 2021 would be about 15,600 times.
With the price at the time of writing at $1,160, it’s still a return of more than 3,700 times on the initial investment. If you supported Ethereum’s ICO with Bitcoin, you would have more than 100 times the returns on your BTC.
The actual ICO did work through Bitcoin investments, and the project received 31,500 BTC at the time.
Ethereum and the NFT Market
As the ERC-20 standard allowed for the creation of fungible tokens that can be used for various purposes, the ERC-721 did the same for non-fungible tokens.
These tokens have created an entirely separate market for creating and selling unique digital items online. The NFT market is fascinating, but it’s still somewhat of a niche product.
There are more than 80,000 collections of NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain.
The number of NFT collections on Ethereum has increased by more than 100% in 2022. BoredApeYachtClub and CryptoPunks are the most popular and valuable collections on the market. Currently, there are more than 5.9 million addresses used for NFTs.
Ethereum Price Prediction and Project Future
Making any price prediction for ETH is a thankless task. We’ve already covered what gains you could have made had you invested early in the project.
With the current state of the financial market, though, there is no room for any cryptocurrency project to grow and make any returns for investors. However, even with these low prices, there are some positive outlooks to be had.
In 2022, at the current prices, 47% of investors are making money on ETH.
This percentage represents the number of addresses that received ETH at prices lower than the current one. Unfortunately, there are also 49% of ETH investors are currently losing money.
About 67% of addresses have been holding ETH for over one year.
Most investors are in for the long haul with Ethereum. However, it’s interesting to see that 29% of users invested during the worst financial period for the crypto industry in 2022, and another 4% joined within one month from when we wrote this article.
The Ethereum network has almost 1 million transactions to process per day.
Although it was known to process even more in the past, currently, the network can only handle around ten Ethereum transactions per second. That’s why Ethereum developers are preparing another upgrade for the network that will exponentially increase the network’s processing capacity.
Sharding is the next phase in Ethereum’s development, which will increase the number of transactions per second to 100,000.
This solution is designed to handle large amounts of data, and it’s named after a common computer science concept. In the process, the upgrade can more easily split the workload across the network and reduce congestion.
With this update, the Ethereum blockchain would be able to handle more transactions than Visa, which currently is at around 65,000 transactions per second.
Is Ethereum limited in supply?
While Ethereum was designed not to have a maximum supply of ETH, after implementing several upgrades, Ether’s circulating supply is set to either stay the same or drop at a steady pace. This makes Ether one of the rare deflationary cryptocurrencies in the industry.
Who owns most of Ethereum?
The largest amount of Ether is held by the Eth2 Deposit Contract. At little more than 10% of the total supply, this contract represents the total number of ETH staked by users participating in the transaction verification process.
How many Ethereum are there in total?
Currently, there are over 120 million Ether coins in circulation. However, the cryptocurrency is no longer inflationary as before, since the gas fee is now burned by the network and no longer issued as part of the block/mining rewards.
Another factor significantly contributing to a more limited supply of Ether is the shift towards the proof of stake model for transaction verification.
I have always thought of myself as a writer, but I began my career as a data operator with a large fintech firm. This position proved invaluable for learning how banks and other financial institutions operate. Daily correspondence with banking experts gave me insight into the systems and policies that power the economy. When I got the chance to translate my experience into words, I gladly joined the smart, enthusiastic Fortunly team.
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