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What's the M0/MB inflation rate of Bitcoin?

Note: I'm asking about multiple years in order to make this question less likely to go out of date.

  • I am not sure exactly how you want to define the money supply. The definitions of M0 and MB given here differ in whether you count physical currency held by banks and Federal Reserve account balances. I don't know what the correct analogy of those quantities is for Bitcoin, which doesn't have a Federal Reserve, and I don't know how you would define what is a bank, nor how you would find out their currency holdings (since there are no regulations forcing them to report this). Can you be more precise in your question? – Nate Eldredge Apr 25 '15 at 20:07
  • The obvious way to measure the "money supply" at any given time would simply be to determine the total number of bitcoins generated up to that time, and assume all of them are "in circulation". In that case your question should reduce to looking up some numbers and a simple computation. But it seems like maybe you are looking for something more elaborate than that. – Nate Eldredge Apr 25 '15 at 20:08
  • @NateEldredge Can you be more precise in your question? So, for example, when the genesis block was issued, the inflation rate was infinite, because it went from 0 to 50 Bitcoins. The obvious way to measure the That's exactly what I'm looking for. – Nick ODell Apr 25 '15 at 20:31
  • So, for example, let's compute the inflation rate for the year 2010. A quick binary search shows the last block generated in 2009 was 32489. Since the reward was BTC 50 per block up to that time, after block 32489 there were 32490*50=1624500 BTC in circulation.... – Nate Eldredge Apr 25 '15 at 20:44
  • 2
    @Geremia It may be price-deflationary (as the value of coins may go up), but it is certainly supply-inflationary (as the amount of coins in circulation goes up). – Pieter Wuille Dec 22 '16 at 16:18
9
Year     #bitcoins       Inflation per annum
2009     1,624,250          -
--------------------------------------------------
2010     5,020,250        209.1%
2011     8,001,400         59.4%
2012    10,733,825         34.1%
2013    12,199,725         13.7%
2014    13,671,200         12.1%
--------------------------------------------------
2015    15,029,525          9.9%
2016    16,075,400          7.0%
2017    16,750,400          4.2%  (estimate)  
2018    17,425,400          4.0%  (estimate)  
2019    18,100,400          3.9%  (estimate)  
--------------------------------------------------
2020    18,575,200          2.6%  (estimate, halvening)
2021    18,912,700          1.8%  (estimate)
2022    19,250,200          1.8%  (estimate)
2023    19,587,700          1.8%  (estimate)
2024    19,806,350          1.1%  (estimate, halvening)
--------------------------------------------------
2025    19,975,100          0.9%  (estimate)
2026    20,143,850          0.8%  (estimate)
2026    20,312,600          0.8%  (estimate)

For the past years, I have calculated the amount of bitcoins created from first block to last block per year. The numbers starting from 2017 are estimates based on the assumption that we will add 54,000 Blocks per year, which would be the result of today's block interval rounded down to the thousands, or an average block interval of 9.73 minutes. At exactly 10 minutes we'd expect 52,500 blocks per year.

Update 2017:
It turns out that 2016 had 55,184 blocks (or an average block interval of 9.51 minutes), so with 54,000 blocks I had underestimated by 1,184 blocks. Thus, inflation rates might be slightly bigger than the estimate provided here, if that interval remains accurate. New estimates were still calculated with 54,000 blocks per year.

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