May 12, 2022
FLOW coin circulating supply: An in-depth analysis
Flow
FLOW coin circulating supply: An in-depth analysis

Flow is formally updating the circulating supply methodology for FLOW coin on aggregator sites among others. The revised circulating supply is 1,036,200,000 FLOW –– nearly 3x previously reported. It is important to note that these coins have already been freely circulating and there are no net new coins or other net new activities contributing to increased circulating supply. The aggregator sites have been informed about this methodology update and their platforms now reflect this change.

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Circulating vs. total supply is one of the most important ratios for making economic decisions with regards to any cryptocurrency. 

Until now, aggregator sites have displayed an outdated methodology of circulating supply of FLOW. 

This is for 2 reasons:

  1. Circulating supply was initially reported based on illustrative usages of tokens at the time of Flow’s initial launch, with this update now aligned with industry standards. Our peers include tokens that are minted and free from constraints in their calculation of circulating supply. 
  2. Development team vesting is on a fixed schedule, which this update also covers.

To address these and to better align with industry circulating supply reporting practices, we are formally updating the circulating supply methodology. The revised circulating supply is 1,036,200,000 FLOW –– nearly 3x previously reported.

It is important to note that these coins have already been freely circulating and there are no net new coins or other net new activities contributing to increased circulating supply. 

The aggregator sites have been informed about this methodology update and their platforms now reflect this change.

(1) Ecosystem reserve includes foundation reserve, grant distribution, collateral reserve

For comparison, here is the legacy circulating supply that was previously being displayed by aggregator sites

In this document, we aim to increase transparency around this calculation.

What is classified as circulating FLOW?

FLOW coins are considered in circulation when they meet both of the following criteria:

  • The coin has been minted by the parent smart contract - i.e., they actually exist in an account on the chain
  • The coin has not been constrained from free transfer - e.g., as in the case of locked FLOW 

Combined together, these two factors qualify a coin as in circulation, regardless of the party that holds them. FLOW coins in circulation are from a technical perspective free to be used in any economic transaction without constraints.

What coins are not in circulation?

FLOW coins can be issued as locked coins, officially referred to as locked FLOW. Coins of this category have strict technical obstructions to free transferability in place. Since these coins cannot be used for any other economic activity than staking, they are not regarded as circulating supply. Locked coins may include FLOW allocated to development team grants, or acquired by early purchasers.

Entity accumulations of circulating FLOW

The following list gives an overview of the current major allocations in the Flow ecosystem and specify their updated classification in regards to circulation:

  • Dapper Labs
    The company currently holds 250 million unlocked coins that are free to transfer and, thus, regarded as circulating supply. Dapper Labs has indicated it does not have any plans or intent to sell any of these circulating coins.
  • Development team
    Similar to other web3 projects, the developers that helped Flow come to life and those that keep it operational are eligible to receive FLOW coin grants. The development teams token allocation totals 225 million and are available to be granted over a 3 year period beginning October 2020, and as such, as of April 2022, 50% are available to be freely allocated to development team members, although not all tokens have been awarded yet. Note that previously the circulating supply schedule was inaccurately shown to be based on an illustrative developer grant allocation schedule, which also included the requisite time based vesting for the contemplated grants.
  • Ecosystem Reserve: Grant distributions
    Given that coins available for distribution for ecosystem grants are by definition unlocked (and thus transferrable to the applicable recipient), all 115 million coins will be added to circulating supply. Note that coins distributed to non-individuals are distributed over time, only after meeting general eligibility criteria, generally tied to specific project milestones to ensure the proper usage of the grant in support of the ecosystem. A portion of these tokens is reserved for direct grants to individuals.
  • Ecosystem Reserve: Foundation reserve
    Given that the Foundation Reserve is unlocked, all 160.2 million coins will be included in circulating supply.
  • Ecosystem Reserve: Collateral reserve
    This reserve is dedicated to serving as collateral to bootstrap service protocols on Flow. Given that these coins can only be used as collateral, we do not regard this reserve as circulating supply. 

FLOW supply at a glance 

As such, as of April 2022 1,036,200,000 FLOW freely circulate. It is important to note that these coins have already been freely circulating and there are no net new coins or other activities occurring. 

We will regularly stay in close contact with information services to ensure that circulating supply displayed on their sites properly reflects the state of FLOW.

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