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I’ve heard people claim that bitcoin is the only crypto currency which has actually decentralised monetary policy (being the basis for the claim that it cannot therefore be changed).

Since minting takes place as part of the proof of work, I can understand this, perhaps, at least at a high level.

Are block producer rewards in Cardano a source of newly minted ada? Is there any analogy to bitcoin halvings?

How does one go about understanding the monetary policy, to then be able to asses whether it is truly decentralised?

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Short answer, all ada in existence was minted in the genesis block, there is no more ada that can be minted or burned.

The minted ada went to the treasury and stake pool operators receive a reward from it until it gets depleted, then all rewards will be generated by fees.

A better an complete read for this is here https://docs.cardano.org/explore-cardano/monetary-policy

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Cardano is likely to be the only crypto ecosystem with true decentralization. It aims to achieve this in the Basho era. The monitory policy regarding supply is mathematically frozen since it is mathematically impossible to mint ADA.

All other aspects like inflation in terms of rewards and treasure are controlled by parameters that will be tuned based on "Voting" by ADA holders. The voting process is currently working through Project Catalyst for funding projects in Cardano. Catalyst. The voting system has improved in the last year, and will handle the changes/tunings required in a decentralized way.

In addition to monitory policy, "Cardano Improvement Proposals" can handle future threats in a decentralized manner. For example, there is no way for Bitcoin to migrate to Proof of Stake or other sustainable condenses mechanism since there is no mechanism to handle change. Therefore we can safely claim that Cardno has a truly decentralized ecosystem, since "Change is the only constant in the world" and a protocol that can handle change in a graceful and in a truly decentralized manner is the real decentralized protocol.

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