Why is there a coin cap of 45B and not for example 45M or 21M or 45.8B? What's the reasoning behind that?

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    Hey, welcome to the Cardano StackExchange community! I submitted an edit for your title, mostly just to remove the very serious question part. You never need to put that into a StackExchange question title since all questions on StackExchange are expected to be serious questions.
    – Cavenfish
    Commented May 26, 2021 at 19:24
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    This was an arbitrary decision and can only result in opinion-based responses. Please see this page for details: cardano.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask Commented May 27, 2021 at 6:23
  • It is a fact rather than an opinion that it was a relatively arbitrary decision. I doubt it was so arbitrary that the cap could have been set at 100. Maybe my answer is acceptable.
    – gRebel
    Commented May 27, 2021 at 7:35
  • Thanks for the edit; I cannot accept an arbitrary decision as an answer. Doesn't make sense to me have in the source code "magic numbers" :) Commented May 27, 2021 at 12:43
  • It is something that is starting to concern me. They should consider a dam. It stays at 34 billion for 10 years, Then increases a billion each year until 45. This would allow investors to not have to fight the tide of inflation for many years. Just a thought. Commented Jan 2, 2022 at 18:35

5 Answers 5


One reason for billions of ADA rather than millions may have been to encourage adoption. Psychologically, people are more likely to buy something when it is perceived as "cheap", and with a large supply of coins, the value of 1 ADA is likely to stay lower, longer (in fiat exchange rates). It also allows people to own whole numbers of tokens, and larger amounts, both psychologically rewarding.

This is my own speculation, @gRebel shared the only official source I have seen.

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    Yup it's why you see these crappy tokens on the BSC set their supply to 1,000,000,000,000 then proceed to burn half.
    – ECMAScript
    Commented May 27, 2021 at 8:50
  • Might be a good argument! Thanks for the answer :) Commented May 27, 2021 at 12:44
  • It could be an explanation. Especially the beginners are more interested to buy cheap coins. Commented Oct 3, 2021 at 21:42

Charles Hoskinson stated that it is a fairly arbitrary number in one of his AMAs.

He jokingly explained,

It's because 44 999 999 999 was not enough, and 45 000 000 001 was too much.

With 1 Million Lovelaces per ADA, there is plenty to go around for the foreseeable future.

  • Hmm!! that's not acceptable for a guy that says the source code is truth. I simply don't believe him! xD Just in this part :) Commented May 27, 2021 at 12:46
  • A link to the AMA having this will be appreciated
    – reFORtEM
    Commented Jan 6, 2022 at 21:25

Cardano is not aiming to simply be a store of value. Utility is key for the project. The goal isn't necessarily to drive the price up into the thousands of dollars.
Also, give the scale of the goals of the project, only having a few million coins wouldn't be condusive to driving adoption.

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    That is also a proper comment, makes sense too! Low coin value make see ADA as utility not store of value. Commented May 27, 2021 at 12:45

A simple and rational explanation for this lies in the plane of demography. Now the planet Earth is a home for about 8 billion people. Based on this figure, in the future, everyone could potentially have 5-6 whole ADAs, not fractions of it, like many Bitcoin holders have. Psychologically, this is much more pleasant for the holder.


It could have been inspired by Bitcoin. A possible reason for 21 million Bitcoin is that Satoshi used a signed 32-bit integer as a reference for the supply. The possible number of values in a signed 32-bit integer (2^32) is between -2,147,483,647 and 2,147,483,647. Divide the latter by 100 (for US cents in a dollar) and it's around 21 million.

With Charles having been in Bitcoin since the early days, it's possible he was familiar with this line of thought and therefore decided to use a similar approach. Except he used an unsigned int which has a value of between 0 and 4,294,967,295. Multiply that by 10 (which could be arbitrary) and you get around 42 billion.

Although this is purely speculative, it possible. Some references to similar discussions in early days Bitcion.

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