The total supply or circulating supply is the amount of the already issued coins. These coins are either circulating in the market or are stored in specific addresses.
When the maximum supply is achieved?
The total supply for the mineable coins will be achieved in the future and it depends on the rewarding plan of the miners. This is resulting to a much smaller starting circulating supply which is increasing over time with the “emission” rate by the block rewards to the miners.
The total supply for the non-mineable coins is usually available from the very first moment. So the circulating supply is maximized with the launch of the coin. However there are many PoS non-mineable coins which are not starting with their whole maximum supply available in the market. They are building their circulating supply by a rewarding model which is giving coin rewards to the holders (“stakers”) of the coin for the validation of the transactions.
Does Maximum Supply define the value of a coin?
There is a distorted understanding that leads many people to think that the total supply of a digital coin is necessarily the one and only factor that defines the value of the coin. This is totally wrong though.
There are many coins with 21 million supply which started with a very high valuation and ended up with a valuation next to zero. At the same time there are many coins with super high maximum supply of many billion coins that enjoy a very good valuation.
The most important thing for a coin is the fair launch, its transparency, its rich ecosystem with many use cases and the popularity that it can finally get by building a strong Community that is using it. The maximum supply is just one factor which is playing its role together with all the aforementioned.
Higher supply can help with easier prices and lower fees
It is quite important to note that some projects have intentionally higher maximum supplies in order to form more friendly FIAT exchanging rates with their coin units, achieving this way easy to calculate prices with integer numbers.
One Bitcoin‘s weakness is that its high valuation combined with its 21 Million supply is leading to long non-integer prices. For example an item costing $2 is translated to a 0.xxxxxxx format price in BTC.
Another succesful cryptocurrency with higher maximum supply could theoretically achieve a much more friendly price format with easier exchange rate to FIAT. For example is much more understandable to say that the same item of $2 in the future costs 10 coins of the Z hypothetical cryptocurrency. This would make some crypto considerably easier to be adopted for everyday spending. That’s why some Projects took a different approach by choosing a higher emission rate and of course a higher maximum supply in order to fix this pricing issue in the future.