- XRP’s project developers, Ripple Labs, release 1 billion XRP per month
- 100 billion XRP was created by Ripple Labs – no more can be made
- About 55% of XRP’s total supply is currently public, with the rest being held in Ripple Labs escrow accounts
- XRP is deflationary due to a small transaction fee that burns excess XRP tokens
XRP is one of the blockchain industry’s oldest and most popular digital assets. The project, originally called Ripple, was released in 2012 as an alternative global payments system. Since then, the digital currency has seen its share of ups and downs, including a long-running legal battle against U.S. regulators the SEC. This article will explore how XRP tokens are minted and circulated, as well as uncover how many XRP are left to be released.
How Many XRP Are Left?
XRP was created with a total supply of 100 billion XRP, and a max supply of 99.9 billion (due to coins being burned). Of this limit, only about 52% of XRP are in circulation as of July 2023. This means that there are, in theory, around 48 billion XRP yet to be circulated.
However, this does not paint an accurate picture of how many XRP are left – because the tokens are deflationary, the amount remaining can fluctuate from year to year. According to research from Ripple Labs, projections show it will take upwards of 70,000 years before XRP’s supply runs out.
How Many XRP Have Been Created?
When the XRP Ledger and associated cryptocurrency (XRP) were released in 2012, 100 billion tokens were created in total. So in theory, the entirety of XRP’s supply has already been created – they are just yet to be released to the public. The majority (52.5 billion as of July 2023) is circulating on open markets, while the remainder sits with either Ripple Labs or in an escrow account.
When Will The Last XRP Be Created?
The last XRP has already been created – the token’s entire supply was minted in 2012 by a Ripple Labs developer. It is projected that the supply of XRP may not run out for 70,000 years, as although it is a deflationary currency, the amount of XRP burned per transaction is minuscule.
The very last XRP may be made available for public purchase upon the completion of the 55-month escrow contracts. All things being equal, the final 1 billion XRP release was set to occur in late 2023. However, as the Ripple Labs developers don’t use anywhere near the full amount of XRP, it's likely the last XRP may be circulated sometime in the 2030s. This is shorter compared to when the last Bitcoin will be mined in the year 2140.
How Is XRP Created?
XRP’s tokenomics are relatively unique for the blockchain sector. Most competitors, especially those from 2009-12, rely on a consensus mechanism known as “Proof-of-Work”. This allows “miners” to solve a complex string of mathematical equations in exchange for a “block reward”. This block reward is usually a native cryptocurrency (e.g., BTC for mining Bitcoin) and is how new coins are made.
Related: How to mine Bitcoin?
In contrast, XRP’s entire supply of 100 billion was created at once by the blockchain’s founders and developers, Ripple Labs. To ensure the currency’s value remained stable, approximately 55 billion of this was locked up in an escrow. Each month, 1 billion XRP from this escrow is released to Ripple, which then makes a portion of the XRP available for public purchase.
Typically, the XRP is sold to institutional investors or market makers. The leftovers are then returned to the escrow – which is why it will take longer than 55 months for the entire supply of XRP to circulate. According to Ripple Labs reports, the company tends to use less than a third of its monthly 1 billion XRP. So the max supply may not hit the market until 2035 or later.
This relatively novel supply and demand methodology caused Ripple Labs and the XRP token some grief in 2022 and 2023 after they were sued by the SEC for selling unregistered security. However, in a landmark case, XRP emerged partially victorious against the SEC. Even so, the release schedule – while automated by an escrow contract – does raise some issues with centralization for certain investors.
Can XRP Be Lost?
There are two main ways that XRP can be lost:
- Through transaction fees (which burn the token), or
- Through burn addresses, when an investor sends XRP to an inactive wallet
XRP’s token-burning mechanism is extremely slight, with a mere fraction of a penny lost upon each transaction. To date, this has resulted in the burning (or “loss”) of 11 million XRP tokens. It is difficult to analyze how many XRP have been lost through user error such as sending coins to an incorrect address or forgetting a password.
Frequently Asked Questions
Of the 100 billion supply, approximately 52.5 billion XRP tokens are in circulation. The rest are held in an escrow account.
XRP is a pre-mined cryptocurrency that has a total supply of 100 billion tokens. As of July 2023, approximately 52.5 billion XRP are in circulation with the remainder sitting with Ripple Labs or an escrow account.
XRP is a cryptocurrency that hasn’t been too far away from controversy. Its unique distribution method and lack of block reward have helped Ripple Labs see institutional investment from high-profile businesses, but have also turned away traditional crypto investors while also inviting negative interest from financial regulators.
However, this makes XRP an interesting case study, as its entire supply has already been created. At current rates, all XRP will be available on the public market by the mid-2030s, but significant changes to coding and distribution cannot be ruled out.