Why Coin Burn Is Important In Tokenomics

The coin burn in cryptoeconomics, is a mechanism that reduces the total supply of tokens or coins. It forms a part of the tokenomic policies of a cryptocurrency. This is for preventing inflation in the ecosystem as a reasonable means to prevent the over supply of the tokens in circulation. It is much more common among coins or tokens that have a high circulating supply or no fixed supply. The amount of tokens in circulation is generally speaking, the total amount that is available to the public. The supply increases as a result of consensus activity that mints or mines more coins or generates new tokens.

There are 3 main reasons for a coin burn.

  1. Minimizing inflation

The traditional non crypto-economic model allows centralized monetary authorities to regulate and control the supply of money. They can increase the money supply during times of low liquidity in order to boost the market. However, more money leads to inflation and that can affect the cost of goods and services as prices increase. More supply leads to more spending power, and thus that increases demand for public consumption. As a result, prices go up.

We have what is called the inflation rate that determines the price or value of any commodity or asset in the market. The problem with inflation is that it leads to ever increasing prices as simplified in this formula:

V = Inflated Value Of Asset
a = Current Value of Asset

r = Annual Rate of Inflation

t = Time period

V = a(1 + r) t

Thus an asset’s value increases over time as a result of a positive (+) inflation rate, which means its value was not determined by market forces but by a central authority. Interest rates tend to rise with inflation. It is a way the central bank encourages people to  increase savings. Now this is a truly centralized approach that becomes a balancing act for the economy. Cryptocurreny will try not to have an inflationary model which is the primary purpose of the coin burn. With this model it gives more value for the holder and prices never drastically increase due to a central authority. Instead it follows a decentralized and market driven approach to keep the supply in check.

  1. Fair token distribution

The fairness in token distribution is that the platform does not keep more supply than what should be sustainable for the ecosystem. The community is given the right to vote for a coin burn when it is announced on network during the process of digital governance. This allows token holders to decide whether it is in their community’s best interest. This uses a form of governance token that allow holders to cast their vote. Majority consensus will always win in the ecosystem.

The system can be effective in maintaining the price and rewarding loyal token holders. Thus the distribution of tokens is not manipulated by a single authority that decides over the rest of the token holders. When the decision goes to a vote, it benefits the greater community.

  1. Incentive to holders

The coin burn incentivizes token holders by increasing its value. Let’s say we have the following scenario of a digital asset Y:

Total Supply = 100,000,000
Circulating Supply = 100,000,000

Market Cap = 1,000,000
Price of Y = 0.01

Assuming a user has 10,000 coins, they are valued at 10,000(0.010) = 100.

A coin burn takes place to reduce the circulating supply by 40,000,000.

Total Supply = 100,000,000
Circulating Supply = 60,000,000

Market Cap = 1,000,000
Price of Y = 0.0167

It cuts the circulating supply by 40%. This then changes the price of Y. Assuming a user has 10,000 coins, they are now valued at 10,000(0.0167) = 166.67. This is what creates what is called digital scarcity so that the value increases over time. The value this creates rewards the community for holding the tokens and encourages their participation.

Some networks have to do a balancing act on their token supply if they consider a coin burn. Tron (TRX) has issued their coin burn on what they call Independence Day. The project burned 1 billion TRX after switching over from the Ethereum mainnet to their own mainnet. This also burned the ERC20 tokens that were issued during Tron’s ICO. This was meant to control inflation of the TRX token itself, but increases its value in terms of fiat. Other projects that mint tokens back into circulating supply will have to coordinate coin burns to check their inflation (i.e. anti-inflationary measures). Overall, it should be consensus driven by the community and cannot be decided by the developers or majority token holders alone.