Firstly, if you’ve arrived at this post looking for the Monero equivalent of Bitcoin’s stock to flow model, you can find something similar at moneroj.net/sfmodel – created by Twitter user CryptoMorpheus.
The stock to flow pricing model was popularized in Bitcoin via Plan B, who in his blog post described how the model works. Also, digitalikNet, who turned the model into a website, has a good explanation of how it works underneath the graph.
It’s worth noting that whilst the Bitcion model has been relatively accurate in predicting the price, it’s unclear if this will hold true for Monero also.
The rest of the post will focus on the concept of ‘stock to flow’, rather than ‘stock to flow price models’, so it’s important to separate those concepts out, mentally.
Stock to flow = a way to look at how scarce a resource is.
Stock to flow price models = a way to to combine stock to flow with historic price data, and attempt future price predictions.
Just to clarify again, the rest of this post isn’t look at pricing models, it simply looks to understand Monero scarcity vs Bitcoin and Gold.
Stock to flow is particularly relevant to cryptocurrencies (which all generally have the supply hard coded into them), compared to fiat currencies, whereby central banks are able to inflate the supply at will. Thus making stock to flow calculations of fiat currencies impossible, you could only estimate at best.
Calculating stock to flow is a simple equation, it’s:
Stock (total in circulation) / Flow (total added per year)
So in Monero context, stock would be how much Monero is already mined and in circulation, and flow would be how much Monero is being created when each block is mined, multiplied out to represent 365 days worth.
The result of the equation gives you a number. The higher the number, the more scarce the resource is going forward.
For a bit of historical context, the table below shows the estimated stock to flow of precious metals.
|Stock (tonnes)||Flow (tonnes)||Stock to Flow||Growth|
Note that Gold, which is regarded as a scarce asset, has an approximate stock to flow of 62. That gives a mental benchmark for what’s rare and what isn’t. With lower numbers equaling less rare.
Comparing Monero to Bitcoin and Gold
The chart below illustrates how Monero’s stock to flow compares to Bitcoin and Gold.
Essentially, once Monero’s tail emission kicks in around May 2022, Monero’s stock to flow stays roughly flat at around 115 – notably more scarce than Gold, which is around 62.
From 2022 to 2024, Monero supply is more scarce than Bitcoin, and then from 2024 to 2028 their scarcity of new coins is roughly comparable.
From 2028 and beyond, Bitcoin’s scarcity continues to increase dramatically.
Monero’s Scarcity over the next 100 years
Due to Monero’s tail emission being fixed, the stock to flow will gradually increase over time, as the existing stock grows relative to the flow.
Below you can see how the stock to flow by 2122 reaches 215, approximately 4x what it is at the time of writing.
|Date||Stock||Flow||Stock to Flow||Growth|
|Jan 15 2021||17,813,880||317,988||56||1.78%|
Bitcoin’s Future Stock to Flow
|Date||Stock||Flow||Stock to Flow||Block Reward|
|Jan 15 2021||18,601,200||328,500||56||6.25|
So we can see that Bitcoin has a stock to flow of 56 until the next halving in 2024. That’s comparable to Monero currently (56), and to Gold (62).
At the next BTC halving it’s stock to flow increases to 120… making it comparable to Monero for the next 4 years (120 vs 115). However, after the 2028 halving Bitcoin’s stock to flow reaches a level (248) that Monero won’t reach for well over 100 years. Basically at that point, for Monero, there is no catching up to Bitcoin’s scarcity.
How to calculate Monero Stock to Flow?
At the time of writing (Jan 15, 2021), the stock to flow of Monero is:
Stock (17,813,880) / Flow (317,988) = 56
You can use bitinfocharts.com/monero/ to get the latest figures for total Monero in circulation, and the current block reward.
For example, in the above calculation, the block reward (every 2 minutes) is 1.21 XMR. So then you need to do:
1.21 x 30 x 24 hours x 365 days = 317,988 XMR
Which gets you the emission rate per year.
Between now and May 2022, the Monero block reward is going to decrease from 1.21 to 0.6, at which point it will stay at 0.6 XMR per 2 minute block perpetually.
The only thing that would change the emission rate is if the developers agreed to change it in the code. Currently that isn’t a topic under discussion.
When looking for a “safe” store of value, one of the metrics to understand is the stock to flow. If you come across an asset, like Gold, that has:
- Relatively high stock to flow
- High probability that the rate of supply will not change
This rules out the risk that the supply will be greatly inflated, making it a safer store of value.
Of course, the stock to flow on its own is worthless, but as a component needed in building a bigger picture of an asset, it’s useful.
Hopefully the above helps in terms of understanding Monero’s stock to flow. If you’ve any questions, please leave them below in the comments
This page explains some key metrics that investors could look at when evaluating the prospects of Monero.
This page graphs the supply of XMR vs supply of BTC. It also compares the miner reward of each, over time.
Monero Inflation Calculator
This page graphs the annual inflation of Monero + allows you to model what would happen if x% of coins are lost each year.