EOS RAM Fees and BP Reward

Introduction

RAM

As you may know, when trading RAM on EOSIO you incur a rather large transaction fee. In this scenario, the EOS paid for RAM fees goes to an account named eosio.ramfee. While it’s still uncertain where that EOS will end up, for now, those tokens are out of circulation, thus offering a mechanism alike monetary deflation.

BPs reward

Similarly, block producers (BPs) are rewarded for their services to EOS. BPs are rewarded both for producing blocks (block rewards) and for winning the hearts and votes of the community (vote rewards.) To be paid, new tokens are created, thus introducing a mechanism akin to monetary inflation.

Inflationary or Deflationary

Then, the question is–who outpaces whom? Are RAM traders and users locking up more tokens than BPs are rewarded for their services? To check out the historical evolution of those mechanisms, I analysed all transactions related to those accounts and looked at them together from the launch of EOS mainnet.

Data

Chart

chart Figure above shows that the EOS created to pay BPs has been offset by RAM fees so far.

Discussion

As you can see, there has been an uncanny tendency of those two mechanisms to converge to the same cumulative number of EOS. In other words, the amount of EOS created to reward BPs has been matched by the number of EOS taken out of circulation from RAM trading.

On the other hand, the fate of EOS stuck in eosio.ramfee is undecided, but there are several proposals considered. Below, I present how holders are impacted depending on how the ram fees are distributed, assuming (almost) everything else equal:

Mechanism Wealth for holders Effect on wealth inequality Possible
Funding successful¹ projects -
Funding unsuccessful¹ projects -
Burning tokens ²
Distributing tokens uniformly ²
Distributing tokens proportional to wealth -

¹ Successful projects accelerate the increase in demand while unsuccessful projects do not.

² Decreasing/increasing wealth inequality is not necessarilly good/bad despite being colour coded green/red

End

Fun facts

Notes

Plese note that there are other forces at play in EOS, and accounts such as eosio.saving are also stacking up on EOS for rainy days. Therefore, this post does not look at all mechanisms that affect the circulating supply of EOS.