How Much Quint Can Exist?
One of the most important figures for any cryptocurrency is the total Cap, or maximum number of tokens which could exist. The key to cryptocurrency being scarce lies in having an upper limit on the total amount of said crypto. For example, there are about 16 million Bitcoins circulating, but a potential for 21million Bitcoins to ever exist. So how much Quint or QuintS could theoretically be trading at any given moment?
Each Quint token equates to an ownership interest in 1/1000th of a U.S. minted 1oz American Gold Eagle coin. (A Quint may also technically be backed by the U.S. minted 1oz American Buffalo coin, which is valued about the same, give or take a couple dollars.) Gold is inherently scarce in nature, and only a small portion of mined gold has ever been minted as coins: what is often called Specie Legal Tender. In fact, only about twenty five million American Gold Eagles of various weights (plus a few million of the newer Gold Buffaloes) have ever been minted. That is less than one thousand metric tonnes total.
This means that if every existing American Eagle and Buffalo coin were to be vaulted for the Quintric program, we would have around 25,000,000,000 Quint and about 10,000,000,000 QuintS. This would be the theoretical cap, but realistically the majority of Quint are going to be based on the new annual mintage (coin buyers tend to hold them privately for investment purposes, rather than as legal tender currency). The U.S. Mint produced about a million ounces of gold in 2016, and has demonstrated a capacity for about twice that volume in a given year. Therefore, one might forecast the maximum theoretical creation of about 1-2 billion Quint annually. Silver coins are created in much larger quantities, in the tens of millions of ounces.
However, existing demand for American Gold Eagle coins already consumes this recurring production volume. As Quintric demand grows, it is not known how much of that new demand can be accommodated by increased volume to be minted, versus shifting market share among the customer base through price increases. Clearly, increasing gold prices benefit prior investors, and some of the existing “coin inventory” may thus find its way back into circulation, which the Quintric system easily facilitates by making the value “spendable” via Quint tokens. On the other hand, the U.S. Mint is legally required to create enough coins to meet public demand, so the long-term value of specie legal tender and their respective tokens is going to be influenced much more by global gold prices than by short-term scarcities or back-orders, thus making the Quintric platform much more stable than traditional, speculative cryptocurrencies.
So what if gold-based Quint tokens became the standard for all currency? How much total gold is there on Earth? Estimates for the total value of mined gold existing in the world at 2017 prices would produce a market cap for gold of about 7.7 trillion dollars, meaning that there are about five billion ounces out there including all the world's jewelry (46%) and central bank holdings (20%), which would equate (if all Gold were minted as specie legal tender) to about five trillion Quint. That is a decent number of one and zeros. Annual mining worldwide adds about one percent of new gold into the system, providing room for steady growth.
For perspective, if all of the paper money in the world were added up (meaning just the physical government banknotes, coins, and funds considered to be on deposit in checking or savings accounts) one estimate put the total at about $36.8 million. Multiply that by about three if you broaden the definition to a range of cash equivalent instruments. In other words, if every paper dollar or cash equivalent in the world were backed by physical Gold (including jewelry), Gold prices would need to increase at least tenfold compared to the aptly named Fiat Currencies in order to find equilibrium.