Exploring Token Ownership: Understanding Inconsistencies in Total Token Supply

While browsing Etherscan or other explorers created by the Etherscan team, you may come across a token in which a single holder owns more than 100% of the token compared to the maximum total supply. Although rare, this inconsistency can occur when the contract does not follow the standard function of _totalSupply.

For example, a token may have a total supply of 100 million tokens, but the Null Address appears to own almost 100 trillion tokens, which does not make sense. The Null Address is also known as a burn address, and while it is common for burn addresses to be displayed as a holder, the percentage should always be less than 100%. For more information on burn addresses, refer to this article.

In some cases, the totalSupply function for ERC-20 tokens may not be standard, which can lead to discrepancies between the displayed number and the actual token count. For this particular case, the token's initial total supply was 100 trillion, but a significant portion was burned to the null address, as shown in the accompanying image.

Upon inspecting the contract, the current total supply is calculated by subtracting the initial total supply of the token with both the balance of the token sent to the burn address and the balance of tokens owned by the null address. Since the initial total supply is huge, it caused an inconsistent token supply as shown in the holders page.

If you are interested in learning how to use our Check Previous Balance tool, visit this article!

Faiz Adnan
Faiz Adnan
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