Value of a Devcoin Generation Share

In Round 33 (March 2014), the value of a Devcoin share has dropped beneath 100,000 devcoins for the first time. This did not really surprise me. With the massive spike in the value of bitcoins in November and December 2013 there has been associated increased awareness and interest amongst the general population. My assumption was that this interest has translated into very many more people discovering the existence of altcoins, and some of these people will have discovered that it is possible to earn devcoins through writing. I am one of these people that has only recently discovered this!

As all writers on devtome will know, there is a time lag between deciding to participate in the project, and the payments starting. First you need to request an account from one of the administrators, then your work needs to be assessed, and only then are you accepted onto the earnings list. So it seemed natural to assume that what we are seeing in the last couple of rounds is the effect of all the people that joined the party at the end of last year.

The question in my mind turned to how things will develop over the coming months and years. So I decided to look at the available data 1). My goal was to estimate how much a share would be worth in 2 years time.

Number of Writers

I first looked at how the numbers of writers have increased since round 23 when devtome started to the current round (33). Here is a graph showing this. Please note that for all the graphs I am going to present, you should add 20 to the round number on the x axis. So 3 means round 23, 10 means round 30 etc. I am unable to get the spreadsheet to draw the axis as I would like it


This immediately demonstrates that there hasn’t in reality been that rapid an increase in the numbers of writers. Incidently, the data shows the number of writers in round 32 and 33 as being the same. I am not sure if this is correct – round 33 has only just finished at the time of writing so perhaps the file is not updated correctly yet.

Hypothesis 1. The data seems to show the numbers of writers on devtome increasing more or less linearly. I am going to assume that this will continue to be the case.

Based on this hypothesis we can calculate the expected number of devtome writers at any time in the future. I am going to ignore the round 33 figure for now, since it may not be correct. Between round 23 and 32, ie 10 rounds, the number of writers increased from 79 to 176. That is an increase of 9.7 writers per round.

Number of Shares

The next thing to look at was the number of shares per round, and how many of these are allocated to devtome writers. The following graph shows the story


It goes up and down a bit, but clearly the number of devtome shares closely tracks the total shares. So if we look at the percentage of the total shares allocated to devtome we see.


There have been a couple of spikes in either direction but I am going hypothesize as follows

Hypothesis 2. Devtome share percentage will be static at approx 65% of total shares. Or, put another, total shares is 154% of devtome shares.

Shares per Writer

The next thing to look at is the number of shares, on average, each writer receives per round. Obviously some writers are far more prolific than others, but it is easy enough to work out the average. The following graph shows the average shares per writer per round


There are a couple of big spikes, but if you ignore the largest and the smallest figure and look at the rest of the figures they are all in the same range, as can be seen more easily from the raw data


Ignoring the largest and smallest figure, and taking the average of the rest leads me to

Hypothesis 3. The number of shares per writer will be on average 4.86 shares per writer

Devcoins per share in round 57

Based on the hypotheses above we can work out how many devcoins per share will be available for devtome writers in round 57 (ie in approx 2 years time, March 2016).

 Num Writers =  9.7 * 24 + 176 = 408 writers
 Num Devtome Shares = Num Writers * 4.86 = 408 * 4.86 = 1983 
 Total Shares = 154% * devtome shares = 1.54 * 1983 = 3053
 Devcoins/share = 180,000,000 / 3053 = 58958 devcoins per share

So we see that approx 60000 devcoins per share will be available. This is, of course, entirely dependent on the 3 hypotheses discussed above holding true. In the world of cryptocurrency this is by no means certain. However, this does seem to be the direction things are heading based on current evidence.


Readers of this article may be thinking that Hypothesis 3 in particular will not be valid. The natural assumption is that writers will write more when the rewards are greater, and less when the rewards are less. Thus it is natural to assume that if the bitcoin price remained absolutely static (unlikely, I know) then the amount each writer produced over time would diminish as the number of writers gradually increased. However, so far the evidence does not back this up. I have attempted to work out the average dollar return per writer in each round, assuming that the devcoins were sold at the current market rate. It is difficult to be precise about this because of the volatility of the bitcoin and decoin prices but the following shows my best attempt at it.


The earnings vary from around $600 per writer per round down to around £20 per writer per round. A huge fluctuation which is not reflected in the in the figures for number of shares per writer per round. I think there are a few possible explanations for this

  • Writers accept that the price is volatile. Since there is a 2 month lag between writing and payout it is impossible to know what price you will get for your work.
  • Many writers may be planning to hang on to all or most of their devcoins in the expectation of future price rises (I certainly am).
  • For many writers, the devcoin payment may be just an added bonus. People have contributed to Wikipedia for years without any payment.

At today’s prices, the expected approximately 60000 devcoins per share would equate to about £9 per share (58958 * 0.00000041 * 380). But that is just today’s prices (March 2014). The value of both bitcoin and devcoin are currently depressed in the wake of the collapse of MTGox 2) and also comments made by various governments in regard to the legality and/or regulation of crypto currencies 3) 4) 5) 6). At prices which could have been obtained only 3 months ago, this would equate to around £45 per share (58958 * 0.0000012 *650). Readers may also like to refer to article Devcoin Future Value for my view on how devcoin value might increase.

Devcoin | Cryptocurrency

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