A look at the data suggests that only a handful of coins and tokens have any kind of significant userbase.
We know that bitcoin has a large and genuine userbase – that is, people who actually own it or use it long term, hold it in their own crypto wallets and make real transactions, rather than just trading it on exchanges. You can read that information from the blockchain easily enough. The same is true of Ethereum. People are holding it and transacting with it, and building real applications with its smart contracts.
But can the same be said for many of the almost 2,000 cryptos that now exist?
We’re afraid not.
We used the site https://onchainfx.com/ to compare not just prices and market cap (which is all that most people care about) but active addresses (send/receive in the last 24h) and numbers of daily transactions.
As expected, Bitcoin has the most active addresses (664,000) followed by Ethereum (307,000), Litecoin (89,000), Dogecoin (73,000 – yes, that’s still a thing) and EOS (58,000).
After that, it rapidly declines. There are just 19 cryptos shown with more than 1,000 active addresses. Only 21 show more than 1,000 transactions a day.
It’s not quite as bad as it seems. Onchainfx doesn’t supply data for all cryptos, so there are some glaring omissions here. For example, it doesn’t offer active addresses or transaction numbers for Waves, which is an extremely active network, averaging around 40,000 transactions per day for this month so far, which would put it above Litecoin on that measure.
On the other hand, there are some anomalies: Bitcoin Cash, for example, has twice the daily transactions of Bitcoin Core, but less than 10% of BTC’s active addresses. Clearly, some shenanigans are afoot here, because that’s certainly not organic usage. A spammer or stress test or just plain old fake tx volumes can skew figures.
Still, the overall picture for the majority of cryptos isn’t great. These are tiny communities with very few real users. Where it gets interesting is the smaller number of cryptos that do have a real and active userbase. Network effect counts, and those communities will give their blockchains a stronger chance of long-term success.
And, of course, deeper analysis of that list may show some interesting opportunities to pick up coins that are undervalued on their fundamentals.
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