Top 10 Most Active Blockchain Networks in December 2023

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A Snapshot of Blockchain Activity in December 2023

  • Ethereum continues to lead as the most active blockchain network, highlighted by its extensive range of dApps and smart contracts.
  • Arbitrum has shown significant growth in developer activity and dApp engagement, with its mainnet Arbitrum One gaining popularity due to its compatibility with the Ethereum Virtual Machine.
  • Binance Smart Chain recorded all-time highs in transaction volumes, with significant dApps like PancakeSwap contributing to a dynamic and robust environment for developers and users.

The blockchain landscape continues to evolve rapidly, with several networks showing significant activity across various metrics like developer activity, network updates, and transactions. For this list, the networks are ranked via volume of transactions and activity of decentralized applications (dApps) within its ecosystem. Here are the top 10 most active blockchain networks within the last month.

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Ethereum (ETH)

Statistics

  • dApps (30d): 4,418
  • dApps volume (30d): $108 billion
  • Transactions (30d): 3.35 million

Developer Activity and Ecosystem

Ethereum remains the most active blockchain network, not just in terms of user transactions but also in developer activity. Its robust ecosystem, consisting of thousands of dApps and smart contracts, continuously attracts developers. The transition to Ethereum 2.0 has further enhanced its scalability and security, making it even more appealing for new blockchain projects.

Transaction Volume and Network Updates

Ethereum processes a vast number of daily transactions, often exceeding one million. These transactions include everything from simple value transfers to complex dApp interactions and decentralized finance (DeFi) operations. The network is consistently updated to improve scalability, security, and efficiency, with Ethereum 2.0 being the most significant update, shifting the network from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS).

Arbitrum (ARB)

Statistics

  • dApps (30d): 400
  • dApps volume (30d): $25.28 billion
  • Transactions (30d): 2.79 million

Developer Activity and Ecosystem

The Arbitrum ecosystem has witnessed an exponential increase in developer activity, with a year-over-year growth of over 50% in its developer headcount. Arbitrum One, the official mainnet launched in 2021, serves as the backbone of the ecosystem, processing transactions via the Arbitrum Virtual Machine (AVM), which is compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).

Transaction Volume and Network Updates

In terms of transaction volume and network activity, Arbitrum has maintained a consistent and impressive growth trajectory, especially its ARB airdrop in March 2023. The network’s resilience and growth despite the bear market of 2022-2023 set it apart from other Layer 2 solutions. Its total value locked (TVL) in DeFi surged beyond $2.2 billion, more than doubling since Q4 2022. This spike in TVL is attributed to the success of key DeFi players on the network, such as GMX and other rapidly growing protocols like Radiant and Stargate.

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Binance Smart Chain (BSC)

Statistics

  • dApps (30d): 5,120
  • dApps volume (30d): $16.74 billion
  • Transactions (30d): 18.69 million

Developer Activity and Ecosystem

BSC’s ecosystem hosts a wide array of dApps, with PancakeSwap being a leading example as the top automated market maker (AMM) on the chain. Other significant dApps include Venus Protocol, a borrow-lending platform, and Autofarm, a yield aggregator. These applications contribute to a robust and dynamic environment for developers and users alike​​​​.

Transaction Volume and Network Updates

In 2023, both opBNB and BSC recorded all-time highs in transaction volumes. For instance, opBNB exceeded 23 million daily transactions, and BSC saw more than 32 million transactions on a single day in December.

Polygon (MATIC)

Statistics

  • dApps (30d): 1,939
  • dApps volume (30d): $7.42 billion
  • Transactions (30d): 21.48 million

Developer Activity and Ecosystem

Polygon’s architecture is designed to create an interconnected network of Layer 2 blockchains, addressing the ‘blockchain trilemma’ of achieving scalability, decentralization, and security simultaneously. This unique structure has led to the development of over 1,900 dApps across various sectors like DAO, gaming, NFT, and more. Polygon’s ability to process transactions at an impressive rate of about 7,000 TPS and its low transaction fees of around $0.01 have made it a preferred choice over Ethereum for many users and developers.

Transaction Volume and Network Updates

Polygon 2.0, announced in 2023, represents a major upgrade for the network, focusing on unifying all Polygon protocols under the Zero-Knowledge technology umbrella. This includes transitioning the Proof of Stake (PoS) network to a zkEVM Validium network, uniquely storing transaction data off-chain.

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Optimism (OP)

Statistics

  • dApps (30d): 206
  • dApps volume (30d): $5.58 billion
  • Transactions (30d): 1.17 million

Developer Activity and Ecosystem

In 2023, the Optimism network, a prominent Ethereum layer-two scaling solution, has seen a significant surge in popularity and user activity. The network now boasts over 5.9 million addresses with a balance, marking a substantial increase of 391% from the 1.2 million recorded in January.

Transaction Volume and Network Updates

The transaction count on the network recorded a spike in 2023, demonstrating a significant increase in user activity. Optimism currently has a whopping $5.59 billion in dApp volume. Optimism uses a technology called rollups, specifically Optimistic rollups. These rollups bundle data about hundreds of transactions into a single transaction on the Ethereum mainnet, thereby reducing the blockchain transaction fee required to pay.

Solana (SOL)

Statistics

  • dApps (30d): 219
  • dApps volume (30d): $2.95 billion
  • Transactions (30d): 332.24 million

Developer Activity and Ecosystem

Solana is recognized for its exceptional scalability, facilitating high-frequency trading applications due to its high throughput and low fees. Its speed has drawn a growing number of developers, especially those looking to build scalable dApps and financial platforms.

Transaction Volume and Network Updates

The network’s ability to handle large transaction volumes with minimal fees and its proof-of-history (PoH) consensus mechanism set it apart. Regular updates and enhancements to its infrastructure keep Solana at the forefront of blockchain innovation, ensuring it remains a popular choice for developers and users seeking efficient and scalable blockchain solutions.

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Avalanche (AVAX)

Statistics

  • dApps (30d): 533
  • dApps volume (30d): $2.77 billion
  • Transactions (30d): 1.9 million

Developer Activity and Ecosystem

A comparison with other blockchains reveals unique aspects of Avalanche. Unlike Solana, which is built on the proof-of-history (PoH) consensus and boasts a higher throughput, Avalanche relies on a DAG-powered PoS consensus. Its consensus mechanism allows for faster transaction finality, around 6,500 TPS, providing a more efficient alternative to Ethereum’s slower transaction times.

Transaction Volume and Network Updates

On-chain activity on Avalanche has more than doubled in 2023, signaling a resurgence for the network. This growth is reflected in the increase of daily active addresses from around 25,000 at the start of the year to 60,000 by early June.

Klaytn (KLAY)

Statistics

  • dApps (30d): 94
  • dApps volume (30d): $782 million
  • Transactions (30d): 4.37 million

Developer Activity and Ecosystem

Klaytn has been working on the launch of Klaytn-exclusive metaverse and gaming services, which are intended to serve as a blueprint for future Klaytn services. Additionally, Klaytn is placing a strong emphasis on expanding its user base by increasing the number of on-chain services using its platform and improving the overall user experience for Web3 users.

Transaction Volume and Network Updates

Klaytn is focusing on transitioning to a fully permissionless validator structure, which will allow the general public to participate as block validators. This move is part of Klaytn’s effort to become a more decentralized platform. By providing opportunities for broader community involvement in the network’s governance, Klaytn aims to enhance its decentralized governance model.

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Cardano (ADA)

Statistics

  • dApps (30d): 43
  • dApps volume (30d): $488 million
  • Transactions (30d): 1.04 million

Developer Activity and Ecosystem

Cardano’s smart contract functionality has seen remarkable growth, with the network adding almost 10,000 smart contracts over the year. As of late December 2023, the Plutus smart contracts platform on Cardano hosted 14,302 smart contracts, reflecting an impressive growth of over 200% from the beginning of the year. 

Transaction Volume and Network Updates

Cardano has been focusing on its Layer 2 scalability solution, Hydra, which aims to increase transaction speed through low latency and high throughput, also offering minimized transaction costs. Each Hydra Head works as an off-chain mini ledger shared between a small group of participants, allowing developers to add specialized, complex protocols on top of Cardano.

TRON (TRX)

Statistics

  • dApps (30d): 1,376
  • dApps volume (30d): $199 million
  • Transactions (30d): 311.75 thousand

Developer Activity and Ecosystem

TRON reached a significant milestone of 200 million accounts, with a recent surge in new accounts. This is indicative of its expanding global influence and user base.

Transaction Volume and Network Updates

TRON’s latest update, Great Voyage v4.7.2 (Periander), introduced critical upgrades aimed at enhancing the functionality and usability of the network. These include an advanced Stake 2.0 mechanism, compatibility with Ethereum’s EIP-3855, streamlined smart contract interface calling, and a revamped P2P network module. These upgrades are expected to provide greater flexibility, compatibility, and efficiency to users and developers, contributing to the growth of the TRON ecosystem

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Way Forward

In December 2023, the blockchain ecosystem showcased a remarkable diversity in technology, application, and innovation, as evidenced by the activity across these top 10 blockchain networks.

The common thread binding these networks is their commitment to improving scalability, security, and interoperability, thereby driving the blockchain industry forward. As we move into the future, the evolution of these networks will likely shape not only the blockchain sector but also the wider digital economy, influencing everything from financial transactions to enterprise solutions.

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