What Is The Composition Of Transactions On Ethereum?

With the recent explosion of BRC-20 transactions on Bitcoin, I thought it would be interesting to provide (more of an informational dump) on the historical makeup of transaction types on Ethereum.

The stacked column chart above displays the relative amount (% share) of transactions on the Ethereum network by type, since launch (data and classification type are provided by Glassnode – you can find the definitions of each transaction type at the bottom of this post).

“Vanilla” transactions (pure ETH transfers) have long dominated the % makeup. However, this continues to trend lower year-over-year, simply due to the advent of new use cases on the network over time. As of today, these vanilla transactions account for roughly 29% of all transactions.

The one metric that initially caught my eye- was the % share of ERC-20 transactions, which currently only constitute ~15% of transactions. However, this number excludes transactions calling stablecoin contracts. Since stablecoins currently account for 10% of transactions, it is probably safe to assume that ERC-20s make up closer to 25% of all transaction counts.

Although it’s not viable to compare the transaction types on Bitcoin to those on Ethereum, (due to their many inherent differences: consensus mechanisms, block times, smart contracts, use cases, etc), it is interesting to observe the speed at which BRC-20s have been adopted on Bitcoin. Within a short two months, BRC-20 transactions went from a 0% share to over 50%. It took ERC-20s over a year to even reach the 10% threshold on Ethereum. Again, not really taking a stance here one way or another – just find this data intriguing. Keep your eyes peeled- maybe we will drop a report on the potential long-term effects BRC20 tokens might have on the Bitcoin network and its ecosystem participants.

ETH Transaction Type Definitions:

Vanilla: “Pure ETH transfers between Externally Owned Accounts (EOAs), with no contracts being called.”

ERC20: “All transactions calling ERC20 contracts. Contracts in the Stablecoins category are excluded here.”

Stablecoins: “Fungible tokens that have their value pegged to an off-chain asset, either by the issuer or by an algorithm. We include 150+ stablecoins in this category, with USDT, USDC, UST, BUSD, and DAI being the most prominent ones.”

DeFi: “On-chain financial instruments and protocols implemented as smart contracts, including decentralized exchanges (DEXs). We include over 90+ DeFi protocols in this category, such as Uniswap, Etherdelta, 1inch, Sushiswap, Aave, and 0x.”

Bridges: “Contracts allowing transfer of tokens between different blockchains. We include 50+ bridges in this category, such as Ronin, Polygon, Optimism, and Arbitrum.”

NFTs: “Transactions interacting with non-fungible tokens. This category includes of both token contract standards (ERC721, ERC1155), as well as NFT marketplaces (OpenSea, Blur, LooksRare, Rarible, SuperRare) for trading those.”

MEV Bots: “Miner Extractable Value (MEV) bots execute transactions for profit by reordering, inserting, and censoring transactions within blocks.”

Other: “This category includes all other transactions in the Ethereum network that are not included in categories listed above.”

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