HomeEthereumKey On-Chain Metric Points to Stagnation, Will Ethereum Ever Break $2,000?

Key On-Chain Metric Points to Stagnation, Will Ethereum Ever Break $2,000?


According to Etherscan data, the number of active ERC-20 addresses has not changed much in 2023. It has stayed between 200,000 and 300,000 while Ethereum prices stagnate below July 2023 highs. As of August 2, there were about 275,000 active ERC-20 addresses, up from 156,000 on June 18. Although activity has been low overall, there was a significant increase on June 11, with over 446,000 active ERC-20 addresses.

Active ERC-20 Addresses: Etherscan crypto
Active ERC-20 Addresses: Etherscan

Ethereum’s price trajectory has been tumultuous in tandem with this activity pattern, looking at the charts. For instance, Ethereum bulls have failed to breach the $2,100 liquidation level posted in the latter stages of H1 2023. 

Ethereum Prices Volatile, Few Coins Burned

At the moment, ETH prices hover around the $1,800 range, teetering precariously and likely to drop, looking at candlestick arrangements in the daily chart. Although Ethereum has been bullish in the past two months, bulls have been tamed, and a drop below the $1,800 level may signal a shift from bullish to bearish in the medium term.

ETH price on August 2| Source: ETHUSDT on Binance, TradingView crypto
ETH price on August 2| Source: ETHUSDT on Binance, TradingView

With ETH under pressure, the number of active ERC-20 addresses remains constant and relatively lower than the 2021 peaks. This means there is less demand for ETH, which is used to pay transaction fees. As a result, gas fees are lower because there is less competition for block space. Typically, this would encourage more people to participate and even deploy complex contracts in decentralized finance (DeFi). 

With EIP-1559 in the equation, low activity means fewer coins are taken out of circulation. Despite low network activity, the protocol continues to issue 2 ETH after each validated block, watering down deflationary effects enforced by EIP-1559. 

DeFi Activities Falling

Falling activity could be attributed to the waning interest in decentralized finance (DeFi) activities over recent months. As of August 2, the total value locked (TVL) remains below $50 billion, with a significant portion of assets tied in Ethereum. DeFi projects like LidoDAO, Curve, and Uniswap facilitate the trading of ERC-20 tokens.

Furthermore, on-chain data highlights USDT as the most actively transacted token. Given its position as the third-largest coin by market cap, with substantial circulation in Ethereum and Tron networks, such a trend is expected.

Looking back at ERC-20 transactions from June and July, it is evident that transfers stayed constant despite temporary price increases. Ethereum prices rose from $1,630 to $2,000 between mid-June and mid-July 2023, but ETH is now lower. 

On-chain ERC-20 activity has remained stable despite price volatility. It’s unclear whether there will be a change in activity as prices continue to drop. However, lower prices may force token holders to wait and see, leading to less activity.

Feature image from Canva, chart from TradingView

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