This approach is most popular with investors of a speculative bent, looking to derive short to mid-term gains from the ebb and flow of prices. Looking at a blockchain project’s activity however, could give one more reliable insight into a project’s popularity and potential future gains.
This school of thought is supported by data harvesting tools that, more than often employ one of two methods to harvest data in order to formulate a clear picture of blockchain activity. Some use the activity on a peer-to-peer network’s Github profile to measure its popularity, others take a peak under the hood of the blockchain itself, to get a clearer picture of platform use.
Popularity By Github Activity
Using a tool that gathers activity data from Github, StateOfTheDapps.com, it is immediately clear that only a small amount of Ethereum Dapps (Decentralized Applications) are seeing large amounts of user activity. In fact, of the top 50 ranked dapps only 3 were built on the Ethereum network.
EOS and Tron appear to be generating a larger chunk of activity, with EOS leading with 26 Top Dapps. Drawing an interesting parallel to the early days of the internet, the majority of Dapp activity is generated by gambling Dapps. Which possibly suggests that gambling is a key use-case in the battle for mass adoption.
Popularity By Blockchain Activity
When looking directly at blockchain activity, one gets a more detailed view of what is going on, directly from the blockchain. Looking at Blocktivity’s rankings based on actual blockchain activity, the top 5 blockchain platforms seeing the most action are:
- 1. EOS
- 2. Tron
- 3. KIN
- 4. STEEM
- 5. Bitcoin
EOS, despite being faced with controversies centered around security and centralization, experience’s an average of 50,246,158 operations performed on the network per week. Ethereum, the original blockchain platform, currently sits in 7th place with about 717,541 operations per week. The low activity on the Ethereum network likely indicates a drop in developer confidence due to the platform’s scaling problems and transaction capacity.
All Is Not As It Seems
EOS may generate a lot of activity, but according to a report by AI-based blockchain security outfit, AnChain.AI, back in June, 75% of operations executed on the EOS blockchain are generated by bots (computer programs designed to impersonate human activity on a system, often used maliciously, but for trading as well). This suggests that actual activity on the blockchain is significantly lower.
The reasons Tron and EOS outstrip Ethereum in terms of activity is A) because Ethereum’s development language, Solidity, is reportedly difficult to learn, and B) Ethereum’s low transaction throughput. However, while Ethereum’s rival smart contract platforms boast a higher transaction throughput, they achieve this by running nodes, which threaten network security and actual decentralization. Actual transaction throughput numbers have come under dispute in recent months, however.
“When a blockchain project claims ‘We can do 3,500 transactions per second because we have a different algorithm,’ what we really mean is ‘We are a centralized pile of trash because we only have seven nodes running the entire thing,’” – said Ethereum co-founder, Vitalik Buterin,
on the matter earlier this year
Blockchain platforms are continuously evolving and are becoming more sophisticated in order to scale up and accommodate a myriad use-cases. Activity will naturally change according to how platforms upgrade their technology, what new entrants offer and how those upgrades benefit dapp developers. App activity gives a better picture than price, of how a blockchain is developing.