Ethereum, the leading smart-contract platform, has emerged as the top revenue generator in the first quarter of 2023, outperforming all other Layer-1 (L1) platforms.
According to a report released by Messari titled “State of L1s Q1 2023,” Ethereum’s revenue reached an impressive $457 million, nearly 2.8 times higher than the combined revenue of all other featured L1 platforms.
Despite an overall rebound in the crypto market during Q1, network usage did not experience a corresponding surge. While the featured L1 platforms witnessed an average quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) increase of 83% in market capitalization, network usage actually decreased by around 2.5%.
Among the L1 platforms, Stacks stood out by outperforming its peers in various metrics. This can be attributed to renewed interest in Bitcoin programmability by Ordinals.
Stacks led the featured L1s in QoQ growth in market capitalization (340%), revenue (218%), network usage (~35%), DeFi TVL (276%), and DEX volume (330%).
Despite Stacks’ strong performance, ETH maintained its leadership position in key financial and ecosystem metrics. It remained the leader in market capitalization, revenue, DeFi Total Value Locked (TVL), volume, NFT volume, and full-time developers.
The report also highlighted shifts in stablecoin dominance, as USDC experienced a temporary depeg and Paxos ceased BUSD issuance. This resulted in stablecoin market cap dominance shifting toward USDT, benefiting TRON.
TRON’s stablecoin market cap increased by 30% QoQ to reach $43.6 billion, while other featured L1 platforms with significant stablecoin market caps saw a decrease in their figures.
The Messari report provides a comprehensive overview and comparison of the financial, network, and ecosystem analyses of 14 L1 smart-contract platforms, including Avalanche, BNB Chain, Cardano, Ethereum, Harmony, Hedera, NEAR, Polkadot, Polygon, Solana, Stacks, Tezos, TRON, and WAX.
In terms of validators, all networks experienced a QoQ increase in total staked tokens denominated in USD, as expected during a market uptick. Stacks (403%) and Solana (125%) led the way in QoQ growth.
Ethereum maintained the largest security budget, with $32.6 billion in ETH staked, surpassing other networks by over $20 billion.
Ethereum Remains the Top Destination for NFT Activity
When it comes to NFTs, Ethereum continues to dominate despite higher gas fees. The report highlights Blur as the dominant ETH marketplace in terms of volume, with its average weekly share increasing from 31% to 59% QoQ. Only Polygon outperformed ETH in terms of QoQ average daily volume, showing a 101% increase.
Furthermore, Ethereum leads in daily unique NFT buyers, although the gap between ETH and other chains is smaller in this metric than in volume.
Coinbase’s commemorative NFT launch on Ethereum attracted over 122,000 unique buyers. Polygon experienced the highest QoQ growth in average daily unique buyers, increasing by 89%.
Tezos also saw an increase in unique NFT buyers, surpassing 10,000 on average in the week following the launch of the free McLaren F1 collection.
However, Ethereum’s strong revenue generation, market leadership, and continued dominance in NFTs reaffirm its position as a major player in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space.
As the industry evolves, it will be interesting to observe how other L1 platforms adapt and compete with Ethereum’s established ecosystem.
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