Santiment, a blockchain analytics firm, has reported that Ethereum has quietly broken a 7-year record over the weekend. According to the insights provided by Santiment, the top 10 non-exchange Ethereum addresses now collectively hold over 25 million ETH, a figure not seen since 2016.
While this news may be welcomed by some, others are expected to voice their concerns over ETH centralization. The fact that a handful of addresses hold such a significant portion of the cryptocurrency could be seen as a threat to the decentralized nature of the blockchain.
However, it’s worth noting that the number of large whale addresses has actually been declining. There are currently just 124 addresses holding 100,000 or more Ethereum, which is the lowest number since November 2018. It is a marked decrease from the peak of 176 whale addresses seen in July 2019.
In addition, it appears that ETH spent is still dominant for Ethereum, outpacing other tokens like Wrapped ETH, USD Coin, and Tether. It is generally expected, but the lead is expanding as of late. Analysts predict that an increase in USDT and USDC ETH spent could be a positive sign that the markets are about to pick up.
Ethereum (ETH) Starts 2023 Strong
Ethereum has seen a strong start to 2023, rallying alongside the broader cryptocurrency market. At present, it is trading a 40% increase since the beginning of the year.
Despite the positive performance, investors may be wise to temper their expectations for the future, as three key on-chain metrics suggest that a return to the record highs of $4,800 may not be imminent.
The first metric that is yet to pick up steam is daily transactions, which remain lower than the levels seen this time last year.
Crypto analytics firm The Block’s data shows that the 7-day moving average of daily transactions is currently just above one million, well below the record highs of approximately 1.65 million seen in 2021.
Similarly, the number of daily active addresses interacting with the Ethereum blockchain also remains below its level this time last year. According to The Block, the 7-day moving average of active addresses was last around 400,000, which is significantly below its record high of around 750,000 in 2021.
The final key metric that is yet to show significant growth is the number of new addresses being created on the Ethereum network each day. The Block’s data indicates that the seven-day moving average was last around 67,000, compared to 80,000 this time last year.
These three metrics, when combined, serve as a proxy for demand for the Ethereum blockchain. Until they show a significant improvement, it is difficult to make a case for a rally back to the record highs of 2021.
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