• Ethereum generated the highest revenue in Q1 2023, amounting to nearly 2.8 times the combined revenue of all other featured L1s.
• Despite a resurgence in market cap across L1 smart contract platforms, network usage fell slightly by 2.5%.
• USDT has now taken the center stage as a result of a temporary USDC depeg and the halt in BUSD issuance.
Q1 Surge in Layer-1 Smart Contract Platforms
Q1 2023 saw an average 83% market cap increase in Layer-1 (L1) smart contract platforms, despite a 2.5% decrease in network usage. Stacks, which has been energized by renewed interest in Bitcoin programmability, emerged as one of the top performers.
Shift in Stablecoin Market Dynamics
The shifting landscape of stablecoins was driven by the temporary USDC depeg and pause on BUSD issuance from Paxos, leading to an increased dominance of Tether (USDT). This change particularly favored TRON, with its stablecoin market cap increasing by 30%.
Staked Token Uptick
In terms of staked tokens, every network experienced a quarter-on-quarter increase during Q1 2023 – with Stacks and Solana taking the lead at 403% and 125%, respectively. Interestingly, this surge outpaced their respective market cap growths, suggesting an overall net uptick in staked native tokens.
Validator Count Variation Across Networks
A crucial factor that varies across networks is validator count – something that does not always standardize across blockchain ecosystems. Ethereum; Avalanche; Cardano; Polkadot; and Harmony are examples of networks that employ some form of stake-weight limit for validators on their platform.
Ethereum Dominates Revenue Generation
Ethereum maintained its status quo across several key financial and ecosystem metrics – driving its revenue up to $457M through high usage and gas fees. This figure was almost 2.8x higher than the combined revenue earned by all other featured L1s during Q1 2023.