• Q1 2023 saw an average 83% market cap increase in L1 smart contract platforms, despite a 2.5% decrease in network usage.
• Ethereum maintained its dominance across several key financial and ecosystem metrics, generating $457M in revenue.
• USDT replaced USDC as the dominant stablecoin, particularly benefitting TRON which experienced a 30% boost in its stablecoin market cap.
Q1 2023 Market Performance
Q1 2023 has seen an average 83% market cap increase in Layer-1 (L1) smart contract platforms, despite a 2.5% decrease in network usage. Stacks emerged as a top performer due to renewed interest in Bitcoin programmability, while Ethereum maintained its dominance across several key financial and ecosystem metrics, generating $457M in revenue.
Stablecoin Market Reshuffle
The shifting landscape of stablecoins was driven by the temporary USDC depeg and halt in the issuance of Paxos’ BUSD, leading to an increased dominance of Tether (USDT). This change particularly favoured TRON, which witnessed a 30% boost in its stablecoin market cap.
Staked Tokens Surge
Every network experienced a quarter-on-quarter increase in USD terms during Q1 for staked tokens; with Stacks (403%) and Solana (125%) taking the lead. The surge in total staked tokens outpaced their respective market cap growths, implying a net uptick in staked native tokens.
A crucial aspect of the blockchain ecosystem is validator count – this varies across networks and doesn’t strictly standardize. Networks like Ethereum, Avalanche, Cardano, Polkadot, and Harmony employ some form of stake-weight limit when it comes to validators on their networks.
Overall Q1 2023 presented an interesting performance for L1 smart contract platforms; Ethereum maintained its position at the top while other networks such as Stacks and Solana also made impressive strides forward with increased revenues from staking activities and high network usage respectively.