For a few months now, the non-zero addresses of Ethereum, namely those with a positive balance, have literally skyrocketed.
In fact, not all addresses used for transactions recorded on the blockchain have a positive balance, because some are used and then emptied.
According to a chart published on Twitter, in the first half of last year, the total number of Ethereum addresses with positive balance exceeded Bitcoin’s and since then has continued to grow.
Addresses with a balance in bitcoin
As far as the Bitcoin blockchain is concerned, the growth of this metric was sustained especially at the end of 2017 and actually started to fall between January and March 2018.
Later, starting in April, it slowly resumed its growth, with a slightly stronger growth beginning in February 2019. It was only in 2020 that the number of Bitcoin addresses with a positive balance returned to be higher than the peak in January 2018.
As for Ethereum, however, the trend was definitely different. In fact, the growth has never stopped, with a first major peak in the first half of 2018, followed by a more limited growth until mid-2019, when it started to surge again.
By now there are 40 million public addresses on the Ethereum blockchain with a positive balance, while those of Bitcoin remain at 30 million.
It’s very likely that the boost for this latest surge came from the success of DeFi tools, although this was certainly not the only reason for the recent growth, and this is confirmed by the fact that also the number of public addresses with positive balance on the Bitcoin blockchain has been growing steadily since mid-2019.
These data have been gathered by Glassnode, that commented on the achievement of 40 million, saying:
“There are now 40 million Ethereum addresses holding ETH. That’s an increase of more than 350% since ETH saw its ATH price in early 2018”.
It’s actually quite astonishing that, unlike Bitcoin, this metric hasn’t recorded a first absolute maximum peak in conjunction with the price, since the number of addresses with a positive ETH balance has continued to grow even after reaching the maximum price peak, whereas instead, a few weeks after reaching the bitcoin price peak, the number of addresses with BTC has started to decrease.
This reveals that the ETH cryptocurrency seems not the only one to influence the use of the Ethereum network, whose scope now goes well beyond its native cryptocurrency, used for example to pay for ERC20, ERC721 or other token transactions on the Ethereum blockchain.