Optimism Loses Much Ground In The L2 Wars, Polygon Remains Undisputed King Of The Hill

CryptoMode EnviDa Blockchain Environmental Data Alameda Research Layer-2 Optimism

There is tremendous focus on scaling the Ethereum blockchain. Many people remain confident L2 solutions will continue to gain momentum, even if statistics disagree. Especially Optimism is falling hard in transactions lately.

Optimism L2 Hits A Snafu

When the L2 wars began, things got very exciting on the scalability frontier. Ethereum was hampered by technical constraints and often spiked to expensive fees for no immediate reason. That is problematic for the go-to network for decentralized finance, smart contracts, NFTs, and blockchain gaming. However, the momentum surrounding Layer-2 networks has evaporated a bit, and the long-term game comes into the picture.

Building initial hype and momentum is always the easy part. Combine it with a token airdrop, and people may stick around a bit longer. In addition, users will build more hype by boosting social mentions for the L2 they are excited about. Unfortunately, that momentum will evaporate quickly once the initial hype dies down. Without solid technical fundamentals and ongoing growth, smaller L2s are likely to disappear into obscurity.

Per this dashboard, most of the momentum for the “primary” L2 networks is gone. Polygon hasn’t surpassed 3 million daily ERC20 transactions for a while but has topped 2 million after a dip. Arbitrum struggles to sustain over 750,000 daily ERC20 transactions per day. Optimism has seemingly fallen off a cliff and lost over 50% of its ERC20 volume in the past few days. 

Things look very similar for ERC721 transfers. Again, Polygon is the only notable entity here, with Arbiturm and Optimism being virtually non-existent. Polygon notes ongoing growth for ETH transactions, which is interesting, whereas Arbitrum and Optimism drop off. That is a surprising turn of events, although it may coincide with the announced Ethereum Shanghai upgrade. That triggers much excitement, even if it will take another month and a half to go live. 

Wallets By Chain Confirm Polygon Dominance

Cryptocurrency users enjoy using L2 solutions to scale Ethereum. However, Polygon maintains a substantial first-mover advantage. It has seen tremendous growth in the total number of wallets on its network. In early August 2022, the network had roughly 650,000 wallets. Today, it has over 14.1 million. That is remarkable growth and shows people see merit in using Polygon as an L2. The network has also been integrated into OpenSea, Uniswap, and other popular dApps. 

Unfortunately, Arbitrum and Optimism have less stellar growth. Their total wallet count increases over time, though. Arbitrum (62916) and Optimism (103460) saw their numbers increase to 1,402,275 and 1,134,134, respectively. However, it confirms Arbitrum overtook Optimism and outpaced it for overall growth in recent months. That is remarkable, as the daily new wallets by chain show Optimism should have an advantage since mid-December 2022. 

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