Layer 2 and DeFi Shine in 2023 as NFTs Lose Their Luster: Nansen

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Layer 2 and DeFi Shine in 2023 as NFTs Lose Their Luster: Nansen
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In 2023, the Ethereum blockchain witnessed intriguing transformations in the way users and entities engage. According to Nansen’s recent report, there has been a remarkable surge, with more than 300,000 daily active Ethereum addresses.

Among these active addresses, DeFi entities have maintained their position as the dominant players. As of October 12th, 2023, DeFi users alone outnumbered NFT and layer 2 scaling users by more than twice, solidifying the sector’s central role in on-chain activities.

‘Layer 2, Bridging, and Infrastructure’ Sector Booms

In terms of new users, layer 2 activities have seen a notable uptick. Nansen’s report states that this indicates a shift towards scalability solutions, with new users increasingly embracing layer 2 platforms as their initial choice.

The transition also aligns with a broader trend where the user counts for layer 2 and scaling have seen substantial growth, driven by the adoption of more efficient layer 2 infrastructure and the potential for airdrop farmers.

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A closer examination of entity interactions confirms these trends. While nearly all sectors have experienced growth in year-to-date incoming transaction counts, the ‘Layer 2, Bridging, and Infrastructure’ category has led the way with a remarkable 149.28% increase.

NFT Sector on Decline, but DeFi Remains Resilient

NFT users surpassed DeFi users at times in 2022 before starting a sharp decline from the start of 2023. In fact, the daily user count in this sector has taken a plunge by over 50% since the beginning of the year.

This is in contrast to the layer 1/scaling users, which significantly rose in March, coinciding with zkSync’s public mainnet launch and Arbitrum’s airdrop, before retracing its steps to previous levels in May.

Subsequently, the number of users in the “scaling” category saw another increase and has remained relatively stable since June. It’s important to note that the DeFi user group is the most dominant among these clusters.

“Additionally, another interesting observation of the above is that the DeFi user count seems to have reached a ‘cruise’ speed, sitting slightly below bull market levels.”

In contrast, the ‘NFT, Gaming, and GambleFi sector’ has seen a 61.4% decline in activity, mirroring the drop in new NFT-focused users.

Moreover, the number of users engaging with NFT entities has continued to decline throughout 2023, underscoring the decreasing appeal of the NFT sector to new wallet holders. At the beginning of the year, NFTs constituted more than 24% of initial actions by new users, but by October 12th, this figure had dwindled to slightly above 6%.

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