Arbitrum and Optimism Transactions Now Exceed Ethereum Mainnet

Optimism and Arbitrum are reaping the benefits of cheaper, faster transactions


Shizume/ modified by Blockworks


Ethereum layer-2 rollups Arbitrum and Optimism have seen an uptick in their daily transactions over the past few months. Ethereum, meanwhile, is seeing a slight downtrend.

Arbitrum and Optimism are optimistic rollups designed to reduce the cost of transactions for the use of Ethereum dapps.

Both platforms have seen an uptick in daily active users recently, data compiled by Blockworks Research shows, with Optimism recently overtaking Arbitrum for daily active addresses and transactions per day.​​

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Martin Lee, data journalist at Nansen, told Blockworks that as time goes by, these ecosystems are becoming more developed — which may be one of the reasons as to why they are seeing a spike in active users and transactions.

​”DeFi protocols GMX for example is one of the key protocols driving Arbitrum’s active users and transactions,” Lee said. “Sushiswap’s activity on Arbitrum is seeing an increase as well due to the recent spike and revival of MAGIC,” a gaming-related token.

The number of transactions on Arbitrum has been steadily increasing since its Nitro upgrade in August, information on blockchain analytics platform Nansen shows. 

This upgrade, which was completed prior to the Ethereum Merge, increased Arbitrum’s throughput capacity by more than 7-to-10 times that of the Ethereum mainnet — hastening transaction speeds and reducing costs and requirements to run nodes.

These improvements may also be the reason why many new projects have decided to launch on Arbitrum. 

Some of the most recent projects that have been onboarded to the network include: Bebop DEX, which specializes in one-to-many and many-to-one token trading; automated money flow provider Cask Protocol; on chain-asset management platform Factor; and NFT platform OpenSea

In the case of Optimism, Lee says that, “we’re seeing a similar trend where DeFi protocols are one of the key drivers of adoption of the chain — Perpetual Protocol, Velodrome, Pika Protocol. Another key driver for both chains is Galxe, the on-chain identity and credentials project.” 

The ecosystems also have the two highest total value locked (TVL) across all layer-2 networks, with Arbitrum having a TVL of $2.34  billion, making up over 52% of the entire market share. Optimism has a TVL of $1.27  billion, totaling almost 30% of the entire market share, according to L2beat data.

Arbitrum does not yet have its own governance token, but Optimism’s OP token has posted double-digit gains since the start of 2023.

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