James Wang looks at the state of Ethereum as if it was a software company. If it was a business hosting an earnings call each quarter, what would we think of its financial and performance metrics?
2020 was a banner year so far for the platform. Some choice stats, emphasis mine:
- Transaction volume
- Decentralized exchange (DEX) volume increased 76x to $177 billion in Q1 2021, compared with $2.3 billion in Q1 2020.
- Decentralized Finance (DeFi) total value locked increased 64x to 52 billion in Q1 2021, compared with $0.8 billion in Q1 2020.
- Metamask — the popular Ethereum wallet for desktop and mobile—reached 4 million monthly active users (MAUs) in Q1 and crossed 5 million MAUs in April. Metamask mobile saw strong global growth, especially in India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Nigeria. Metamask’s MAUs is now comparable to mainstream consumer applications such as Robinhood and Clubhouse.
- Visa announced that it now settles payments in the USDC stablecoin on the Ethereum blockchain. This makes Visa the first major payments network to use stablecoin as a settlement currency.
Before “ETH-pilling” myself a couple months ago, I had been boxing Ethereum simplistically in with Bitcoin as “another cryptocurrency”. But once down the rabbit hole, you realize that the only similarity between ETH and BTC is blockchain. What’s built on top of each’s blockchain is wildly different. Bitcoin has largely found its home as “digital gold”, solving the store-of-value problem in a hardened, digital way.
Ethereum is different. It helped me to think of it as a distributed and decentralized “global computer” — a secure hive-mind on top of which you can build entire applications using its native programming language. More than Bitcoin, it’s a store-of-value, smart contract platform, and financial infrastructure for the internet age. Ether, it’s currency, is the coin of the realm to do stuff on the Ethereum network.
The more I read and invest, the more exciting it gets. Ethereum creates a network for trustless interaction between people and organizations, buyers and sellers, creators and consumers, native to the internet.
Until now we’ve had to make do with meatspace-based infrastructure for most of our interactions with one another via the internet. Now we have a burgeoning ecosystem for a true web3.