This is issue #48 of the on-chain analytics newsletter that reaches 6000 crypto investors every week 📈
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This week our contributor analysts cover Emerging Networks: Polkadot, Celo, Kadena and Handshake.
Contributor: Bruno Škvorc, Technical Educator at Web3 Foundation.
On-chain governance remains a controversial topic in the blockchain space. With various DeFi projects adopting token-based governance wholesale and other layer-1 contenders attempting to implement their own native versions, Polkadot ran out of the gate with binding auto-enforceable tricameral governance, thanks in big part to its crazy cousin, Kusama network, paving the way. Since launch and decentralization, Polkadot has enacted 9 out of 12 referenda, 6 of which were runtime upgrades — changes to the blockchain’s core logic.
Polkadot’s on-chain treasury - another controversial topic in blockchain land - has seen a lot of action as well: so far, the Treasury has doled out almost 100,000 DOT (~$500,000 USD) in a completely decentralized way, averaging 6100 DOT (~$27,000 USD) per proposal.
Compared to its canary network, Kusama, Polkadot looks quite conservative - Kusama’s Treasury gave away over 57,000 KSM (~$1.5 million USD), averaging around ~$50,000 USD per project.
Projects funded range from UIs and wallets to events and art installations, so interested teams are encouraged to apply. A comprehensive funding options video is available here.
Since inception, the validator and nominator communities (and thus economic security) of both Kusama and Polkadot have experienced incredible growth. Kusama, having started with 20 validators, grew to 700 backed by 2300+ nominators for a total of ~5 million staked KSM or a value of 175 million USD.
Polkadot went a step further in a much shorter time period, having gone from 20 validators with a few dozen nominators on each, to 233 validators and a total of 7000+ nominators. These economic actors have altogether staked a whopping 652 million DOT, or a total of around 3 billion USD value — 49% of all KSM and 65% of all DOT in existence is locked in the staking system at the moment of writing.
Unconventional blockchain features like on-chain identity and Kusama’s “Human Blockchain Project” have also flourished beyond expectations. Specifically, Kusama currently boasts 340 identities registered, while Polkadot has 257. These are mostly validators looking to increase their reputation factor by including real-world information about their setup on-chain so that potential nominators can know who they’re backing. Kusama’s funky Society (something akin to a DAO), which makes a blockchain out of people who tattoo themselves with the chain logo and the account index of the most recently added member, now counts 30 members with 5 more bidding to join! That’s 30 bodies with tattoos of a black canary bird out there in the wild.
The Covid lockdown coupled with novel technology and a plethora of hackathons resulted in substantial developer adoption. Since the last Our Network report in January when Substrate had ~600 Github stars, over 2500 new developers have starred the repository, indicating a rapidly growing interest in this battle-tested blockchain framework. The Polkadot repository alone has gone from 150 to ~1800 in that same timeframe. Our two main hackathon events - Hackusama and the Gitcoin Hello World event (the largest Gitcoin event to date by participation) - had 503 and 1061 participants respectively.
Contributor: Claire Belmont, Partner & Product at cLabs
Celo is a mobile-first platform with a native stable asset Celo Dollars (cUSD) and a mission to build a financial system that creates conditions of prosperity for all. Since the launch of the network on Earth Day, April 22 2020, the number of addresses has grown to 30,000 and weekly active addresses to 13,000. The latter increased 500% since the beta launch of the Valora mobile wallet in early September and since then, the wallet has been used in over 46 countries.
Since mainnet launch, transactions have increased to over 1M, where over the months of September and October the primary use case was sending and accepting payments (~50/50 split). This was driven by the Grameen Foundation COVID-19 cash relief project in the Philippines during that period. More than 80% of the transactions over those months were via BeamAndGo, a Celo Alliance member that allows customers to pay for: food, medicine, supplies, mobile load, personal care, gadgets, gifts, and more at over 800 supermarket branches, 800 pharmacy branches, 2,000 gas stations, and 2,500 convenience stores in the Philippines.
The network reached 15.8M cUSD (Celo Dollars) circulating supply, up 316% from 5M cUSD since its launch at the end of June. This value is collateralized by $244M worth of BTC, ETH, DAI, and CELO. See CeloReserve.org for a detailed breakdown of the collateral.
Since the launch of the network, Celo has offset nearly 1,900 tons of C02 through a carbon offsetting on-chain fund, making Celo carbon negative. The proceeds of the funds are governed by CELO asset owners and currently go to Project Wren, which is a startup that helps individuals and companies offset their carbon footprint. Celo is contributing to the community tree planting project. See details here.
Daily transactions on Kadena's 20-chain sharded network. The Kadena public blockchain was successfully scaled in production from 10 to 20 chains. The varying colors represent chains 0-19. In August, the graph shows the 10 new chains going live. While chain 0 continues to have the most activity because of the applications running on it, transactions have been evenly distributed across the other 19 chains working in parallel.