Ethereum layer-2 scaling solution Arbitrum has seen a massive surge in activity since its Nitro update in August, having just clocked around 62% as many transactions as the Ethereum base layer.
In a Nov. 1 report, crypto research firm Delphi Digital noted that as of the week ended Oct. 24, Arbitrum’s number of total transactions has increased by 550% since August, citing data from Dune Analytics.
— Delphi Digital (@Delphi_Digital) November 3, 2022
In an earlier Tweet, Delphi Digital initially phrased Arbitrum as accounting for 62% of all transactions on Ethereum, which they later clarified was “incorrect phrasing”.
Arbitrum is an optimistic roll-up built by blockchain development firm Offchain Labs, aimed at scaling Ethereum smart contracts. It uses Optimistic Rollup technology to bundle large batches of transactions off-chain from Ethereum smart contracts and decentralized applications before submitting them to Ethereum.
A number of well-known protocols use Arbitrum, such as decentralized exchanges SushiSwap, Uniswap and GMX, lending protocol Aave and liquidity transport protocol Stargate. According to L2Beat, at the time of writing it has a current total-value-locked (TVL) of $2.59 billion.
Delphi analysts noted that weekly active users had spiked on Arbitrum, having grown 125% since Oct. 10 to reach a new high of 282,000 in the week ending Oct. 24.
The analysts also suggest that much of the surge in activity is likely driven by speculators trying to boost their on-chain activity in the hope of receiving a larger airdrop for a native token which has been hinted at by Offchain Labs co-founder Steven Goldfeder.
On Aug. 31 the Arbitrum One mainnet upgraded to Nitro, which Offchain Labs claimed in an Apr. 7 post would result in reduced transaction costs while increasing network capacity, adding:
“While Arbitrum today is already 90–95% cheaper than Ethereum on average, Nitro cuts our costs even further.”
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The low fees have resulted in various players from within the crypto ecosystem wanting to integrate with Arbitrum One, and on Nov. 1 decentralized finance (DeFi) optimization tool Furocombo, capital raising protocol Aelin, and insurance protocol Y2K Finance each announced they were live on the popular scaling solution.
On Oct. 13 Offchain Labs announced they had acquired one of the core development teams behind the Ethereum Merge, Prysmatic Labs, which it hopes will enable greater communication and collaboration between developments on both layers.