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Analysis
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Most Popular Layer 1 Cryptocurrencies

4.2
| by
Julia Ng
-

With over 3,578 coins and tokens on its network and a TVL (USD) of $32 billion, Ethereum is the most popular Layer 1 cryptocurrency, followed by BNB Chain and Avalanche. As the first blockchain to launch with smart contract capabilities, Ethereum largely benefited from its first-mover advantage to capture market share. Its active developer community gave rise to a wide range of decentralized applications serving various use-cases, from decentralized finance (DeFi) to gaming and NFTs.

 

The blockchain explorer Etherscan is commonly used to track real-time transactions and review token approvals on the Ethereum network. Interestingly, Ethereum achieved 1 million transactions on its network in 140 days. The recent ‘Shapella’ upgrade enabled users to withdraw millions of staked Ether (ETH), Ethereum’s native cryptocurrency.

Notable cryptocurrencies within the Ethereum ecosystem are Dai (DAI), Uniswap (UNI), and stablecoins Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC).

Other Popular Layer 1s: BNB Chain and Avalanche 

BNB Chain (formerly Binance Smart Chain) is the second most popular Layer 1 blockchain, after Ethereum, with 2,992 cryptocurrencies within its ecosystem and a TVL of $5 billion. 

Developed by centralized crypto exchange Binance, BNB Chain is designed to facilitate the decentralized transfer and trading of assets. Its popularity can be attributed to its EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine)-compatibility, as it means that developers can build and migrate dApps from and to other EVM-compatible chains easily. The BNB Chain comprises of the BNB Beacon Chain (governance) and BNB Smart Chain (consensus layers and smart contract platform), and uses a modified version of the Tendermint consensus algorithm, also known as the Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) and delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS). The blockchain explorer BscScan is used to track transactions on the BNB network. Binance Coin (BNB) is the native cryptocurrency of the BNB ecosystem.

Avalanche, created by Ava Labs, is the third most popular Layer 1 blockchain with over 343 cryptocurrencies and a TVL of $865 million. It is an open-source, proof-of-stake blockchain with smart contract functionality, and prioritizes scalability and transaction speeds. Like BNB Chain, it is also EVM-compatible. Its native token AVAX (AVAX) is used to secure its network and process transaction fees. Popular coins on the Avalanche network include Aave (AAVE), JOE (JOE), QI (BENQI).

The top 10 most popular Layer 1 blockchain ecosystems by Total Value Locked (USD) and no. of cryptocurrencies are:

Rank Layer 1 Ecosystem Total Value Locked (USD) No. of Cryptocurrencies
1 Ethereum 32.1B 3578
2 BNB Chain 5.1B 2992
3 Avalanche 865.5M 343
4 Fantom 470.7M 268
5 Cronos 377.5M 82
6 Solana 293.1M 149
7 Cardano 170.7M 29
8 Algorand 143.6M 26
9 Celo 135.3M 12
10 Canto 134.0M 17

 

Methodology

This study examines the 10 most popular Layer 1 blockchain ecosystems, based on Total Value Locked (TVL) in USD from DefilLama, and the number of coins and tokens, collectively known as ‘cryptocurrencies’, as listed on CoinGecko Crypto Categories, as of April 16, 2023.


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Curious to find out more about our previous research studies? Check out our Stablecoins Statistics: 2023 Report.

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Julia Ng
Julia Ng
Julia leads Growth at CoinGecko and is passionate about onboarding more women onto Web3. That said, she is generally poor at timing the market, so she DCAs for safety. Follow the author on Twitter @ngxinyajulia

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