Bernstein: Crypto User Activity Is Moving On-Chain Following FTX’s Collapse

Crypto user activity is moving on-chain following the collapse of crypto exchange FTX and its affiliated trading arm, Alameda Research, last month as self-custody comes back into vogue, Bernstein said in a research report Wednesday.

More investors are storing crypto in their own wallets instead of with centralized exchanges, and that is reflected in higher trading volumes and user growth for decentralized-finance (DeFi) spot and derivatives trading platforms, the report said. DeFi is an umbrella term for a variety of financial applications carried out on blockchains.

On-chain data shows “higher momentum on user acquisition, and activation post-FTX.” In the past 60 days, both revenue and the number of transactions have grown, analysts Gautam Chhugani and Manas Agrawal wrote.

While these are early trends, the transition to on-chain markets, with their greater transparency, is a positive development in “crypto’s journey to rebuilding customer and policy-makers’ trust,” Bernstein said.

The Arbitrum and Optimism blockchains are seeing the strongest momentum in user growth and in transaction and revenue momentum since the FTX unwind, the note said. On-chain momentum indicates which blockchains are driving more economic activity and thus benefiting from investor flows, the note added.

Solana, which was viewed as the native blockchain for the FTX/Alameda ecosystem, is deteriorating the most. Users have moved to other chains following the demise of Sam Bankman-Fried’s empire, the report said.

Binance Smart Chain has made modest gains in active user trends over the same period, the report added.

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