December 5, 2023


The second quarter of 2023 brought a set of significant challenges for the Ethereum network, as it faced a sharp decline in revenue and daily active addresses. The platform’s revenue plummeted by 33.3%, dropping from $1.27 billion to $847 million during Q2. This decrease in revenue reflects a decline in overall activity on the Ethereum network, especially in the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) market, which experienced a lean period marked by a lack of growth and an increase in hack incidents. Let’s explore the reasons behind these challenges and how Ethereum is still holding its ground as the leading blockchain for DeFi.

DeFi Market Struggles:

During Q2 2023, the DeFi market faced a challenging time with a lack of significant growth and unfavorable events. Hack incidents in the DeFi sector increased by a staggering 63%, leading to losses of $228 million across 79 hacks. This surge in hacks contributed to a decline in user confidence and resulted in a reduction in the overall value locked (TVL) in DeFi protocols. Notably, more than 90% of the total TVL was accounted for by Ether-based protocols.

Ethereum’s Revenue Decline:

Ethereum’s revenue decline was primarily caused by the reduced activity on the platform due to the DeFi market’s struggles. The network revenue encompasses transaction fees paid by users to Ether validators and the portion of charges removed from circulation through burning. The significant drop in revenue highlights the impact of the decline in user engagement on the Ethereum network during Q2 2023.

Daily Active Addresses Drop:

In addition to the revenue decline, Ethereum also experienced a notable drop of 6% in daily active addresses during Q2 2023. Daily active addresses are a metric that measures the number of unique wallet addresses conducting transactions on the Ether blockchain per day. Despite the ongoing bear market, the decline in daily active addresses wasn’t severe, indicating a level of resilience in user activity on the platform.

Ethereum’s Resilience and Future Prospects:

Despite the challenges faced during Q2 2023, Ethereum remains a key player in the DeFi space. The platform continues to account for more than 50% of the Total Value Locked (TVL) across all blockchains, solidifying its position as the leading blockchain for DeFi activity. Layer 2 blockchains like Arbitrum and Polygon, built on top of Ethereum, are also thriving, further enhancing the network’s appeal.


Ethereum faced significant challenges in the second quarter of 2023, including a decline in revenue and daily active addresses due to struggles in the DeFi market. However, the platform remains a dominant force in DeFi, accounting for the majority of the Total Value Locked (TVL) across all blockchains. As Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin’s recent proposal suggests, continuous efforts to enhance the network’s usability and scalability are crucial in attracting a broader user base and ensuring its continued success in the future.

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