Bernstein: Arbitrum Has Strongest User Momentum Among Leading Blockchains

There is speculation that a token launch may be near, rewarding early users, a report from Bernstein said.

AccessTimeIconSep 22, 2022 at 11:56 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 22, 2022 at 3:47 p.m. UTC

Will Canny is CoinDesk's finance reporter.

Arbitrum has the strongest user and transaction momentum among the leading blockchains, Bernstein said in a research report Wednesday.

The chain, a so-called "rollup" for the Ethereum blockchain, is expected to maintain its strength, because it increased its lead in both speed and costs with its recent Nitro upgrade. It has also launched a Web3 and gaming chain called Nova, the report said.

Rollups such as Arbitrum and rival layer 2 blockchain Optimism scale the Ethereum network by processing transactions and executing smart contracts – computer programs that run on some blockchains – on their own chains.

Bernstein said it expects a host of trading, gaming and non-fungible-token (NFT) projects to be released on the blockchain. NFTs are digital assets on a blockchain that represent ownership of virtual or physical items and that can be sold or traded.

The broker also noted speculation of a potential Arbitrum token launch in the near term, which could be used to reward early users.

Ethereum’s large user and developer base “will continue to act as a feeder to rollups,” analysts Gautam Chhugani and Manas Agrawal wrote, adding that they “expect a new growth cycle to emerge in crypto as rollups drive mainstream application building on Ethereum.”

Layer 2 blockchains are “providing the first proof of concept that rollups work while relying on the security and settlement network of Ethereum,” the note said. “This retains the relevance of Ethereum and makes it competitive versus peers."

Arbitrum recently paid about 400 ether, worth about $530,000 at the time, to a hacker who flagged a vulnerability in the upgrade. Developers behind the scaling tool had missed a change that would have allowed attackers to steal all funds sent to the network.

CORRECTION (Sept. 22, 15:47 UTC): Corrects dollar value of ether in last paragraph. Original was a factor of 10 too small.

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Will Canny is CoinDesk's finance reporter.

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Will Canny is CoinDesk's finance reporter.