KEY POINTS

  • In the first 5 years, Ethereum has more addresses than Bitcoin in the same time frame
  • Ethereum addresses increased drastically during the ICO Boom of 2017
  • Excitement over decentralized finance is expected to increase the rate of address creation on Ethereum

Ahead of its fifth year anniversary, Ethereum has experienced more growth than Bitcoin when it comes to the number of addresses created on the blockchain. 

In the first five years of both coins, there are more addresses created on the Ethereum blockchain than on the Bitcoin blockchain. Bitcoin, in its first 10 days only had 1,098 addresses. Ethereum had 10,730 addresses in the same time frame. In the next 100 days, Bitcoin had 11,628 while Ethereum had 30,968.

The trend continues to this day when there are now 107,214,054 addresses created on Ethereum and 25,369,974 on Bitcoin, based on the data gathered through Etherscan and Glassnode by Cointelegraph

A user needs a crypto wallet to store their coins. That wallet is actually an address in the blockchain, publicly viewable by everyone. Only the user, who possesses the private key to that address, can access it and do anything with the funds inside. In theory, no one knows who owns a specific address in the blockchain but the user themselves, except if the address is created through apps like Coinbase. In that case, Coinbase would know. 

Cointelegraph noted how the rate of adoption in both blockchain’s first 600 days was almost the same. Bitcoin, being the first cryptocurrency created, had fewer addresses in its early days because it was a novel idea at the time. When Vitalik Buterin published the Ethereum whitepaper in January 2014, there were already 67 cryptocurrencies listed on CoinMarketCap.

The rate of addresses on Ethereum has increased drastically in 2017. This was the year of the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) boom when coin projects were built on top of the Ethereum blockchain. The number of cryptocurrencies grew drastically in 2017 and 2018, most of them built on Ethereum. Major platforms at that time like Tron were on Ethereum before they moved to their own blockchain.

The rate of addresses created on Bitcoin during the ICO boom was just gradual. The ICO boom catapulted Ethereum to become a major blockchain on its own.

The number of addresses does not necessarily equate to the number of users because a user might have different addresses. Just like during the ICO boom, the current excitement in decentralized finance (DeFi) is expected to add more addresses in the world’s second-largest blockchain.

Ethereum, Bitcoin In this photo illustration, visual representations of the digital Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin and Ethereum are pictured atop a Japanese 10,000 yen note on March 20, 2020 in Katwijk, Netherlands. Photo: Yuriko Nakao/Getty Images