A guide to The Block's data dashboard
January 9, 2021, 12:50PM EST · 7 min read
- Data for The Block’s data dashboard is sourced from partners Alchemy, bybt, Coin Metrics, CryptoCompare, Digital Assets Data, Dune Analytics, Flipside Crypto, Genesis Global Trading, Glassnode, IntoTheBlock, Kaiko, skew, The TIE, and Vision Hill Group.
- The dashboard was launched in October with around 70 charts. Today, the dashboard features 132 charts. Areas of interest covered range from crypto markets (prices, exchange volumes) to on-chain activity (transactions, fees) to decentralized finance (stablecoins, DEXs).
- This article is an overview of the charts included on the dashboards, why those charts have been chosen, and what can be learned by following them — as well as pointing out interesting recent trends.
The Block's data dashboard is available via this link or the navigation bar under "Data".
There are four major categories on the data dashboard, each of which has multiple sub-categories:
- Markets. Everything related to the crypto trading activity. This includes spot, futures, and options markets — with regards to cryptocurrency and token prices and trading volumes. Also included is data about companies that are active in the cryptocurrency industry.
- On-chain metrics. Primarily focused on activity on the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchain. This category intends to showcase how usage, transactions, fees, and security is developing on the respective blockchains.
- Decentralized finance (DeFi). Protocols that provide trust-minimized financial services, such as decentralized exchange, lending, and stablecoins.
- Alternative metrics. Additional information related to social traffic and overall interest in cryptocurrencies and tokens.
Charts are organized within a category to reflect their popularity. The charts at the top of the page tend to be simpler and more commonly cited, and scrolling down will give deeper and increasingly advanced insights.
Most charts are updated daily, especially those related to exchange (prices, volumes, etc.) and blockchain (DeFi, on-chain metrics, etc.) data — this is the case for most monthly charts as well, where the ongoing month will be shown with incomplete data.
Charts that are updated monthly or quarterly often rely on manual reporting, such as quarterly reports for certain companies.
Users can select individual data points (e.g. a single cryptocurrency exchange among many) by double-clicking the name via the legend. All the charts show the five largest results, and by clicking on "Expand" at the bottom of the chart all results are separated.
Via the "Share" link, there's an option to share on social media, as an image, or even to embed on another website.
If it's unclear what the contents of the chart are, see the "More info" button for a description of the chart's contents.
The focus of the Spot sub-category is trading volumes on centralized exchanges. Trade volumes on cryptocurrency exchanges reached an all-time high of $379.3 billion in December 2020. The exchanges selected for this chart have been selected among those with the highest trade volume and trustworthy reporting of metrics.
Binance currently facilitates approximately 55% of trade volumes, and the second-largest exchange is Coinbase at 14%.
Among the advanced charts, an interesting data point to follow the share of trade volume by pair denomination. This chart shows how the role of BTC in trading pairs has decreased over time, with traders preferring USD pairs. Tether reached peak dominance at 64% in September but has since dropped slightly.
Futures and Options
- Open interest.
- Trade volume.
- Market share.
As a proxy for institutional activity, CME activity is highlighted with extra information around the distribution of long and short positions, separation by trader category, etc.
For example, the large open interest holders CME bitcoin futures chart shows the total number of reportable traders that hold at least 5 bitcoin contracts open (>25BTC).
The Prices category is split between the comparison of different cryptocurrencies — as well as cryptocurrencies vs. traditional financial indices.
The Block's DeFi index includes AAVE, BAL, COMP, LRC, KNC, MKR, NXM, REN, REP, SNX, UMA, UNI, YFI, and ZRX. These DeFi tokens have been chosen because they are DeFi projects with real economic activity, and are either decentralized or have a clear roadmap for decentralization.
A recent addition to our charts is the market capitalization comparison of BTC to traditional finance. This includes Gold, Tesla, S&P 500, etc. BTC is now at 5.8% of gold's market capitalization with a sharp rise in the past few months.
Growth metrics for companies in the cryptocurrency industry, or activity relating to cryptocurrencies from known investors. This includes Square, Silvergate, Genesis Global Trading, and Ripple.
In Q3 2020, Bitcoin sales made 4% of Square's total revenue, with a total gross profit of $32 million from Bitcoin sales.
Due to high interest, we have separated Grayscale metrics into their own sub-category. The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust currently holds over 600,000 BTC worth $21.3 billion and generated an estimated $26 million from fees just during December.
Our data dashboard tracks the trade volume, premiums, and total holdings of both the Bitcoin and Ethereum trusts.
2. On-chain metrics
Bitcoin and Ethereum
For both Bitcoin and Ethereum, this category shows the number of transactions, on-chain transfer volume, transaction fees, miner revenue, and hash power securing the network. These are separated into daily (with a seven-day moving average) and monthly charts to get a picture with different granularities.
The daily on-chain volume for BTC transfers has been roughly at the same level as during the 2017 bubble.
An interesting difference between the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains is the percentage of miner revenue coming from block subsidies vs. transaction fees. For Ethereum, the percentage of transaction fees from miner revenue has been near 40%, while for Bitcoin the same number is 8%
A recent trend on Ethereum has been skyrocketing transaction fees, with the median transaction costing about $7 today and many common smart contract interactions costing upwards of $30.
The public capacity of the Lightning Network has stayed constant in BTC terms, and in total there is around $31.6 million locked in Lightning Network payment channels.
The Comparison sub-category shows direct comparisons between Bitcoin and Ethereum across these metrics.
3. Decentralized finance (DeFi)
Perhaps the area of DeFi with the most product-market fit in 2020 were stablecoins. The total supply has grown from the start of 2020 at $5.9 billion to over $30 billion today. Most of the issued stablecoins are custodial, backed by trusted entities (e.g. Coinbase and Circle for USDC). DAI is the largest decentralized stablecoin with a supply of $1.3 billion. USDT makes up 75% of the current supply.
Over the past four months, there has been $600 billion in stablecoin transfer volume.
The Lending sub-category tracks activity from the three largest lending protocols in DeFi -- MakerDAO, Compound, and Aave. Debt from MakerDAO is denominated in the stablecoin DAI, whereas Compound and Aave allow users to borrow from a pool of many cryptocurrencies and tokens.
For Aave and Compound, the dashboard showcases the distribution of debt among the available assets. Typically, users borrow stablecoins to leverage long other cryptocurrencies or tokens. Borrowing cryptocurrencies or tokens is often done to short or participate in liquidity mining for various DeFi protocols.
Decentralized Exchange (DEXs)
Decentralized exchange volumes have hovered around $20 billion during the past four months. The market leader historically has been Uniswap, but recently Sushiswap and Curve have increased their market share.
In September, DEXs peaked at 15.7% of trade volumes on centralized exchanges.
An interesting aspect of DEXs is that to end-users, it doesn't matter which liquidity source they use -- traders only care about best execution. This means that user interfaces that build on many DEX protocols can split orders between multiple sources to ensure the best prices. These DEX aggregators are increasing in popularity.
The Assets sub-category contains various metrics on ownership of tokens, and how much of a given token is currently in another protocol. The most notable examples of this are the amount of BTC on the Ethereum blockchain and the amount of ETH locked in ETH2 staking.
Currently, there's $4.9 billion in BTC or 0.7% of the total circulating supply on Ethereum. ETH2 stakers are earning a yield via staking rewards, but also have their ETH locked up on the ETH2 beacon chain potentially for over a year without being able to withdraw.
4. Alternative metrics
The alternative metrics are focused on web site traffic, google searches, and social metrics. From the time we have tracked exchange web traffic, December 2020 was the all-time high with 196 million visits. Coinbase and Binance are responsible for about half of this activity.
Google search volumes show the relative growth of search volumes. Uniswap is used as a proxy for interest in decentralized finance.
Similar to Google search volumes, tweets mentioning Bitcoin have recently been on an uptrend as well.
The latest addition to our additional metrics is the crypto app store, which plots the ranks of popular crypto apps on the Apple and Google app stores in the U.S. The lower the value the most popular the app.
We are consistently adding charts. The dashboard was launched in October with around 70 charts. Today, the dashboard features 132 charts. Every area of interest covered from crypto markets (prices, exchange volumes) to on-chain activity (transactions, fees) and decentralized finance (stablecoins, DEXs).
If there's data you wish to see on the data dashboard that is currently not available, please contact us via [email protected].
Data for The Block's data dashboard is sourced from partners Alchemy, bybt, Coin Metrics, CryptoCompare, Digital Assets Data, Dune Analytics, Flipside Crypto, Genesis Global Trading, Glassnode, IntoTheBlock, Kaiko, skew, The TIE, and Vision Hill Group.
© 2021 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.