Crypto Economy Snapshot: November 2023

Disclaimer: This article presents a wide array of verifiable on-chain data. The interpretations of the data should not be construed as definitive evidence of direct causality between the data and specific real-world events. Readers are encouraged to use their judgment and conduct further research when drawing conclusions from the data

November was a turbulent but hopeful month for crypto, with multiple breakout moments in terms of DeFi volume and an upswing in NFT trading activity. To highlight the latest trends, we’ve created the Flipside Snapshot Dashboard, which captures a wide range of on-chain activity, including user growth, developer activity, DeFi interactions, and NFT trends across 7 different EVM chains (Ethereum, Polygon, BNB Smart Chain, Arbitrum, Optimism, Avalanche, and Base).

This snapshot summarizes the major on-chain developments that took place this month. Take a look at the dashboards underpinning each section – or access Flipside data for free to create your own custom queries!


  • DEX transaction volume has swung wildly in recent weeks following a news-heavy month, spanning SEC actions against Binance and Kraken and institutional crypto fund headlines. DEX volume peaked at $4.06b on November 9, around the same time rumors broke of a BlackRock ether ETF, and the timing of CZ’s ousting from Binance coincided with the second largest DEX volume spike of the month. Overall, DEX trading volume dropped 20% relative to the start of November, while TVL grew by 13% over the same period.
  • Arbitrum’s strong new user growth and NFT activity may have been impacted by airdrop farmers, who could be expecting Arbitrum to distribute recurring airdrops like Optimism. This takeaway is supported by the variation between new users (avg. ~400k/day) and daily active users (around ~200k/day), and the stable (but relatively stagnant) number of new smart contract deployments.
  • Ethereum L2s generally surpassed direct Ethereum competitors like BNB Smart Chain and Avalanche in terms of new smart contract deployments. Optimism, Polygon, and Base led the pack, and the overall number of contract deployments, while volatile, generally decreased across most networks over the course of the month.

Key November Stats

  • 57m daily active users across all 7 chains
  • 18.9m new wallets that logged one or more transactions
  • 36.3m new smart contract deployments
  • $100.25b in DEX volume (peaking at $2.1b on November 11)
  • 621.4k NFT transactions (valued at $604.9m)

Note: Steep drops at the edges of charts below are due to data being included from the moment of publication, which does not include a full day of data.

Dashboard: Users

Daily Active Users

There were 57 million daily active users (as measured by externally owned accounts EOAs) across the 7 EVM chains we tracked in November, and the number of DAUs regularly surpassed 2 million during this period of time. The number of daily active users did not appear to significantly fluctuate depending on the day of the week for most chains, although BSC activity appeared to dip slightly during most weekends.  

Among these chains, BNB Smart Chain (BSC) had roughly twice as many DAUs as Polygon and Ethereum, followed by the rest of the pack. While this on-chain activity is impressive at a glance, it’s worth noting that on-chain activity, including active user counts, can be artificially boosted using botnets and other automated scripts, and analysis of genuine user activity requires a deeper dive into the data.

New Users

Nearly 19 million new users/wallets that executed at least one transaction were created in November. Most EVM networks experienced a burst in new wallet creation the second week of November, in line with rumors of positive regulatory developments within the US’ Bitcoin and Ethereum ETF landscape, although Polygon and Base were the only networks to achieve sustained new user growth throughout the entire month.

Notably, Arbitrum logged significantly more new users than any other network, with 10.2 million new users in November, followed by BSC and Polygon at 3.9 and 2 million new users, respectively. Arbitrum’s lead in attracting new users has persisted through 2023, even though the network’s daily active user count consistently ranked on the lower end of the 7 networks we tracked. This may be related to speculation on Arbitrum’s upcoming airdrops and ecosystem expansion, following an encouraging Arbitrum Orbit announcement in late October and campaigns like OKX's 'Arbitrum Ecosystem Week'.

Explore user activity in more detail.

Dashboard: Developers

Smart contract mainnet deployments (cumulative & by chain)

Optimism and Polygon led the pack in terms of new smart contract deployments during November, followed by Base and BSC. Interestingly, Aribtrum saw consistently low contract deployments throughout the month despite having extremely high daily new users, and Avalanche consistently ranked at the bottom, in terms of both contract deployments and DAU.

The day-to-day volatility in smart contract deployment totals is mirrored when zooming out to a monthly view, with Optimism accounting for a disproportionately large share of total deployments and BNB Smart Chain deployments dropping off significantly since October. Base saw a massive surge in deployments immediately following launch, outlasting the hype which peaked in August. However, the network has since witnessed a relatively steep dropoff. And while total deployments across all EVM networks has been sporadic over the year, it appears likely that 2023 will end with a significantly higher level than it started.

Discover more smart contract trends here.

Dashboard: DeFi Volume

DEX Volume (cumulative & by chain)

EVM DEX trading volume ebbed and flowed during the month, with some potential correlations with major crypto news cycles – notably SEC activity against Binance and Kraken and multiple headlines regarding the approval status of institutional crypto funds in the US.

Overall, DEX volume peaked during November 9, surpassing $4 billion in USD-denominated trades. This surge coincided with news of BlackRock taking initial steps toward filing for a spot ether ETF in the state of Delaware, and immediately followed reports of the SEC engaging in talks with Grayscale over the firm's application to convert its flagship BTC fund into a spot bitcoin ETF. CZ’s departure as CEO of Binance may have factored into the second largest spike in DEX trading volume on November 21, although volume has since declined relative to the start of the month.

In terms of per-network activity, DEX trading volume on the Ethereum network continued to outweigh all other EVM networks through November, followed by Arbitrum and BSC. Notably, DEX activity on Avalanche consistently surpassed Optimism and Base by a significant margin, even though both networks logged more new users and DAUs throughout November.

DeFi TVL (cumulative & by chain)

Despite the downturn in DEX trading volume, total total value locked (TVL) grew by over $8b since the start of November – a 13.4% increase over the course of the month. One possible reason may be that more crypto users opted to lock their assets in DeFi protocols to earn yield rather than engage in frequent trading, potentially due to market uncertainty or the expectation of future gains.

Uncover more insights on DeFi activity.

Dashboard: NFTs

NFT volume in November (cumulative & by chain)

Both NFT trading volume and USD dollar value exchanged peaked on November 25, with $34.8 million USD worth of NFTs changing hands across 27.8 individual trades. This surge may have been catalyzed by a combination of different factors including the announcement of Axie Infinity's new NFT monetization features and BLUR token's Binance listing.

Overall, the fiat-denominated value of NFTs sales has grown fairly consistently throughout the month, continuing a positive trend that kicked off in October. Transaction volume was more mixed, with NFT transaction volume fluctuating week by week and dipping around the time that DEX volume began to surge. This does not necessarily suggest a user divestment from NFTs into other crypto assets, and it’s worth noting that fiat-denominated value of NFTs spiked just as transaction volume dipped, with nearly $30 million USD worth of NFTs traded on November 10.

Etherum and Polygon continue to account for the vast majority of NFT transactions, although it’s worth noting that Arbitrum’s NFT volume rose significantly on November 14 and has remained at historically elevated levels. This may be the result of recent initiatives such as the Arbitrum Odyssey and Arbitrum Day campaigns, during which participants received NFT badges for exploring the Arbitrum ecosystem. Base’s also had some standout days in terms of NFT trading volume, although the network’s daily transaction count rarely surpassed triple digits.

NFT Trading Activity (month over month)

While November’s NFT transaction volume was fairly low relative to the rest of the year, it marked the second consecutive month of positive momentum, following an annual low in September. Arbitrum’s strong November action is even more noteworthy when comparing its performance across the rest of the year, although it’s clear that the two most popular chains for NFT creation and collection, Ethereum and Polygon, continue to define the market’s macro shifts.

View the full NFT dashboard.

Dive Deeper into the Data

The information above represents a broad snapshot of what took place within the EVM space during November. But many more interesting, actionable insights require zooming further into a particular dataset or combining multiple data sources.

Explore this data for free on Flipside.

For programmatic access to export this data, Try Flipside Pro.


We'll be publishing similar snapshots in the future, focused on specific industry sectors, on-chain ecosystems, and more. In the meantime, subscribe to our newsletter to stay in the loop!