New EVM Users: Q1 Snapshot

The recent Dencun upgrade marked another major milestone for the EVM ecosystem, spurring renewed interest in layer 2 networks and a continued wave of adoption in the midst of a bull market. We looked into 6 major EVM chains to observe the behaviors of new crypto users and understand the narratives that are drawing in new waves of adoption.

The New EVM Users Snapshot includes an assessment of new user growth, trading activity, and application preferences across Ethereum, Polygon, Arbitrum, Optimism, Avalanche, and Base through Q1 2024. Together, these findings provide a detailed assessment of the data in our New EVM Users Dashboard, which pulls real-time onchain data and synthesizes them into visualizations that you can analyze, export, and customize at will – all for free.


New EVM users appear to be fueling a sustained DeFi surge across all observed chains, with legacy chains like Ethereum and Polygon continuing to see impressive growth. And while some L2s are struggling to gain users as quickly as others, due to a lack of intuitive onramps, Base may already be seeing the benefits of Coinbase’s efforts to make crypto fully understandable for (and thereby accessible to) complete crypto novices.

Trends at a glance:

  • Ethereum’s L1 continues to dominate the EVM space,

    in terms of new users and trade volume, compared to L2s. This could be due to robust tooling, user familiarity, ease of onboarding, and the layer-1 contracts many layer-2 protocols interact with, even as incentives are attracting new users. Cumulatively, however, L2s are processing more volume than Ethereum’s L1, which was not the case during the previous bull run.
  • Base has nearly 8x’d its new user base since the start of 2024,

    gaining 243k new users on March 16 alone. While this still puts Base far behind the leading EVM chains in terms of overall new user volume, it nonetheless represents impressive growth, particularly since the chain’s activity waned during the final months of 2023.
  • DeFi is the leading use case for new users so far this year.

    Across all 6 EVM chains, DeFi volume increased steadily since the beginning of the year, with Arbitrum’s new users accounting for a disproportionately large slice of trading volume relative to the network’s user growth.
  • NFTs are not likely to be a major market story in this upcoming cycle.

    NFT volume was not consistent across EVM chains. Some chains (Ethereum) increased, others (Polygon) dramatically decreased, and most fluctuated without a clear pattern.
  • More diverse app ecosystems don’t necessarily result in more evenly distributed user activity.

    For instance, Ethereum appears to have the most diverse app ecosystem, with a large proportion of new users engaging with lesser known apps. However, app usage among new users is the most evenly distributed across the top apps on Base – likely because the chain is too young for any particular app to have cornered the market for any particular use case.

Download the Snapshot for free.


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!