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Arbitrum: Of Inscriptions frenzy and power outages

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EVM Inscriptions cause a spike in Arbitrum’s on-chain traffic. 

Arbitrum: Of Inscriptions frenzy and power outages

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  • Nearly 60% of all transactions generated on Arbitrum last week were linked to Inscriptions.
  • Users had to pay substantially less in fees for Inscriptions.

Layer-2 (L2) blockchain Arbitrum [ARB] experienced a steep rise in network activity over the last few days.

According to on-chain analytics firm IntoTheBlock, daily transactions on the scaling solution set a new all-time high (ATH) on the 16th of December.

Source: IntoTheBlock

Inscriptions power Arbitrum’s on-chain traffic

As per a Dune dashboard scanned by AMBCrypto, EVM Inscriptions, similar in concept to Bitcoin Ordinals, caused the spike in on-chain traffic.

Nearly 60% of all transactions generated on Arbitrum over the last week were tied to inscription activity. This was higher than zkSync Era, another popular L2, where Inscriptions accounted for 57% of the total transaction activity.

Additionally, more than 16% of all gas fees on Arbitrum in the last week were used for minting and trading Inscriptions.

Drawing inspiration from Bitcoin’s BRC-20s, EVM chains started creating their token standard to inscribe information, like non-fungible tokens (NFTs), on the blockchain. One of the advantages of Inscriptions is that they are cheaper to move around.

On the 18th of December, more than 1.2 million Inscriptions were created on Arbitrum. However, users had to pay substantially less in fees, approximately $551,640, for transactions tied to Inscriptions.

A test for Arbitrum

However, the frenzy brought with it its share of problems. The day when transactions peaked, the network suffered a brief outage. As reported by AMBCrypto, the incident marked the first downtime in the network over the past 90 days.

However, Arbitrum was quick to fix the issue, and the network was back up and operating in less than two hours after the outage began. Nonetheless, the incident did raise a few questions about Arbitrum’s load-bearing capabilities.

ARB’s woes continue

Contrary to the Inscriptions mania on Arbitrum, the native token ARB fell 3.39% over the week, according to CoinMarketCap.

Realistic or not, here’s ARB’s market cap in BTC terms

Well, this could be because the asset doesn’t accrue any value from Arbitrum’s on-chain activity and functions just as a governance token.

Overall, the token was done 90% from the time of its much-hyped AirDrop.


Aniket Verma works as a journalist at AMBCrypto. Contrary to most who are primarily interested in merely tracking price movements of cryptos, his focus is on examining the niche intersection between cryptocurrencies and traditional finance. A so-so Bitcoin maximalist, Aniket has a strong disdain for memecoins and the unfounded frenzy they seem to generate every market season. Coming from a strong engineering background, Aniket previously worked as a Content Manager for TV9 Network. Before his stint over there, he was an Associate Multimedia News Producer at Reuters.
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