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The full story behind the ‘Cardano > BTC, ETH in transaction volume’ narrative

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It’s always been hard to rank different blockchains thanks to the diverse ways in which their speeds and activities are measured. But now, one blockchain is under the microscope due to what some claim is a discrepancy in its transaction volumes.

Messari-ing around with numbers

The controversy began with Messari’s ‘Chains Activity’ chart, showing “estimated on-chain transaction volume in USD.” At press time, Cardano was at the top of the rankings, with a 24-hour transaction volume of $25.87 billion, putting it ahead of even Bitcoin and Ethereum. The latter two had readings of $23.70 billion and $3.57 billion, respectively.

Source: Messari.io

You can perhaps understand why many are ecstatic – or confused.

Looking at Santiment’s data – We can see that ADA transaction volumes over the past few days have seen a considerable hike. Even so, the volumes don’t even come close to $1 billion, let alone $25 billion in 24 hours.

Source: Santiment

Additionally, ADA’s velocity has been dropping for days, highlighting a marked fall in an activity involving the asset. Taking this into consideration as well, the metric does not substantiate Cardano’s top rank on Messari’s “chains activity” chart.


Source: Santiment

In fact, even a member of the Cardano community was skeptical of this statistic.

Furthermore, others have started to discuss whether Messari is reporting exaggerated numbers. User u/scientic on Reddit proposed that these stats might be a result of the way in which Cardano’s transaction data is recorded. The user claimed,

“I think what is happening is Messari are including Cardano’s UTxO change outputs as part of the total transaction value. This problem will only get worse as Cardano grows, until Messari sort the issue.”

In fact, the Reddit poster claimed that Messari only responded with a “generic response” when he flagged the issue.

Feeling the f(r)iction?

The spotlight was on Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson following the publication of journalist Laura Shin’s book, ‘The Cryptopians.‘ The book traces the history of Ethereum and its leadership.

When Hoskinson told another user that the book is a “great work of fiction,” Shin asked him to formally clarify whether or not he had really been part of a Ph.D program.

Needless to say, many in the community aren’t impressed, with some wondering whether all is what it seems with Cardano.


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Sahana is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. She has a Masters in Journalism and her areas of study include crypto-regulation, digital society, privacy, and intersectionality. Ask her about film photography and philately.
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