Social Signals in the Ethereum Trading Network

05/30/2018 ∙ by Shahar Somin, et al. ∙ 0

Blockchain technology, which has been known by mostly small technological circles up until recently, is bursting throughout the globe, with a potential economic and social impact that could fundamentally alter traditional financial and social structures. Issuing cryptocurrencies on top of the Blockchain system by startups and private sector companies is becoming a ubiquitous phenomenon, inducing the trading of these crypto-coins among their holders using dedicated exchanges. Apart from being a trading ledger for tokens, Blockchain can also be observed as a social network. Analyzing and modeling the dynamics of the "social signals" of this network can contribute to our understanding of this ecosystem and the forces acting within in. This work is the first analysis of the network properties of the ERC20 protocol compliant crypto-coins' trading data. Considering all trading wallets as a network's nodes, and constructing its edges using buy--sell trades, we can analyze the network properties of the ERC20 network. Examining several periods of time, and several data aggregation variants, we demonstrate that the network displays strong power-law properties. These results coincide with current network theory expectations, however nonetheless, are the first scientific validation of it, for the ERC20 trading data. The data we examined is composed of over 30 million ERC20 tokens trades, performed by over 6.8 million unique wallets, lapsing over a two years period between February 2016 and February 2018.

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