Stablecoin, DeFi and Exchange Token Usage by Geography

DAI and USDC show strong global adoption with slight preference in the West; DeFi tokens seem more popular in the West than East; and Tether is most popular in Asia time zones. Below we look at hourly transaction frequency to dive deeper into user behaviors. 

The clock-like visuals above show patterns in average hourly transaction volume for nine ERC20 tokens from January 1st to April 15, 2020. 

Each row represents a different category of crypto assets: (1) stablecoins, (2) tokens focused on Decentralized Finance, and (3) centralized exchange tokens which are used both as investments in the exchange and for discounts on trading fees.

The unbalanced circular bar graphs represent the skewed distribution of transactions over time. The size of the hourly bars is a relative measure of token transactions, with a full bar representing an hour with the most transactions in the day. When displayed over time, we can also see changes in overall transaction volume. 

Full bars on the left side of the clocks represent activity happening in the West while full bars on the right side of the clock represent activity happening in the East. 


Stablecoin transaction volume has been growing across the board, particularly during March’s volatile market conditions. USDT (Tether) activity is concentrated during Asian business hours, while DAI and USDC both show strong adoption globally, with an uptick during western hours. 


The three DeFi tokens shown above appear to have found slightly more traction in the West than in the East.

The spike in MKR activity in March is likely due to price volatility following the infamous Black Thursday event. MKR is the governance token in MakerDAO’s protocol that underpins DAI. 

Exchange Tokens

While all three tokens above are associated with Asia-based exchanges (Huobi (HT), Bitfinex (LEO) and OKEx (OKB)), Huobi Token stands out as having the large majority of its user-base in Asia. 

Meanwhile, OKB has been strengthening its global presence, announcing its support for 8 major fiat gateways including the US dollar and Euro just last month. The spike in activity in February is likely due to the fact that OKB announced that month that it was migrating to OKChain

Note that the seemingly dramatic changes in LEO’s hourly frequency are a result of its lower overall transaction volume.

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