The number of active addresses on the Ethereum network has been growing exponentially this year, and is already up by over 170%. ETH’s growth is beating that of Bitcoin, as BTC’s active addresses are up by about 70% YTD.

According to data from BitInfoCharts, there were little over 200,000 active addresses on the Ethereum network in January, but the number has grown to about 580,000 active addresses by mid-July. The rise can be attributed to the growth in decentralized finance (DeFi) and the resurgence of Ponzi schemes on Ethereum.

BitInfoCharts’ data looks at transactions that go to and from unique ETH addresses to get to its active address number. Counting all active addresses – accounting for the possibility that some users are using multiple ETH addresses – we get to a growth of 128%, according to Messari.

According to IBTimes, citing a report from decentralized application platform, financial decentralized applications on the Ethereum network account for 97.5% of the total dapp volume on the Ethereum network.

Scams, however, also contributed to the growth. In a given example Forsage, a high-risk decentralized applications flagged by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the Philippines as a Ponzi scheme, has been consuming over 13% of the gas on ETH.

Forsage, it’s worth noting, is the most popular decentralized application on the Ethereum network according to’s score, with over 19,000 users in the last 24-hour period. Behind it was Maker, with 3,500 users in the same period.

High-risk dapps further inflate the total amount of unique active addresses on the Ethereum network by transferring their funds from one address to another. Those behind the scams do this to hide their trail and throw off blockchain sleuths.

Despite the increased activity, ETH has been trading at about $240 in the last seven days, and has been in the $225 to $250 range since the beginning of June, as a breakout above $250 has been rejected. Similarly, bitcoin has been trading between $9,000 and $10,000 for about the same period. Year-to-date, ETH is still up over 86%.

DeFi Tokens Help ETH Activity Surge

Tokens related to the decentralized finance space have been helping activity on the Ethereum network surge.  To so-called yield farming craze started last month when DeFi protocol Compound launched its COMP governance token. Yield farming sees users interact with the protocol to receive COMP tokens.

While often these were only available on decentralized exchanges before, they have since been listed on numerous centralized exchanges. The increased availability and liquidity helped more users grab tokens.

OKEx, one of the largest cryptocurrency trading platforms in the world, has late last month listed the COMP token, along with a COMPUSDT Perpetual Swap trading pair. At the time, the exchange’s CEO Jay Hao said:

We are extremely pleased to be able to help foster the growth of the DeFi ecosystem alongside Compound. It is our belief at OKEx that DeFi will eventually disrupt traditional finance and provide equal opportunities for everyone to access financial services. This, in turn, helps us to realize our vision at OKEx, which is to #FinanceAll

The cryptocurrency trading has also recently announced the listing of two more DeFi-related assets: Celo Gold (CELO) and the DMM Governance Token (DMG). The former is the utility and governance assets for the Celo community, which aims to build a global financial system and provide financial services to people throughout the world who may not have bank accounts.

DMG, on the other hand, offers an onchain-to-offchain lending services, providing users with loan services in the form of physical mortgages. Using the DeFi Money Market users can also earn on their cryptocurrency holdings, thanks to real-world income-generating assets.

These listings aren’t exclusive to OKEx: various cryptocurrency exchanges have been adding DeFi tokens. Increased availability and liquidity, combined with the yield farming trend, has helped the total value of assets locked in DeFi surpass $2.5 billion, according to DeFi Pulse.

Featured image via Pixabay.