Though some on-chain activity for Ethereum is similar to the conditions before the price rallied to its all-time high in 2018, it failed to demonstrate the same bullish behavior in 2020.

According to a July report from Xangle Research on Decentralized Finance (DeFi) in Q2 2020, research analyst Jehn Kim determined that on-chain transaction volume on the Ethereum blockchain increased roughly 62%, around a 52-week high on June 23. Transaction fees also rose approximately 688%. 

The analyst noted that these on-chain stats “partially resemble the spike seen during the bull run in 2017-2018,” when Ethereum (ETH) reached its all-time high price of $1,396.

“Ethereum’s on-chain indicator activity needs to be reconsidered,” said Kim, noting that ETH had only reached $230 in Q2 despite the similar on-chain activity.

Waiting until Q3 to rally?

Though the on-chain data may have been similar, the conditions of Q2 2020 are markedly different to those before the 2017-2018 bull run. The price of Ether and most altcoins dipped to yearly lows in March following the crypto bloodbath, eventually recovering in late May.

In addition, DeFi tokens and stablecoins are changing the landscape of the blockchain by driving transaction fees to two-year highs, which were more than those of Bitcoin (BTC) for the first time. The number of daily transactions on Ethereum didn’t come close enough in Q2 to its ATH of 1,349,890, only passing 1,000,000 this year in late June.  

It wasn’t until Q3 that some of the impact of the addition of DeFi tokens and a rise in the popularity of stablecoins was felt on the blockchain. The Ethereum blockchain overtook Bitcoin’s for the first time in history to become the most used, having settled $508 billion in transactions for 2020 as of July 21. 

ETH is priced at $323.62 at the time of writing, having surged 37% this week.