Ethereum address creation hit a 35-month high on December 14 when 177,000 new addresses were added to the network according to analysts from Santiment.
The analytics provider reported that its network growth metric showed Ethereum adding 177,500 addresses in a single-day on Saturday, Dec. 12.
The number of active addresses also surged on Dec. 14 to 714,081, though its all-time high came during the crypto boom in January 2018 when it topped 1.1 million according to Bitinfocharts.com.
There could be a number of reasons for the uptick in address creation and active addresses in recent months including the surge in DeFi liquidity mining offering good returns with ETH as collateral.
The anticipation of staking rewards on the newly launched ETH 2.0 Beacon Chain may have also driven address growth as investors buy ETH to stake on the new blockchain. And of course Bitcoin prices are back near all time highs, helping light a fire under other cryptocurrencies too.
But a Reddit thread about the milestone, discussed the possibility that a token airdrop from Flare Networks for XRP holders was a big contributor to the address creation spike. Flare is a new protocol that intends to bring decentralized finance to the XRP ecosystem by making it compatible with existing smart contracts with the Ethereum Virtual Machine. Redditor SoundofCreekWater said:
"Could be bc of the XRP/Spark/Flare airdrop, which requires an ethereum-compatible address"
Flare’s native FLR token will be used to collateralize the issuance of FXRP, a fully trustless representation of XRP on the network. The airdrop took a snapshot of XRP balances on Dec. 12, which coincided with the Ethereum address creation spike.
Flare explained that 45 billion Spark tokens will be distributed, with 15% claimable at the time of network launch which has been slated for three to six months’ time. The rest will be distributed over the next two years.
“If you self custody, the method of claiming the Spark token is simply to set the Message Key field on your XRP Ledger address to your Flare address.”
It goes on to explain that the Flare address is an ‘Ethereum compatible address’ which must be created within six months of the snapshot date.
While major exchanges such as Coinbase and Binance are supporting the airdrop and automating the process, those that hold their XRP off a centralized exchange will have needed to create a Flare address in order to be eligible for the airdrop. XRP prices have tanked 22% since the snapshot took place.