Most Transactions on XRP, EOS and Tezos Don’t Transfer Any Value

Research has found the vast majority of transactions on EOS, Tezos and XRP do not transfer any value.

According to a research paper released on pre-print site arXiv, only 2% of transactions on the XRP ledger and 18% of transactions on Tezos (XTZ) lead to value transfers. They found that during the period of October 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019, 95% of transactions on EOS were related to the airdrop of a currently worthless token.

Daniel Perez from Imperial College London, and Jiahua Xu and Benjamin Livshits of UCL Blockchain authored “We Know What They’ve Been Put Through: Revisiting High-scalability Blockchain Transactions”, which claims to be the “first large scale detailed analysis of three of the most widely used high throughput blockchains.”

18 accounts made 50% of all XRP transactions

The researchers classified on-chain transactions and measured each category against the total. They essentially found the blockchains were able to cope with plenty of transactions, but they currently weren’t being used for particularly useful things.

“Our analysis reveals that only a small fraction of the transactions are used for value transfer purposes… and only 2% of transactions on the XRP ledger lead to value transfers.”

Ripple’s chief technology officer David Schwartz said spam was simply evidence of the ledger’s speed, affordability and capacity.

“Transactions are so fast and cheap and the ledger has so much capacity, little incentive not to submit near zero value txns,” he said. The majority of transactions were harmless bots fighting for position in order books, he said. Raising the price of transactions would solve the issue of spam at the cost of discouraging worthwhile transactions.

The team monitored a total of 90,000 accounts which conducted 150 million XRP transactions in 2019. However, one third of accounts made just one transaction while 18 accounts linked to Huobi were responsible for half the total number of transactions.

These accounts are either descendents of an account from Huobi exchange, or frequently transact with descendents from Huobi. They have all transacted using CNY and used the same designation tag.

EOS and XTZ

During the period studied, 95% of transactions on EOS were related to the EIDOS token airdrop⁠ — a token that’s effectively worthless. However:

“Before the arrival of the EIDOS token, approximately 50% of these are transactions to betting games. The rest was split between token transfers and various forms of entertainment, such as games not involving betting as well as payments to pornography web sites.”

Endorsement

On Tezos, 82% of the transactions were involved in endorsing blocks. “This is due to the fact that every block needs at least 32 endorsements to be confirmed and the number of transactions on the network is still low,” the paper notes. “The rest of the throughput is mainly used by transactions to transfer assets between accounts.”

The researchers concluded that although it was clear these three blockchains have the ability to carry out high throughput, their potential “has thus far not been fully realized for their intended purposes.”

Critics might argue that Bitcoin SV is following a similar path, after 1.2 million transactions were recorded in a single block today.