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XDC Network Smart Contract Growth by the Numbers

Words by Walter Blueu

Avg. 4 Min read

In the last 12 months the XDC Network has seen exponential growth in smart contract creation. This blog post will dive into the numbers to better understand what that growth looks like and will also discuss why the XDC Network will beat that level of growth over the next 12 months.

What are Smart Contracts?

A smart contract is a computer program running on top of a blockchain that contains a set of rules under which the parties to that smart contract agree to interact with each other. If and when the predefined rules are met, the agreement is automatically enforced. The smart contract code facilitates, verifies, and enforces the negotiation or performance of an agreement or transaction. It is the simplest form of decentralized automation.

The image above is a snippet of the smart contract for the GoPlugin project that runs on the XDC Network. Any project running on the XDC Network will have smart contracts that define their tokens (XRC-20 for fungible tokens, XRC-721 for non-fungible tokens, or XRC-1155 for fungibility-agnostic multi-token), and they will most likely also have smart contracts that act as a backend interface to the blockchain for frontend webapps. The main point here is that any project building on the XDC Network will have to create Smart Contracts, which means that we can look at smart contract creation metrics as a measuring stick for utility on the network.

More than 1.7k Smart Contracts Landed on the XDC Network

An article came out earlier today on bitcoinist.com highlighting the growth in smart contracts on the XDC Network. The article sites that more than 1,700 smart contracts have been created on the XDC Network and states:

“The increasing number of smart contracts on XDC Network validate that the network will likely emerge as a significant competitor to Ethereum, dominating the space.”

One thing that isn’t obvious to most readers is that the article is using the wrong numbers; more than 1,700 XRC-20 tokens have been created on the XDC Network, over 3,800 smart contracts have been created on the XDC Network. Here is what that growth looks like over time.

Above is a plot of XDC Network smart contract growth over time, highlighting the recent exponential growth in smart contract creation. Below we can see a similar plot focused on XRC-20 Token creation growth over time.

Both of these data sets were acquired using a new API that is going to be publicly available with the upcoming release of the XDC Network’s brand new network explorer. It is important to remember that XRC-20 tokens are a subset of smart contracts, so the data in the XRC-20 plot is also present in the Smart Contract Creation plot.

1,800 XRC-20 tokens is a lot, and because we are talking about a decentralized network we don’t have a good way of knowing who created them and for what reason. In an effort to better understand the number I ran the data through a filter and it looks like only 170 of those XRC-20 tokens have at least 1 transaction, which is just under 10% of all XRC-20 tokens.

How do we interpret this growth?

One way to understand where the XDC Network is in its growth curve is to compare it to the Ethereum Network, after all the bitcoinist.com article linked above did state that the XDC Network is emerging as a competitor for the Ethereum Network.

The above plot shows how smart contract creation on the Ethereum Network has grown over time. We have about 32 months worth of data for the XDC Network, so let’s zoom in on the first 32 months worth of data for the Ethereum Network and do a comparison.

Comparing the first 32 months for both Ethereum and XDC it looks like the XDC Network may just now (within the last 2–3 months) be beginning a sustained slope upwards in smart contract creation. The other major difference is the magnitude of the daily spikes, the XDC Network had several days of 200+ smart contracts created, making its chart appear more volatile than Ethereum’s. I am curious to see how the next 6 months play out for the XDC Network.

Looking Forward

The XDC Foundation has been working hard on development of new platforms, some of which will be released over the coming weeks. One of the new platforms that I am excited about is geared towards smart contract creation and management. We are building a smart contract development platform where coding is optional, and our goal is to make it easier for smart people to build smart things. You shouldn’t have to be a blockchain engineer in order to create a dApp on the XDC Network.

I may be ambitious, but between the momentum that the XDC Network is currently gaining in adoption by second layer projects, the inroads XinFin is making with Global Trade Finance, and new platforms soon to be released by the XDC Foundation I expect that smart contract creation will continue it’s exponential climb. There were 152 smart contracts created in 2019, 547 smart contracts created in 2020, 2,129 smart contracts created in 2021, and if that trend continues I expect to see a minimum of 8,500 smart contracts created in 2022. Something tells me that 8,500 may be a bit low though…

The content above represents my own individual perspective as an XDC community member and does not reflect the official stance of XDC Foundation.

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