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Crypto On-Chain Analysis: What Is It & How Do You Use It I Notum

By Notum

Aug 25, 202321 min read



In the dynamic crypto world, on-chain analysis offers a deep understanding of the complicated interactions and behaviors within blockchain networks. With the advent of blockchain technology, every transaction, token movement, and address interaction is recorded, fostering an incredible level of transparency and accessibility. On-chain analysis delves into this data and opens valuable insights into the digital asset’s usage, as well as the patterns of transactions, and the overall state of various cryptos.

By thoroughly examining on-chain data, analysts can trace the web of financial flows, identify influential market trends, and even find potential market manipulation or illegal activities. As the crypto market continues to evolve, on-chain analysis stands as an irreplaceable tool that helps investors, regulators, and other users navigate the world of digital finance. In today's article from Notum, we will explain what on-chain analysis is, how to analyze on-chain data, how to use the information received, and what are crypto on-chain analysis limitations you should pay attention to.

Understanding On-Chain Data

On-chain data refers to information that is permanently recorded within a blockchain network. This data is stored in a decentralized manner across a network of interconnected nodes, ensuring immutability and transparency. It includes transactions, smart contracts, digital assets, and any other data that is added to the blockchain's ledger, which is replicated across all participants in the network. On-chain data is crucial for the functioning of dApps, enabling trustless interactions and verifiable historical records within the blockchain ecosystem.

What Is Crypto On-Chain Analysis?

Crypto on-chain analysis involves the examination of blockchain data to get insights into crypto transactions and behaviors. It provides a detailed view of how digital assets are being used within a blockchain network. On-chain analysis focuses on the transparent and immutable nature of blockchain, allowing analysts to track and analyze transactions, addresses, and other activities.

The key aspects of on-chain analysis are identifying wallet addresses, tracking fund flows, and detecting patterns of behavior. It helps with understanding the fund movement, token distribution, and the overall health of a crypto ecosystem. By analyzing on-chain data, analysts can assess the adoption, network activity, and potential market trends of specific cryptos. Moreover, such analysis is essential for identifying anomalies, such as large transactions or unusual address interactions, which can indicate potential market manipulation or illegal activities. Regulators, financial institutions, and crypto users often need on-chain analysis to gain insights into market dynamics and help with their decision-making. Thus, on-chain analysis remains a crucial tool for understanding the fundamental behavior and trends within the crypto space.

On-Chain VS Off-Chain Analysis

Crypto on-chain and off-chain analysis are two different approaches to understanding activities within the crypto ecosystem. On-chain analysis primarily involves the examination of data that is directly recorded on the blockchain. This includes verification of transactions, wallet addresses, and token movements. The transparency of blockchain technology make on-chain analysis effective in tracing fund flows and identifying market trends. However, it doesn't provide insights into the identity of wallet owners. “Anyone from anywhere can access on-chain transactions recorded on public blockchains.”CoinGecko.

Off-chain analysis focuses on data that exists outside the blockchain, for example monitoring social media sentiment, trading volumes on crypto exchanges, and macroeconomic factors affecting the market. Off-chain analysis aims to complement on-chain insights by considering external influences on crypto prices and behaviors. It can help predict changes in market sentiment, estimate investor behavior, and assess broader economic trends impacting the crypto space.

Both approaches have their pros and cons. On-chain analysis is based on the actual transactional data and provides a deep understanding of crypto movements within the blockchain. However, it might struggle to interpret complex transactions and lacks insight into off-chain factors. Off-chain analysis offers a broader context but is subject to market sentiment fluctuations and potential inaccuracies in external data sources. Thus, an effective analysis strategy often combines both on-chain and off-chain insights to gain a comprehensive view of the cryptocurrency.

How Do You Analyze On-Chain Data?

Analyzing on-chain data involves a systematic approach to get insights from blockchain transactions and interactions. The process typically includes several steps:

  1. Data Collection. Obtain raw blockchain data from reliable sources or APIs. This data includes transaction details, wallet addresses, timestamps, and token movements. Then process and organize the data to remove duplicate or irrelevant entries so to ensure the accuracy and quality of the data.
  2. Address Clustering. Group related addresses that are likely controlled by the same entity (e.g., exchange wallets, smart contracts) to avoid misinterpretations of user behavior. After that, create visualizations or graphs to map the flow of tokens between addresses. This helps identify patterns and trends in buying, selling, and holding behaviors.
  3. Network Health Metrics. Calculate relevant metrics such as transaction volume, confirmation times, and mining activity. These indicators rate the overall health and performance of the blockchain network. Also measure the growth of active addresses, new users, and interactions so to get insights into user engagement and adoption rates.
  4. Token Distribution. Analyze token holdings across addresses to understand the concentration of wealth and decentralization within the ecosystem. Pay attention to unusual or suspicious activities, such as large transactions or irregular address interactions, which could indicate market manipulation or other illegal behavior.
  5. Comparative Analysis. Compare on-chain data across different time periods, cryptos, or networks to identify trends, differences, and correlations. Don't forget to combine on-chain analysis with off-chain data sources, such as news sentiment, trading volumes, and macroeconomic indicators, to gain a more comprehensive view of the market.
  6. Interpretation. Draw conclusions from the data to define investment strategies, market trends, and potential risks. Regularly update and reassess the analysis to adapt to changes in the market and blockchain ecosystem.

Source: MLQ app

What Can You Learn from On-Chain Analysis and How Do You Use It

On-chain analysis provides multiple insights into the activities and dynamics of a crypto world. By examining blockchain data, analysts can uncover valuable information about transactions, network health, adoption trends, and potential market manipulation. For example, on-chain analysis allows for the tracking of token movements and transactions, revealing the flow of funds between different wallet addresses. Network health indicators such as mining activity and transaction volume can also be assessed through on-chain data. These metrics help to rate the blockchain's overall performance and user engagement. Moreover, on-chain analysis allows to measure adoption rates by identifying the number of active and new addresses, and their interactions. This data helps to understand the growth and popularity of a cryptocurrency.

Besides, on-chain data can help in detecting potential market manipulation or anomalies. Unusually large transactions or address interactions might indicate coordinated efforts to influence prices. And finally, on-chain analysis can help in assessing the token distribution among different addresses, that opens money concentrations and the degree of decentralization within a crypto network.

On-chain Analysis Tools

  1. Santiment is a platform specializing in on-chain analysis, offering insights into blockchain and crypto markets. It provides tools and data for tracking market sentiment, transaction volumes, token distribution, and social media activity related to various digital assets. Moreover, Santiment offers many on-chain metrics that can be applied to the chart and track various interconnections.
  2. Glassnode on-chain analysis platform specializes in Ethereum and Bitcoin, offering comprehensive insights into blockchain data, including metrics like on-chain transactions, wallet activity, and network health. Glassnode provides real-time data and visualizations and equips traders with valuable information to better understand market trends and make data-driven decisions.
  3. Nansen is another on-chain analysis platform that focuses on aggregating and visualizing Ethereum data to offer comprehensive insights into address behavior, token flows, and network activity.
  4. DeFiLlama is an on-chain analysis platform focused on DeFi space. It compiles and presents data from various DeFi protocols, offering a comprehensive overview of total value locked (TVL), protocol rankings, and yield farming opportunities across different platforms. DeFiLlama provides a user-friendly interface, real-time insights, and supports 185+ blockchains.
  5. Bloxy specializes in blockchain data analytics. It offers insights into various blockchain networks, including Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain, by providing information on transactions, smart contracts, token transfers, and more.
  6. Dune Analytics empowers users to explore and visualize blockchain data through customizable queries and dashboards. The platform enables users to create their own data-driven analyses and share insights within the community, thereby facilitates deep exploration of on-chain trends.

Crypto On-Chain Analysis Limitations

Crypto on-chain analysis, while valuable, has several limitations that need to be considered:

  • Privacy Concerns. On-chain analysis does not reveal the identities of wallet owners, but it can still uncover patterns of behavior that could potentially be linked to individuals or entities, that raises privacy concerns.
  • Interpretation Challenges. Complex transactions, smart contract interactions, and dApps can be difficult to interpret accurately through on-chain analysis. Ambiguities in these transactions might lead to misinterpretations or false conclusions.
  • Whale Activities. Large crypto holders, known as whales, can manipulate the market by making significant transactions. On-chain analysis might track these movements, but it might not always be clear whether such movements are indicative of genuine market trends or organized manipulations.
  • Privacy Coins. Privacy-focused cryptos and coin mixing services can hide the origin and destination of funds, making it challenging to track transactions accurately. This complicates the ability to analyze the true flow of funds.
  • Data Manipulation. While blockchain data is immutable, data collection methods, APIs, and data providers used for on-chain analysis might have vulnerabilities or inaccuracies that could impact the reliability of analysis.
  • Market Complexity and Regulatory Challenges. Crypto markets can be highly volatile and influenced by sentiment shifts, news, and global events. On-chain analysis might not capture these rapid changes effectively. Moreover, depending on the jurisdiction, regulatory changes can impact crypto transactions and behaviors, potentially affecting the accuracy of on-chain analysis.

Considering these limitations, a comprehensive analysis strategy often combines on-chain insights with off-chain data sources to obtain a more holistic understanding of the crypto ecosystem.


In today's crypto world, on-chain analysis has emerged as a fundamental basis for understanding the blockchain data. This technique offers unique insights of transactional behaviors, fund flows, and market trends within decentralized ecosystems. The transparency and immutability of blockchain data give users necessary grasps, enabling them to understand patterns that shape investor sentiments, adoption rates, and potential risks.

However, on-chain analysis has numerous limitations, such as privacy concerns, interpretation challenges, and the need for complementing off-chain data. By combining on-chain insights with broader market context, including off-chain factors like sentiment analysis and macroeconomic trends, users can achieve a more comprehensive understanding of crypto. Despite this, on-chain analysis remains a powerful tool that helps with making informed decisions within the dynamic and complex realm of cryptos.

Disclaimer: Notum does not provide any investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. This article is written for informational purposes only. Cryptocurrency is subject to market risk. Please do your own research and trade with caution.