Celestia's TIA Token Rises 200% Since Debut Despite Muted On-Chain Activity

Just 160,000 transactions have been facilitated on Celestia in the past 13 days.

AccessTimeIconNov 15, 2023 at 5:12 p.m. UTC

Newly-launched modular blockchain Celestia has experienced a slow start in terms of on-chain activity, but that hasn't reduced the appetite of traders who have spurred a speculative rally for its native TIA token to $6.30, 200% higher than when it debuted at around $2.10 two weeks ago.

TIA's rise doesn't correlate to an uptick in blockchain usage; though the Celestia blockchain facilitated 350,000 transactions in the first two days following its launch, it has only added another 160,000 transactions since then, according to MintScan.

By comparison, rival modular blockchain Arbitrum has averaged between 550,000 and 920,000 daily transactions over the past seven days, Arbiscan data shows.

Another metric to assess the scalability of blockchains is transactions per second (TPS). Celestia is currently totaling 0.13 TPS. Arbitrum, meanwhile has a daily average of 8.01 TPS, according to L2Beat.

It's worth noting that as Celestia only rolled out a fortnight ago and adoption is not expected to match that of Arbitrum, which has been operational since May, 2021, but it is now facing competition from industry heavyweights like NEAR, which has joined the race with Celestia to provide data availability services to Ethereum rollups.

Data availability "allows network nodes to download, store, and make transaction information accessible for verification," said Sean Farrell, a crypto analyst at FundStat, in a note earlier this month.

Despite a lack of immediate demand for its data availability functionality, Celestia's tokenomics have caught the attention of traders. Just 141 million tokens of the 1 billion hard cap are circulating, with the majority of the total supply being locked up until October 2024 and October 2026. Trading volume for TIA is around $900 million over the past 24 hours, exceeding the market cap of all tokens in circulation, according to CoinMarketCap.

The rally can be compared to Aptos, which like Celestia issued its APT token in the form of an airdrop when it launched last year. APT rocketed to a $2.9 billion market cap after its release despite the total value locked (TVL) on the blockchain being just $50 million at the time.

Edited by Nikhilesh De.


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Oliver Knight

Oliver Knight is a CoinDesk reporter based between London and Lisbon. He does not own any crypto.