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An Exploratory Visual for Tracking Flow of Funds on Blockchain

A visualization technique on public blockchain data yields an intriguing contrast when applied to FTX vs. Binance and more

One among many visuals from 12/27/22 State of the Network.
3 addresses “stacked”; also see endnote 1 for some important notes

Illustration: Bitcoin & Ethereum

Bitcoin and Ethereum were born in very different ways. Bitcoin was at first mostly mined by Satoshi Nakamoto in very early 2009, with just a handful of transactions peppering Bitcoin’s ledger in the first several days of activity.

Beginning of Bitcoin as a stackplot; data: Blockchair; x-axis = real time
Beginning of Ethereum as a stackplot; data: Etherscan; x-axis = block height

FTX & Binance

Historical data mining is fun, but the stackplot can also starkly illustrate recent events, such as activity on two major exchanges. They show very different outcomes after users sought withdrawals in late 2022. To simplify this illustration, I chose just ETH transactions on mainnet for FTX (wallets #1 and #2) and a series of Binance wallets shown below.

FTX 1 & 2 mainnet ETH wallets; ETH transfers only; x-axis = block height
Stackplot of some Binance wallets; x-axis = block height


Blockchain data makes visual mining a rich area of investigation. It will be exciting to see how new dashboards across the ecosystem take advantage of such possibilities in the future. I hope the little “stackplot” idea serves as an interesting, albeit modest, example of this.


1. For simplicity I won’t go into detail about many other features of this approach. For example, you have to decide how to order the stack. In this post, I’ll do so chronologically from bottom to top and put labeled special addresses colored and equally spaced. But you can also stack by (say) balance or by some other arrangements. You can also plot across real time vs. block height (as noted under diagrams). Dot size can also be made proportional to the input size (ETH, BTC, etc.), and in this post I log transform value in most of the visuals. Here’s an example of the FTX 1/2 stackplot with addresses ordered by volume expressed on the plot (bottom = small volume):

FTX stackplot but stack ordered from volume going up in stack; x-axis = block height



Etherscan is the leading Ethereum Blockchain Explorer. The core of Etherscan involves extracting data from the Ethereum distributed ledger, indexing and displaying the processed data in a concise and readable manner for the masses and layperson.

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