Layer 2 scaling solution Arbitrum has seen a massive surge in network activity over the last few weeks.

According to data from blockchain explorer Arbiscan, daily transactions on Arbitrum surged to 1,103,398 on Tuesday – a 590% increase since the start of the year. 

Comparatively, Ethereum saw 1,084,290 transactions on the same day, which represents a 40% increase over the same period.

The fact that Arbitrum surpassed the Ethereum mainnet in daily transactions is a milestone for the blockchain, seeing as it is the first rollup solution to do so. The Layer 2 blockchain is an extension of Ethereum that speeds up the network’s smart contract using a second-layer chain to handle the work.

One of the reasons for Arbitrum’s immense growth rate is GMX, a decentralized perpetual exchange that has minimal fees and no price impact which has made it a popular choice for traders. The exchange has a multi-asset pool called GLP that facilitates market making and generates income for liquidity providers. GMX now has a market cap of $640 million with a fully diluted valuation of $1 billion, and even surpassed Ethereum in daily fees earlier this month.

Aside from a growing ecosystem of DeFi protocols on Arbitrum, network usage has surged in anticipation of a potential token airdrop. Airdrops typically reward the blockchain’s most loyal users, and speculation around an Arbitrum airdrop has grown considerably in recent weeks.

Some market participants believe that an Arbitrum token could be launched in early 2023. However, since the protocol’s founder Steven Goldfeder invoked speculation about an airdrop with a cryptic tweet last April, there has been no official news from Arbitrum on plans for a token.