Our Network: Issue #39

Coverage on BAL, MKR, SNX and YFI.

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This is issue #39 of the on-chain analytics newsletter that reaches more than 5000 crypto investors every week 📈


This week our contributor analysts cover DeFi: Balancer, Maker, Synthetix, and Yearn.

① Balancer

Contributor: Fernando Martinelli, Co-founder & CEO at Balancer Labs

  • The first ever initial token sale on a Balancer Liquidity Bootstrapping Pool (LBP) was held from Sept. 9-11, as the Perp.fi team launched the PERP token. The offering validated LBPs as an effective mechanism for running a decentralized token sale with fair competition, even token distribution, and healthy price discovery with minimized volatility.

Source: Perp.fi team
  • As intended, the LBP neutralized advantages that bots typically have over analog human investors in token sales, by shifting incentives from buying immediately to waiting for the market to determine a fair price. This is exemplified by a likely automated purchase made at the start of the sale that was subsequently sold back at a loss. A total of 1,355 investors participated, with the vast majority appearing to be long-tail investors accumulating relatively modest quantities of PERP. Only 8 participants accumulated more than 1% of the PERP tokens sold, with the largest stack amounting to 4.1%. The order sizes seen in the chart below indicate that some whales were involved, but most orders were within the reach of typical investors. Order sizes chart:

Source: Perp.fi team
  • The PERP LBP achieved starkly different price discovery compared to recent token offerings such as UMA and BZRX, which were sold via Initial Uniswap Offering (IUO). The PERP sale, which lasted 3 days, reached its lowest price of 1.058 USDC approximately 12 hours after the sale began; subsequently reaching a high of 2.304 USDC about 33 hours into the sale, resulting in a delta of 118% from trough to peak before settling on a final price of 2.076 USDC. In contrast, the UMA token sale reached a high 500% above its opening price in less than 10 minutes, while BZRX soared 1,200% within the first 60 seconds of its sale. Here is a chart of the PERP token price as the sale unfolded:

Source: Perp.fi team
  • Zooming out on the DeFi ecosystem, Balancer currently ranks #3 in the space with the lowest price-to-sales ratio (calculated via TokenTerminal’s methodology: fully diluted market cap divided by annualized revenue) at 17.8x (lower is better!); ahead of Kyber Network (#4) and the Ethereum network (#5). It currently sits behind only SushiSwap (#1) and Uniswap (#2). Looking a little closer, however, Balancer’s price to sales ratio is actually even lower. While it’s true that 100M is the maximum theoretical BAL supply, this amount will likely never be reached. As a point of reference, growth companies commonly trade at price-to-earnings ratios of 100+.

Source: Token Terminal
  • Taking a look at platform growth, Balancer has experienced a strong and steady uptick in daily active liquidity providers (LPs), growing 1,196% since June 1st, as shown by the query created by Matteo Leibowitz, visualized below. Daily active LPs have crossed above 1,500 both in August and September, while Balancer liquidity has now exceeded $628M. 

Source: Dune Analytics

② Synthetix

Contributor: Farmwell

  • A glimpse into the SNX OTC market. Over-the-counter markets tend to be opaque and marked by information that can be difficult or costly to obtain. This makes OTC markets a really interesting topic in the context of DeFi and Ethereum, where market participants transact on a publicly verified ledger. Specifically, participants use technologies such as Airswap and Deversifi’s trustless smart contracts to execute OTC deals between parties who otherwise don’t know each other. 

    The OTC market for SNX is an important place for larger players to get bids filled without incurring much slippage. Approximately 79.72% of SNX are locked as collateral for minting synths like sUSD. This leaves a small percentage of the supply available for accumulation. Just 3.8% of all SNX are available on Binance, Uniswap, Kucoin, and Poloniex.

  • Since March 2020, SNX OTC deal volume through Airswap totaled $21,064,281.12. During the last six months approximately 4,520,232 SNX have been swapped, or 3.78% of the circulating SNX supply and 2.24% of the total supply. A typical SNX OTC deal size is 122,168 SNX, giving an average deal value of $569,304.90. 

Image 2020-09-18 at 10.05.40 AM
  • As far as tempo, July was the busiest month for SNX OTC brokers as 11 trades were conducted in that month. But the average deal size was also just the fourth-highest of the six months examined in July. Meanwhile, in July and August combined SNX buyers went through OTC brokers 17 times, while buyers went through OTC brokers 20 times from March through June.

  • Binance’s SNX listing in July is likely to weigh negatively on future OTC activity for SNX. Binance has a wide distribution to users across the ecosystem and amassed more than 5 million SNX in its wallets, making Binance the largest SNX holder among centralized and decentralized exchanges. Deals worth more than $1 million will likely continue to be done via high-touch OTC brokers, SNX OTC broker Nocturnalsheet tells Our Network.

    A major kudos goes out to Kaleb Keny, a.k.a. KALEB on Discord, and Alex Svanevik of Nansen.ai for assisting with the data for this write-up.


③ Yearn

Contributor: Alex Svanevik, CEO at Nansen

  • The top destination for YFI tokens right now is the money market protocol Aave. Interestingly, the APY for locking up YFI in Aave is near zero. So why is it being deposited to Aave? Most likely, the reason is that depositors regard YFI as a superior asset to use as collateral, with low downside risk on price (Source).

  • The SushiSwap YFI/WETH pool is still among the top-holding YFI addresses. However, since the spectacular migration from Uniswap, YFI liquidity on SushiSwap has quickly fallen from 2,444 YFI to only 673 YFI as of today - a drop of more than 70%. (Source).

  • As you can see in the table up to the right, Coinbase is a notable entry into the list of exchanges holding YFI. But it's still nowhere near being the top exchange in terms of YFI liquidity.

    In fact, YFI on exchanges has been trending down since September 7th, when it peaked at 30% of total supply. Currently, around 24% of all YFI is sitting on exchanges - both centralized and decentralized (Source).

  • That date coincided with a local minimum in YFI price against ETH. This suggests investors have been accumulating YFI over the last 10 days, as tokens have been flowing out of exchanges, with price increasing to a new high. (Source).    

Click here to read our comprehensive MakerDAO coverage in Part 2.

Our Network: Issue #39 (Part 2)

Coverage on BAL, MKR, SNX and YFI.

Continued from Part 1.

④ MakerDAO

Contributors: Marko Štemberger & Vishesh Choudhry

  • Liquidity mining schemes influencing the DAI peg. Observe the following moves in the diagram below:

    1. This period was most influenced by Sushi and other forks “Food DeFi” farms. These farms consist of Uniswap and later Sushiswap LP tokens including WETH/DAI. As a result, DAI was pulled from stablecoin nominated AMMs into WETH nominated AMMs. At the end of the period, MakerDAO executes the 60M debt ceiling increase for USDC-A, allowing for new supply to be minted.

    2. SAFE farm starts, which includes Balancer DAI/SAFE 98/2 pool as one of the four pools. The pool managed to pull a large amount of newly issued DAI and DAI from other venues (~155M at one point), which decreased DAI available in stablecoin and WETH nominated AMMs, pushing the price above $1.04.

    3. MakerDAO executes emergency executive vote to increase USDC-A vault debt ceiling and lowers the collateral ratio to 103%. Around the same time, the price of SAFE tokens suddenly decreases, rendering the high yield. DAI from SAFE farm and newly issued DAI is allocated to mostly stablecoin AMMs, decreasing the DAI price premium.

    4. Additionally, it is expected that MakerDAO governance will further increase the USDC-A debt ceiling & decrease the liquidation ratio to 101% on Friday. The change theoretically limits the DAI price premium to $1.01, given there is sufficient debt ceiling available for new issuance, which currently offers certain level of calamity for DAI short positions.

  • Liquidity mining remains a large factor in allocation of DAI across different trading venues and platforms. The chart below shows DAI balance in stablecoin nominated AMMs (Curve & Swerve), balance in ETH/DAI pools (Uniswap & Sushiswap), balance in Balancer DAI/SAFE 98/2 pool, and lastly log DAI price from Coinbase USD pair. The above explained dynamics, caused by different farms, have caused several DAI cash flows between different contracts in addition to newly issued dai, which is visible on the chart. As visible, the DAI price premium decreases as the allocation of DAI in stablecoin AMMs increases. Increased supply of DAI in ETH/DAI pools does decrease the price, but is limited in effect due to additional trading fees, network fees and volatility of ether.

    Lastly, DAI allocated in pools which consist of highly volatile assets and do not have another stablecoin or at least ether nominated liquid market, does not help decrease the DAI price premium, as arbitrage is not possible with this liquidity. Example of such a market is the current Balancer DAI/SAFE pool, which visibly negatively affected the price of DAI. Observe how the first red bar visibly lowers liquidity in WETH & stablecoin nominated AMMs, which causes the above $1.04 price spike. In the following bars, we have a total increase across balances which is ultimately a result of USDC-A DC increase, while on the fourth red bar, it is one again visible how DAI flow from SAFE pool to other pools, mainly stablecoin nominated pools, positively affected the price.

Source: Etherscan
  • ETH liquidation risk. The current ETH spot price is ~$387. About 160M Dai minted from ETH-A vaults is  250% collateralized or lower. In the event that ETH price were to fall to $303, ~12M Dai would be liquidated. At $280, that number increased almost tenfold to 105M Dai liquidated. Given the aforementioned tendency for Dai liquidity to frequently dry up as a result of yield farming, this liquidation wall presents a significant risk for a few reasons:

    1. Liquidations result in further removal of circulating Dai pushing price upward reducing the price efficiency of Dai auctions

    2. If Dai liquidity is not enough to meet this amount then said auctions may not receive sufficient bids resulting in potential losses for MKR holders and vault owners (vis a vis March 12th events). This mentioned liquidation risks are currently less severe as usual due to aforementioned changes to USDC-A vault type.

Image 2020-09-18 at 9.55.37 AM
Source: http://makervaults.descipher.io/
  • WBTC liquidation risk. The top 5 vaults account for ~46M Dai or 84% of the Dai supply minted from WBTC. With two of these vaults being <280% collateralized, there is a liquidation wall for WBTC at ~$9.1k. This is presumably a lower risk scenario than for ETH, given that it’s a smaller nominal amount of Dai and that ETH is a more volatile asset than BTC. 

Source: http://makervaults.descipher.io/
  • Dai Supply Issuance. Dai supply has grown significantly in spite of increased fees, particularly from USDC vaults.

    • The outstanding Dai supply has grown from ~200M in July to ~400M in August to over 620M in September of 2020. Of this, 57% was generated from ETH-A collateral, 32% from USDC-A, and 8.8% from WBTC-A. 

    • This is in spite of the fact that stability fees have been increased with USDC-A, BAT-A, and WBTC-A vaults sitting at 2% (ETH is still 0%). 

    • Recently, 3.5M was also minted from PAX-A (2% stability fee) and even 6.4M from USDC-B (alternate risk parameters) at a 48% stability fee. The remaining collateral types (TUSD, ZRX, KNC, USDT, Mana) account for <1% of the Dai supply. 

    • Dai issued from ETH remained net stable in the last month, whereas Dai issued from WBTC fell ~30% and that from USDC-A increased by 1400% following a series of debt ceiling increases.

    • Spikes in Dai generation are often correlated with the emergence of new yield farming opportunities, so it is reasonable to assume this is a prime driver of demand as of late.

Source: descipher.io/

About the editor: Spencer Noon is Head of Investments at DTC Capital.
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Our Network: Issue #38

Web3 Coverage + Special Announcement 🎉

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This is issue #38 of the on-chain analytics newsletter that reaches 5000 crypto investors every week 📈


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This week our contributor analysts cover ETH Gas, Chainlink, and Numerai.

① Chainlink

Contributor: Blaise Cavalli, CEO and co-founder of Nyctale

  • Chainlink has continued its impressive growth of attracting new long-term investors. There are now 100k wallets labeled as long-term investors and a total of 150k wallets with a balance of greater than 10 LINK. This growth is mainly fueled by wallets having less than 1k tokens in their balance (“Micro” label), and wallets holding between 1 to 10k tokens (“Little” label).

  • Although the number of holder wallets is growing, the amount of tokens held by long-term investors has been decreasing all along the last few months. Around 50M tokens have moved from these wallets, which means there are more tokens circulating on the market.

  • During the recent price spike, we identified groups of wallets cashing out parts of their positions. These were mainly holding between 1k and 10k tokens (“Little” category). In parallel, many small investors (buying less than 1k tokens) joined the LINK community during this highly speculative period. Figures 3 and 4 below show the number of outgoing and incoming investors on LINK over the past few months:

Image 2020-09-11 at 11.42.21 AM
  • Surprisingly, the concentration of wealth in this period has significantly increased, moving from 0.25% for all wallets holding 90% of the total supply to 0.1% in the last 6 months. This means that while middle size investors enjoyed the price spikes to cash-out with a new wave of small investors, whales have kept consolidating their position in parallel. Figure 5 shows the 90% wealth concentration indicator for LINK:

  • Finally, active wallets and on-chain transactions are also on the rise, as there are now more than 40k active wallets responsible for 200k transactions on a weekly basis. This represents 100% quarterly growth for active wallets and +200% quarterly growth for on-chain transactions.

Image 2020-09-11 at 11.43.05 AM

② ETH Gas

Contributor: Professor Aleksandar Kuzmanovic, Co-Founder & Chief Architect at bloXroute Labs

  • This analysis compares Ethereum fees across two periods: a week in January 2020 and a week in August 2020.


③ Numerai

Contributor: Omni Analytics Group

  • Numerai hosts “the hardest data science tournament on the planet” as a weekly competition where users build machine learning models that forecast outcomes on financial assets. Since before 2017 and now into its 228th round, the tournament has seen steady growth in the number of data scientists signed up to participate.

  • Over the last 45 rounds, not only has the number of data scientists grown, but an increasing number of tournament participants have been staking Numeraire on their models. The process of staking involves the data scientist locking a portion of their Numerarie holdings into an Ethereum contract. This serves as a signal of the level of confidence they have in their model predictions for a given round.  At the end of each round, models are rewarded additional tokens depending on the quality of their results and the amount staked.

  • Through the release of Signals and ErasureBay, Numerai has been expanding the utility of its Numeraire token and this is reflected in the growth trend of the number of unique wallets now owning the token. Since summer of July over 40,000 new wallets began holding Numeraire, with a large spike of nearly 5,000 in the summer of 2020 after a series of partnerships were announced.


About the editor: Spencer Noon is Head of Investments at DTC Capital.

Our Network: Issue #37

Coverage on Instadapp, Opyn, and Nexus Mutual.

Our Network is looking for its first community manager. DM me on Twitter if you’re interested.

This is issue #37 of the on-chain analytics newsletter that reaches nearly 5000 crypto investors every week 📈


This week our contributor analysts cover DeFi: Instadapp, Opyn, and Nexus Mutual.

① Nexus Mutual

Contributor: Richard Chen, Partner at 1confirmation

  • Active cover amount reached a new all-time high of $64M covered. yinsure.finance also launched as the first third-party distributor for Nexus cover. This allows for DeFi users to buy cover without KYC, as the yinsure distributor contract forwards all new cover purchases to be underwritten by Nexus. yinsure.finance also tokenizes the covers with NFTs so covers can be freely tradeable (Source).

A screenshot of a social media post

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  • Cover capacity for Curve and yearn.finance are maxed out at $10.7M and $9.4M covered respectively. Aave, Balancer, Compound, and Synthetix are also close to having cover capacity maxed out. There are nine covers of more than $1M each, all of which were bought in the last two months (Source).

A screenshot of a cell phone

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  • Despite the massive growth in cover amount, only 0.64% of total value locked (TVL) in DeFi is currently being covered. There is still a big DeFi market available for Nexus to cover, notwithstanding expanding to other products like oracle failure covers and stacked risk covers (Source).

A screenshot of a cell phone

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  • The capital pool size for Nexus grew to a new all-time high of $88M (190k ETH). At the same time, the minimum capital requirement (MCR) reached the magic number of 100k ETH, meaning that the MCR now increments once a day rather than every four hours. This puts 6x less downward price pressure on the NXM token (Source).

  • In the coming week, Nexus will launch #shieldmining, which allows for projects to reward their native tokens to NXM holders who stake on their contracts. This will greatly increase the staking rewards of NXM, which will open up more cover capacity and make cover premiums cheaper. This is especially useful to offer cover for new yield farming projects like SushiSwap and Yam Finance that would otherwise be too risky to stake on (Source).


② Opyn

Contributor: Alexis Gauba, Co-Founder at Opyn

  • Opyn provides decentralized options for DeFi called oTokens. There is currently $1.3mm of collateral backing WETH, CRV, YFI put options, ETH call options, and options on DAI and USDC deposits in Compound (cDAI, cUSDC) and USDC deposits in Aave (aUSDC). (Source)

  • Put and call options on ETH remain the most popular options with the 9/04 $400 WETH option seeing $507k in total notional volume and the 8/28 $400 ETH call option seeing $698k in total notional volume. (Source)

Image 2020-09-04 at 9.37.17 AM
  • With the advent of yield farming, there’s been excitement for put options on farmable tokens. The $3 9/25 CRV put option, which launched last week has seen $93k in total notional volume, and the $8500 9/18 YFI put option, which launched two weeks ago has seen $196k in total notional volume. (Source)

Image 2020-09-04 at 9.39.15 AM
  • In the last month the number of unique Ethereum addresses interacting with oTokens has grown to 1135 unique Ethereum addresses having bought or sold oTokens. (Source)


③ Instadapp

Contributor: Thrilok Kumar, Smart Contract Developer at Instadapp

  • With the launch of “DeFi Smart Accounts” by Instadapp that provides users tools to claim and maximize their earnings, like with the “Maximise COMP” feature to earn COMP. There has been an all-time-high of TVL assets, a whopping 548 % from $50M in late June to an all-time high of  $324M in early August. (Source)

  • Instadapp’s flashloan (InstaPool) has facilitated approximately $670M in flash loans for features like the Refinancing Tool, Leverage, and Debt Swap. Around $350M in flash loans was taken from previous editions to this date. (Source)

  • Within the $670M of flash loan transactions, ~$491M DAI was utilized. On July 28th, a ~$33M DAI flash loan was used. This was the highest amount of DAI taken in a single day. (Source)

  • The use of debt swap, collateral swap, and leverage as part of yield farming triggered approximately $214M in volume swap by Instadapp’s DSA. Major parts of this volume were swapped through Kyber, Curve, and 1inch. (Source)

  • Finally, since the launch of the COMP tokens, around 17.5k COMP tokens have been farmed and claimed on the DSA platform by the users. However, there are even more COMP tokens accrued but not yet claimed. (Source)


About the editor: Spencer Noon 🕛 is Head of Investments at DTC Capital.

Our Network: Issue #36

Coverage on MEME, HNS, FDN, and CKB.

Our Network is looking for a community manager. DM me on Twitter if you’re interested.

This is issue #36 of the on-chain analytics newsletter that reaches nearly 4000 crypto investors every week 📈


This week our contributors cover Emerging Networks: Foundation, Meme Protocol, Nervos CKB, and Handshake.

① Foundation

Contributor: Kayvon Tehranian, CEO at Foundation

  • Foundation is culture's stock exchange — a new medium for creators to release their limited-edition work as tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. Each token can be bought and sold in a bonding curve/AMM marketplace, and each whole token can be redeemed/burnt to receive a delivery of an item out of the limited edition collection. Since launching in May, Foundation has facilitated over $65K in trading volume. 8 creators have dropped so far, with a total of 21 live products, each with their own markets.

  • Art: Signe Pierce is the leading artist on Foundation to date. Her work has accumulated ~$20k in trading volume. $UPER is the highest-traded token to date, doing $10k+ in volume, and seeing a total price increase of 103.15%.

  • Music: PLS&TY dropped the first vinyl record on Ethereum. Over 50% of the collection was sold within the first 24 hours, and has seen a total price increase of ~50%.

  • Fashion: Neue Goods released a crypto-inspired streetwear line, which has accumulated over $22k in trading volume. Each item in the collection has seen a total price increase of over 200%.

  • Design: Studio Zollo released a handmade brass matchbox as $FIRE — over 60% of the drop was sold within the first 24 hours, generating trading volume of $2.4k. And GlitchTextiles released a woven blanket with a design generated by Foundation's bytecode — accumulating over $5k in trading volume.

    All market data for Foundation is made public via Foundation Terminal.

Image 2020-08-28 at 10.05.41 AM

② Meme Protocol

Contributor: Jordan Lyall, DeFi Product Lead at ConsenSys & Humble 🍍 Farmer

  • Eleven days after a satirical tweet kickstarted a passionate community of ETH-native builders, artists, and internet trolls, the Meme Protocol emerged as the world’s first meme farming experiment with nearly $500,000 locked in just 24 hours. Instead of farming for yield, DeFi users stake tokens to earn limited edition NFTs (non-fungible tokens).

  • On Wednesday, the Meme team deployed two unique staking pools: Genesis, where users lock up $MEME (the native token) for common or rare crypto-collectibles, and Genesis LP, where legendary NFTs are minted by depositing UNI ETH/MEME LP tokens, representing shares in the $MEME liquidity pool (LP) on Uniswap. This experiment in incentivizing LPs paid off, boosting liquidity on Uniswap to over $400,000 in minutes. 

  • One of the more surprising metrics so far is the percentage of liquidity locked up in the Genesis LP pool. Over 89% of the Uniswap liquidity is currently locked in the protocol competing to farm a legendary Vitalik, Sergey, or CZ.

  • Also unique is how the tokens were fairly distributed at their inception just two weeks ago. The total supply of 28,000 was airdropped evenly to original members of the $MEME community. Even now, the largest $MEME holder owns less than 5% of the total token supply.

  • The Meme Protocol is ultimately controlled by token holders. Holders of 100 $MEME or more comprise of the MemeDAO, the governing organization of the protocol. If you include the value locked in the DAO, the overall TVL for Meme exceeds $1.7M, good enough for an unofficial 31st place on DeFi Pulse.


③ Nervos CKB

Contributor: Jane Wu, CKB community

  • Hashrate: Nervos is a PoW blockchain secured by miners. Its hashrate has seen an explosive growth starting from March to June, and now stays around 12PH/S. The growth of hashrate was driven by the release of multiple ASICs (more details see Our Network #18). The increase in Nervos’ hashrate is positive for the security of the network and everything built on top. The graph below shows the hashrate growth since mainnet launch.

  • Block Time & Uncle Rate: Nervos improves on Nakamoto Consensus to maximize throughput of a PoW chain. The lower block time and orphan rate, the better the network is connected. The block time is ~12 seconds (weekly moving average) and the uncle rate (percentage of blocks that were created during short forks) is averaging ~2.9%.

  • Nervos’ native token CKByte (or CKB) represents scarce state space. Since on-chain state is bounded by the amount of tokens, demand to store state on Nervos has the potential to drive demand for the native token. Nervos has primary issuance (block rewards halve every 4 years, hard-capped at 33.6billion) and a fixed 1.344 billion annual secondary issuance. The latter will compensate miners  for continuing to store app state, to ensure the security and longevity of the network. Based on how CKB is used, the secondary issuance is divided among miners, Nervos DAO depositors and a treasury fund (which is being burned until the ecosystem fund in the genesis block is depleted). So far over 73% of the secondary issuance is being burnt.

  • By depositing in the Nervos DAO, the CKB holdings will never be diluted by secondary issuance. The amount of CKB locked in Nervos Dao and the locked to circulation ratio have seen continuous growth. Below is a graph showing the growth of CKB circulating supply and Nervos Dao deposits since mainnet launch. As of writing, 8.78 billion CKB or 42.9% of the circulating supply) is locked in Nervos Dao.

  • The Muta sidechain is making very good progress. We have tested Muta on a network with 21 nodes and achieved a steady TPS (transaction per  second) rate of 4000 with finality of 3 seconds, and the network can keep processing at this speed. This  is much better than any other PoS network or blockchain using BFT consensus. For example, EOS once achieved a peak rate of 3500 and sustained at a steady rate around 1000. However,  for finality they need to wait 180 blocks, while Muta only requires 1 block. Huobi chain that uses the Muta framework is expected to launch in Q4.

  • Finally, Nervos has integrated with China’s Blockchain-based Services Network (BSN) , which will run Nervos nodes via their public city and urban nodes, making the Nervos blockchain and future applications accessible to millions of potential users and developers.

    Data courtesy CKB explorer and Nervos 2020Q2 Quarterly Letter


④ Handshake

Contributor: Steven McKie, Managing Partner at Amentum Capital

  • The Handshake chain continues to see sustained healthy growth in overall usage in the last 6 weeks:

Click here to continue reading.

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