DeFi declines while Bitcoin booms – Zero-sum game

While Bitcoin’s value has increased by more than one-third since September, DeFi tokens have floundered. Are the two things related?

The co-founder of crypto data aggregator Markets Science, Twitter-user ‘Bitdealer,’ has shared a chart indicating negative correlations between 11 top DeFi tokens and BTC over the past 45 days to Nov.1, with AAVE showing neutral correlation and UNI showing confluence if less than 0.1.

Seven of 13 DeFi tokens were also found to have negative correlations with Ethereum (ETH), despite Ethereum powering much of the DeFi ecosystem.

With many decentralized finance (DeFi) tokens struggling while Bitcoin (BTC) surged in price this week, analysts have identified a longer negative correlation between DeFi tokens and BTC.

45-day correlation between price performance of BTC and 13 top DeFi tokens: Bitdealer

However, the sector found its speculative plateau by the end of August, with Binance’s DEFI Composite Index crashing 64% from $1,100 at the start of September to less than $400 as of this writing.

TokenSet’s DeFi Pulse Index (DPI) has also shed more than half its value since launching at $130 in mid-September. DPI tokens last traded hands for just $61.55.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin’s price has increased by more than one-third in the past month, rallying to tag $14,000 at the end of October after global payments giant PayPal announced it was entering the crypto sector.

Google payments engineer Tyler Reynolds believes the bullish action in the Bitcoin markets is drawing speculative capital away from DeFi, noting that “major DeFi players” including Three Arrows Capital and Qiao Wang have recently pushed “a narrative of a hard rotation into BTC.” Reynolds estimates up to $50 million may have left the DeFi market, weakening buy-side pressure in the markets.

Crypto trader Flood made a similar point on the Coinist Podcast saying that he didn’t have “as much exposure as I would’ve liked on this move up and I think that’s a representation of the market as a whole.”

Trade activity on decentralized exchanges (DEXs) also appears to have reversed, with monthly DEX volume falling from close to $26.3 billion in September to roughly $19.4 billion last month.

Only a handful of DEXs have a significant share of the sector’s volume, with Uniswap and Curve representing 75% of decentralized trade in September. The past three months’ worth of Uniswap volume equates t45% of total DEX volume since November 2019.

Monthly DEX volume: Dune Analytics

Explanatory video Why is DeFi the Hottest Topic in Crypto?

DeFi stands for decentralized finance. Basically, the use of smart contracts that allow you to leverage your crypto investments to earn more money.

Basically, it’s lending. You’re either going to be participating in lending out your crypto in a direct way, or you’re going to be storing your crypto in a wallet that is used to create loans for other people and you get interest. This last one is being called high yield savings accounts and they claim to offer up to 6% yearly interest, but most of these rates will vary wildly.

It’s a new twist on traditional finance so don’t mind my lack of excitement on this topic. The presumed benefit here being that by utilizing cryptocurrencies and smart contracts you get the benefit of your coins remaining in your custody. But don’t let your guard down just yet, you’d be surprised just how many of these platforms require you to give them your coins. But before we get into all of that…

But this particular application of smart contracts is still new, and with that comes many, many growing pains in the form of hackers taking advantage of bugs or loopholes in the code which result in them taking advantage and leeching your money into their pockets. It’s because of this fact that I don’t think we will need to worry about this mad rush on the ETH blockchain just yet. There have been plenty of hacks in the DeFi space this year alone and I’m sure, or at least I hope that this will be enough of a warning to potential DeFi users of the risks involved.

I found one website that provides a quite extensive yet somewhat curated list of different DeFi platforms as well as feedback from users of those platforms. By the way, this is in no way a sponsored video, I came across this website, found it useful enough to want to share it and so I am. I will say that this site does list platforms that don’t exactly fall under the DeFi umbrella, but it’s nice to see a curated list of platforms ranging from Alternative Savings Apps and Analytics to help you compare the rates and fees of different platforms, to DEXs, Insurance and decentralized KYC solutions. Those last ones are what get me excited.

Also, judging by the albeit sparse comments on various platforms listed, they do seem to be genuine and offer helpful insights. Also, if you see a platform that peaks your interest and there’s also a link to an interview, I’d check it out, these can often be a decent insight into the state of mind of the creators/CEO/CTO so you can pick up on what they value and how they implement those values.

Before I veer off topic too much, here’s what I have to say about DeFi: I understand that people want to make money, and that an awesome way to do this is to have your money work for you. That being said, I would recommend not letting greed get the best of you to the point where you begin sacrificing your best security practices for a chance to earn a small percentage.

If you want to participate in DeFi specifically through lending, which you can do directly or more indirectly with these high yield savings accounts. If you want to participate in these, at the very least, be sure that you are using a non-custodial platform. Also, be extremely skeptical of any kind of lock-up period. Really, this whole thing just screams Bitconnect to me, and sadly, although some of these options may be legit, you better believe that scammers are going to be slipping into the crowd to take advantage of this new hyped branch of crypto. This is why I want to remind you of the key aspects of keeping your crypto safe and those two tips I just said will help to decipher which platforms are most likely designed so that you take on more risk than is needed. Don’t be afraid to see the red flags, and don’t let greed cloud your judgement. And always remember, not your keys, not your crypto.