The last couple weeks in DeFi have been an absolute bloodbath. The median DeFi asset is down more than 40% in the past 30 days.
While the price action could just be the first of many pullbacks in a longer bullish trend, what’s clear for now is there are more sellers than buyers and DeFi’s summer casino could be coming to an end (it’s the start of Fall anyways?).
There are many potential reasons for this selloff ranging from volatility in broader financial markets to investors simply taking profits after a blowout summer. I don’t plan to elaborate on any of those here. Instead let’s zoom out and look at DeFi’s summer in numbers.
There are a couple major takeaways from the above table.
- After the 40% pullback over the past month the median DeFi asset is now down 3% over the past 90 days, underperforming both Bitcoin and Ethereum.
- Blue chip DeFi assets like YFI, LEND, SNX, and NXM are all still up big this summer even after the recent pullback, far outpacing Bitcoin and Ethereum.
- First generation DeFi assets such as MKR and REP, and newly launched / forked DeFi assets such as SWRV, CRV, and SUSHI, have suffered the most in the selloff and weighed down the DeFi sector.
While the sector was heating up, total value locked (TVL) in DeFi, a measure of how much value users are storing in DeFi protocols, ballooned 632% from $1.8 billion to $13.3 billion at its peak. Even after the selloff TVL currently stands at $9.5 billion, 423% higher than it was 90 days ago.
Similarly, the market cap of DeFi assets as a whole reached a peak of ~$8 billion, up from ~$3 billion 90 days ago, and currently stands at ~$6 billion. At $6 billion the sector as a whole is still worth less than XRP alone, and worth only 4% of the total cryptoasset market capitalization excluding Bitcoin.
The DeFi hype has been strong, but not yet enough for it to make a dent in broader cryptoasset markets.
Perspective from 2017 Bull markets never go up in a straight line. Throughout the history of cryptocurrency, bull markets have been characterized by big hiccups along the way. In the 2017 – 2018 ICO boom, ETH pulled back 20% or greater seven times before it peaked in January 2018. So far in this bull market we’ve only experienced one.
If the past is any guide to what we may experience in this DeFi led bull market, then this pullback probably won’t be the last to come. But more importantly means that this pullback alone isn’t a reason to panic and prepare for winter.
DeFi had a hot summer to kick off this bull market. But like the temperature does in the the Fall, it may just be time to cool down for a bit before ramping things up again. Bull markets are marathons not sprints.