As Ether’s price sees record losses, MakerDAO, the biggest player in decentralized finance (DeFi) on the Ethereum network, is looking at responses including a shutdown — though that possibility remains unlikely at this point.
Per a March 12 call in response to “Black Thursday” losses, developers and MakerDAO Foundation members weighed the damage that the drop in Ether’s price had done to MakerDAO’s lending protocol. MakerDAO lends DAI for collateral in the form of Ether. As the market for ETH drops, MakerDAO’s protocol automatically sells. The recent market saw losses too dramatic for the protocol’s auctions to keep up with.
For now, stakeholders are understandably eager to avoid disabling the protocol. As Ethereum developer Ryan Berckmans wrote in response to the call:
“An emergency shutdown (not happening now) would cause DAI holders to take a haircut, whereas the social contract of MakerDAO is that MKR tokens take a haircut in the event of system failure. Therefore we should try and ensure that MKR holders take a hair cut by avoiding emergency shutdown if possible. I heard that emergency shutdown is not being considered as an immediate option.”
As developer LongForWisdom said on the call, the shutdown is currently a remote prospect, but may become the most rational decision if ETH falls to $80 or so: “If Ether price drops another 30, 40%, then we might be looking at that.”
Over the 24 hours up to press time, Ether had peaked at just over $195, only to fall to $128 as of 13:45 UTC. ETH’s drop is just part of a wider sea of red facing crypto and traditional markets on March 12.
Ethereum DeFi Breaks Records in June, However, Other Categories Are Suffering
Results for the second quarter of 2020 show tremendous growth for decentralized applications across all ecosystems, primarily spearheaded by Ethereum (ETH) decentralized finance, or DeFi. Decentralized exchanges were at the frontlines of the rise as Compound token mining activity trickled down to on-chain swapping solutions. According to Our Network, Curve was one of the biggest beneficiaries of yield farming as it helped users switch between different stablecoins to maximize yield.
Curve is an automated money market that only supports swaps between different types of stablecoins and wrapped tokens. This limitation allows Curve to provide competitive slippage and fees for exchanging assets. Deposits on Curve rose almost three-fold in June, while daily volume reached peaks of $60 million — 30 times more than its previous average. Demand for USDT pairs was the highest, capturing more than 58.5% of the total volume. This is due to USDT having one of the most significant COMP yields for an extended period of time. Uniswap also benefited from the COMP craze, with monthly volume doubling in June. Kyber and 0x had more modest performances: despite posting fresh monthly highs, the project’s growth was in line with the rest of the year.
According to DappRadar’s Q2 report, the dominance of DeFi indirectly led to the decline of gaming activity. Over $8 billion was transacted on DeFi platforms in Q2, which led to gas prices soaring exponentially. Ethereum’s vibrant gaming DApp ecosystem suffered as fees came to represent a significant portion of each transaction. DappRadar reported a staggering 79% decline of gaming-related activity on-chain over the previous quarter.
EOS appears to be the main recipient of Ethereum’s loss as its gaming transaction volume rose by about 80% since the previous quarter. While this is positive news for the platform, it still hasn’t fully recovered from the damage caused by the EIDOS airdrop in late 2019. Volumes remain well below the highs of Q2 2019. Finally, Tron (TRX) saw growth in its DeFi ecosystem after porting several Ethereum projects on its chain. In addition to the previously-launched clone of Single Collateral Dai, a platform named Oikos.cash recreated both Synthetix and Uniswap on Tron. Nevertheless, total volume for all Q2 is just $15 million. The majority of Tron’s activity remains in the gambling and “high-risk” categories.
South Korean Pyramid Scheme Defrauds Investors
South Korean authorities are investigating a complaint filed by 950 investors who claim to be victims of a crypto-related ponzi scheme. According to TV Chosun, police are looking into reports that over 160 individuals are believed to have operated the alleged scam, known as Futurenet. The Futurenet team is also suspected of stealing almost 20 billion won ($16.66 million) from investors and transferring the money via cryptocurrency.
Victims state that they were tricked by buying an “advertising pack” initially using crypto. No ads were ever acquired as a result of the purchase. A police officer from the Seoul Seocho Police Station says that the investigation “is still in the early stages,” so no further details are known about the structure or the cryptocurrencies involved. No arrests have been conducted as of press time. In recent weeks, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency launched a criminal investigation on June 12 that led to the search and seizure of two unnamed cryptocurrency exchanges. These efforts were enacted with the hope of dismantling an Ethereum (ETH) crime ring worth $41.5M.
Billionaire Chimes In On What A BTC Price Increase Would Mean
Chamath Palihapitiya, the billionaire CEO of Social Capital and Virgin Galactic Chairman, has called Bitcoin a type of disaster insurance against governments making bad financial decisions. In an interview with Unchained Podcast on June 23, Palihapitiya said hard-working people need something like Bitcoin as insurance, as the cryptocurrency is “really fundamentally uncorrelated” to the consequences of legislators behaving badly.
However, the CEO pointed out that for the Bitcoin price to skyrocket at this point, things would have to go terribly wrong in the financial system, with disastrous impacts on your friends and family. “If your Bitcoin bet pays off,” Palihapitiya said, “it will be cataclysmically destructive for the world. And that’ll have enormous consequences to many people we all know and care about who weren’t hedged in Bitcoin. And so you almost don’t want it to happen.”
Palihapitiya himself invested in 2010, by buying one million Bitcoin for $80, whose value reached the billions when the token had its all-time high in December 2017. No wonder the billionaire claims that Bitcoin (BTC), unlike “second- and third-tier” cryptocurrencies like Ethereum (ETH), is one of the few ways to get a “massive asymmetric payoff” from such a small investment. “You want to be sure that a small amount of insurance can basically make you whole,” Palihapitiya said, citing a $1,000 payoff for a $1 investment as a good example. “That’s why I just think that, you know, you should take 1% of your portfolio, put it in Bitcoin.”
“At the end of the day, any other asset class — equities, debt, real estate, commodities — they’re all tightly, tightly coupled to a legislative framework and an interconnectedness in the financial markets that brings together many of the governments that are sort of behaving this way.”
The billionaire has also speculated the value of Bitcoin in the future could reach millions of dollars, or drop to zero.
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