DeFi & L1L2 Weekly (17/05/2023)

Ethereum’s Beacon chain experienced two finality issues within 24 hours. Circle rebalanced its Treasury holdings, citing US debt default risk. Optimism’s latest major upgrade, Bedrock, is set for 6 June.

May 17, 2023
DeFi Weekly

Chart of the Week

The BRC-20 token standard, powered by the Ordinals protocol, has enabled developers to create and transfer fungible tokens on the Bitcoin blockchain. This development has expanded the network’s capabilities and possibilities, but the recent surge in transaction volume from BRC-20 has led to higher fees and network congestion. After the public’s interest surrounding BRC-20 brought Bitcoin’s network fees to its highest level since May 2021, the fees are now returning to normal levels.

Check out our latest report on Bitcoin: Bitcoin’s Expanding Ecosystem: Layer-2, DeFi, NFT.

BRC-20 Transaction Fees

Weekly DeFi Index

This week’s market cap index was positive at +3.04%, while volume and volatility indices were negative at -10.58% and -29.99%, respectively.

Weekly DeFi Index 17 May
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DeFi Index Token Performance 17 May
  • Lido, the largest liquid staking protocol in the market today, upgraded to V2 on 15 May. The V2 deployment on Ethereum enables users to unstake their stETH and receive ETH at a 1:1 ratio and introduced its Staking Router feature.
TVL of Top Chains 17 May
Top DEX by Chain 17 May

News Highlights

  • On 11 May, Ethereum’s Beacon chain experienced two separate technical issues within a 24-hour period, failing to finalise blocks for around 20 minutes and then for an hour on the second instance. The network has recovered since, but the root cause is still unknown.
  • USDC issuer Circle rebalanced its treasury holdings that mature after early June, citing US debt default risk as the main reason while seeking to avoid exposure to a possible lapse.
  • Layer-2 blockchain Optimism set 6 June for its next major upgrade dubbed Bedrock. First announced in May 2022, the hard fork will offer a “new level of modularity, simplicity, and Ethereum equivalence for Layer-2 solutions”.
  • Lightning Labs, the development team behind the Lightning Network, launched Taproot Assets v0.2, the rebranded version of its Taro protocol. Currently deployed on testnet, Taproot Assets claims it’s designed to “bitcoinize the dollar” and to operate maximally off-chain. 
  • Daily Dogecoin transactions briefly outpaced that of Bitcoin and Litecoin, which can be partly attributed to the recent introduction of the DRC-20 token standard. DRC-20 launched on 9 May and follows a similar setup to the BRC-20 token standard, where digital artefacts can be inscribed on each elon (the smallest unit of DOGE). 
  • Layer-1 blockchain Sui quietly fixed a critical bug that would have allowed exploits against Aptos or Sui-based protocols and put ‘’billions of dollars” at risk. The vulnerability was located in a file that translates human-readable code into machine language for storage.

Recent Research Reports

  • Monthly Research Roundup (April 2023): In this issue, we feature trending market insights, and our latest research reports take a closer look into Bitcoin’s expanding ecosystem, specifically Layer 2s, DeFi, and NFTs.
  • Alpha Navigator: Quest for Alpha [April 2023]: Asset classes were generally flat in April, with cryptocurrency outperforming other assets. The US Federal Reserve could be on the cusp of ending its interest rate hike cycle.
  • Bitcoin’s Expanding Ecosystem: Layer-2, DeFi, NFT: The landscape of the latest projects building on top of Bitcoin is expanding beyond payments. It now includes Layer-2 scaling solutions and key application categories like DeFi and NFTs.

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