DeFi platforms see profits amid FTX collapse and CEX exodus

A week after the fallout from the FTX and Alameda chaos some on-chain data points are interesting to observe. Although record amounts of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) volume are leaving the exchanges, not all decentralized applications (DApps) and protocols have shown growth, mainly due to reliance on FTX and Alameda. 

DeFi earnings highlight positive revenue for some protocols

According to Token Terminal’s earnings leaderboard, in the last 7-days, three protocols had revenue above $1 million. Ethereum led the on-chain earnings with over $8.5 million total, a sign of strong post-Merge fundamentals.

OpenSea was a distant second place to Ethereum, earning $1.5 million, while nine protocols and DeFi platforms earned more than $100,000.

Earnings leaderboard. Source: Token Terminal

Decentralized perpetual exchanges see increased trading volume

Combined with the migration away from centralized exchanges, the volatile crypto market has users trading in record numbers.

According to data from Token Terminal, the daily trading volume of perpetual exchanges reached $5 billion which is the highest daily trading volume since the UST meltdown in May 2022.

Perpetual exchange volume. Source: Token Terminal

While trading volume increased, the total value locked in DeFi lags

Only seven protocols saw a net increase in their total value locked (TVL) over a 7-day period. Gains network, a perpetual exchange on Polygon saw the largest 7-day increase of 17.3%

TVL sorted descending from 7-day. Source: Token Terminal

One inter-chain operability protocol, Ren, witnessed a TVL drop of 50% in the last week. According to Cointelegraph reporting, Ren partnered closely with Alameda, receiving quarterly funding and keeping their treasury directly on FTX. The protocol itself benefited from Alameda’s locked liquidity in an attempt to improve interoperability.

Ren TVL. Source: Token Terminal

Data also shows that blockchain revenues are rising amid a constant rate of daily active users. Major blockchains saw an increase of over 300% in daily revenue when compared to previous weeks.

At the same time, daily active users remained steady at 1 million. The dichotomy between these data points suggests that transactions are happening at a more frequent pace among existing users.

Blockchain revenue and daily active users. Source: Token Terminal

Related: FTX collapse followed by an uptick in stablecoin inflows and DEX activity

Blockchain revenues do not necessarily equal earnings

While blockchains saw an increase in revenues which is likely primarily due to token emissions, only Ethereum saw positive earnings. Proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchains like Polygon (MATIC), Binance (BNB) and Optimism all recorded negative earnings. When PoS blockchains have negative earnings, holders of the tokens are hit with inflationary losses.

Blockchain earnings. Source: Token Terminal

On-chain data continues to exhibit strong points with increased activity on decentralized perpetual trading platforms and positive revenue for DeFi protocols. Even though CEX outflows were historic, daily active DeFi users did not increase, but the fact that they remained consistent is notable. The same data also highlighted lagging blockchain earnings, (except for Ethereum) and a decrease in TVL.