The DeFi market got its first unicorn this week; if the total value locked (TVL) in assets on a platform is considered.
Maker charges ahead of other DeFi projects
MakerDAO became the DeFi platform to reach the milestone early on Monday. The development follows increasing mainstream interest in the sub-sector and Ethereum breaking above $300 over the weekend.
Spartan Group co-founder Kevin Koh tweeted Monday that Maker became the first DeFi protocol to cross the “magical $1B TVL mark.”
So many people got this one wrong…..
— SpartanBlack (@SpartanBlack_1) July 27, 2020
He added “so many people got this wrong,” referring to the broader crypto sector’s interest in newer dApps like Compound and Aave ahead of the (relative) veteran. An earlier Twitter “poll” held by Koh saw 46% of over 1,600 respondents choose Aave as the first project to hit the $1 billion TVL mark, with just 11% for Maker.
Which DeFi platform is likely hit the magic $1B TVL first?
— SpartanBlack (@SpartanBlack_1) July 26, 2020
Despite locking the most in assets, CryptoSlate’s proprietary DeFi tracker shows Maker is not leading DeFi tokens by net market cap/network value. That crown’s going to Ampleforth, a 2018-founded platform that touts itself as “adaptive money built on sound economics” and is designed to act as a “base currency” for decentralized ecosystems.
As the metrics show, AMPL tokens enjoy a $559 million market cap compared to Maker’s $525 million. However, this could change in the coming weeks as public sentiment on Ampleforth has started to sour (critics say its token economics are not sustainable).
Concerns of ill-fated Black Thursday remain
While Maker’s $1 billion in TVL remains a historic milestone, concerns over its smart concern dynamics remain. Much of this stems from the “Black Thursday” event in April 2020; which saw Ethereum plunge 40% within hours and, consequently, zero-bid auctions for ETH on the platform. Investors lost over $4 million due to this exploit that day.
As CryptoSlate reported at the time — Maker caught unaware on March 12 after a sudden drop in ETH prices exposed the platform’s questionable risk management policies. Investors lost millions in ETH, DAI, BAT, and USDT as hackers took advantage of “zero-bid” offers.
Rapidly falling ETH prices and rising GAS values failed to update on Maker auctions, leading to a situation where certain ETH collaterals were purchasable at 0 DAI (comparable to 0 USDT). Since the ill-fated event, Maker developers have proposed how to prevent such a scenario in the future.
For now, DeFi seems to be Maker’s field. But that could soon change with players like Yearn Finance quickly gaining prominence and exposure.