Ethereum’s DeFi debacle and what it actually needs to recover from its plunge

November was a difficult month not only for the spot market but for the DeFi market as well, and Ethereum is the prime example of it.

Even though Ethereum holds 66% domination in the DeFi space, halfway through the month of November the DeFi king lost about $18 billion from its total value locked (TVL) and has since been making its recovery slowly.

Ethereum’s DeFi debacle

The biggest letdown came from some of the derivatives protocols which had a pretty significant drop of 13.21%, followed by Lending and DEXs at 9.17% and 6.51% respectively.

Ethereum TVL distribution | Source: Coin98

Some dApps are making major gains and supporting the recovery of the lost TVL. Loopring, for example, turned out to be one of the biggest protocols this month, rising by over 281% from $206 million to $785 million in market cap as of yesterday.


However, there are also some other not-so-well-known dapps that made it big. One of them was a stablecoin protocol Origin Dollar which saw a 492% increase in its TVL.

Another multi-currency stablecoin protocol handle.fi shot up 1580% and is currently sitting at $3.4 million. Loopring even sent out ripples in the spot market when it rallied by 813% this month.

Loopring price action | Source: TradingView – AMBCrypto

So why is recovery slow?

The issue here is not with the protocols. Ethereum has a myriad active users on the network, but it still needs to add more. Even though it has the most number of addresses in comparison to the competing chains such as the Binance Smart Chain (BSC), Solana, etc., the rate at which it adds addresses hasn’t changed in a long time. 

On a daily basis Ethereum only sees an increment of 134k addresses, whereas BSC adds about 275k, and Polygon at one point this month added 1.9 million addresses in a day.

Ethereum new addresses | Source: Coin98

Plus out of all these chains, Ethereum has only 590k active addresses on a regular basis, which is much lower than BSC’s 1.8 million active addresses.

Ethereum active addresses | Source: Coin98

Consequently, the number of transactions conducted fell to just 1.2 million. On the other hand BSC and Polygon regularly conduct about 15 million and 4 million transactions respectively.

Ethereum daily transactions | Source: Coin98

What’s important to understand here, is that dApps and protocols will rise and fall and since Ethereum has over 310 protocols, they cannot be considered as a factor of stability. However, if the participation on-chain increases it would lead to higher transaction figures and higher inflows. The tides could then change and Ethereum could recover much quicker.