In the third quarter, the income of one of the oldest DeFi projects MakerDAO collapsed by 86%, drawing attention to the analytical company Messari.
An analyst under the pseudonym Johnny_TVL cited falling demand for loans and several large liquidations as the reasons. The protocol's revenue fell to $4 million from $30 million in the previous period.
At the same time, MakerDAO's costs were not so flexible and decreased by only 16%, the expert noted.
As a result, the project received its first quarterly loss since 2020.
The protocol’s income from assets based on Ethereum fell by 74%, based on bitcoin - by 66%, and from others - by 36%.
The analyst also noted the growth in volumes of the Gelato Uniswap (G-UNI) token, which represents the DAI/USDC liquidity pool. In his opinion, this practice does not bring income to the protocol but increases the dependence on the stablecoin of the Center consortium.
However, this increases liquidity and expands the use of DAI, as on-chain activity in the stablecoin has increased by 57% and 149%, respectively, over the past two quarters, Johnny_TVL emphasized.
In his opinion, MakerDAO has recently become more dependent on borrowing from whales and institutionals. As an example, he cited the positions of Alameda Research.
At the start of the quarter, Sam Bankman-Fried's firm had 63,000 wBTC locked in the protocol. In July, Alameda liquidated 13,000 wBTC (~20%) and by the end of the period, the position was less than 15,000 wBTC.
At the same time, the expert noted the turn of MakerDAO towards issuing loans against “real-world assets”. After a $100 million loan to Huntingdon Valley Bank, the share of income from similar positions in the protocol rose to 12%.
As a positive factor for MakerDAO's financial strength, the analyst cited the decision to move $500 million in reserves into short-term US Treasuries.
Johnny_TVL also recalled a proposal to change protocol management called Endagame from MakerDAO co-founder Rune Christensen. As part of the initiative, the latter proposed decoupling DAI from the dollar.