The DeFi Series: Monitoring User Activity & Community Growth

Published in
5 min readJul 31, 2019


The Massive CDP Opening on MakerDAO

Using Alethio’s Monitoring tool, we noticed an enormous spike of the Maker CDP Open action in the past two weeks:

Fig 1 — CDPs Opened in July 2019

The spike on the chart spans over 5 days, from July 26 to July 30. At the peak — on July 27, there were 6,474 new CDPs opened. The activities went down gradually after 2 days and increased the accumulated CDP id from ~19,000 up to ~40,000 now (by July 31 st).

This activity is very unusual considering that in the prior months, the number of CDPs opened per day ranged between 20 and 30, and the number of distinct addresses that were opening them ranged between 10 and 20. As for the amounts deposited in collateral — they were almost always in the thousands, with the average collateral deposit per CDP being in the tens or hundreds of ETH.

In the 5 days mentioned above, these changed by quite a large margin.

Fig 2 — Stats for the CDPs opened between 26 & 30 July

We can see a huge increase in the number of CDPs opened by a number of addresses that is not proportional to historical activity. However, the total and average collateral values deposited when opening these CDPs did the opposite — it dropped.

Fig 3 — CDPs Opened (x axis), Number of distinct users (y axis) and Collateral amount (bubble size) — for days in the past 2 months.

We can better observe the pattern breaking in the gif above. Large amounts of collateral and small numbers of CDPs and users for the baseline behavior — transitioning into small amounts of collateral and large numbers of CDPs and users in the past week.

The data on MakerDAO’s portal also shows that in the last week of July, there were over 22,000 CDPs opened. Given that the latest CDP id is 40,302 — we can see that the total number of CDPs more than doubled.

With a further look into the distribution of CDP activities, we noticed that there’s barely depositing nor borrowing actions on those newly created CDPs: in the chart below, it shows that after CDP id 19,407 — both the deposited ETH and borrowed DAI amount are nearly 0 for all the new CDPs created after.

Fig 4 — Distribution Of Total Collateral Deposited & DAI Borrowed For All CDPs

Zooming in on CDPs created after July 24, we collected the statistics as follows for those with less than 0.1 ETH deposited as collateral:

Fig 5 — Distribution Of Collaterals (Under 0.1ETH) For CDPs Created After July 24th, 2019

Of the 20,039 newly created CDPs, each one deposited the same amount of collateral — 0.01 ETH.

Lucky enough, with comments from the team, we believe this is due to the newly released Coinbase course campaign which raised huge interests from the crowd.This activity, however, is unusual, and could be worth more attention from the community.

Recap: The Growing DeFi Universe

Over the past few months, the DeFi user community has grown larger and more interoperable, compared to the graph we had in May.

In terms of volume of ETH locked, MakerDAO dominates across the major platforms, with Compound, NUO, and dYdX following behind. However, compared with the zoomed-in view, we can see that since the beginning of April, while MakerDAO’s volume started to drop, the other platforms have been collecting volumes. This is likely because Maker’s stability has been increasing since that time.

Fig 6 — ETH Locked in DeFi Over Time

Below, in the refreshed graph view of the network of the DeFi ecosystem, the colorful nodes surrounding the platform logos represent the addresses (understood as users in this context) who have only interacted with the protocol whose logo it points to; while in the center, those yellow nodes appeared in 2 DeFi systems. The orange nodes are the users shared by 3 platforms, and the red ones are those who tried out 4 or more DeFi products.

To clarify, due to different attributes and products each platform offers, the role of ‘user’ can be defined differently. For example, CDP openers are the origins and owners of all proxy contracts running on MakerDAO’s system, while for Compound, suppliers and borrowers can better describe their users.

Fig 7 — Network Graph with the interaction between DeFi protocol users

We can see that Compound now maintains the largest group of exclusive users (light green nodes) on its platforms, on the same scale as MakerDAO (dark green nodes). NUO network has taken off in a short period and now shares the third largest group of users among the DeFi protocols included here.

Compound has the largest group of common users, shared with InstaDapp. It also has large numbers of common users with MakerDAO, Uniswap, NUO network, as well as dYdX.

One thing to note is that there are no shared users (yellow nodes) who belong to Uniswap and dYdX exclusively. This is possibly because dYdX offers exchange functionalities through 0x protocols and OasisDEX for liquidity, therefore the users are unlikely seeking token exchanges services on Uniswap.

More from Alethio

Alethio’s DeFi dashboards now are refreshed and enriched with more protocols and metrics. We aim to grow the list continuously to serve as a unified data platform — contact us if your DeFi product wants to be included!

Disclaimer: Alethio has no preference or prejudice towards any of the projects mentioned above. The range of protocols discussed is limited and we will keep working on adding more in the list to achieve a more holistic view. Alethio has a strong commitment to staying neutral by providing facts and best judgments based on objective and/or verified information. This article should never be used as a guide for any malicious practice or trading suggestion.