Learnings From $1m Topped Up
As you may have noticed, we crossed the $1 million topped-up mark a short while ago — that is the equivalent of $1 million dollars of different tokens (ETH & ERC-20) exchanged to fiat and topped up to our cards.
Having hit this number now seems a good time to look at the data that led up to this milestone, and to derive some insights as to what we can expect from our platform going forward.
To make sense of the data gathered, we’ve brought together two people representing the user-facing and financial facing sides of our project respectively:
- Bertie Stanley — Our Financial Officer who keeps track of our card usage data.
- Brice Berdah — Our Community Manager who keeps his finger on the pulse of all things DeFi.
Their analysis identified a fundamental shift in the top-up habits of our users, which broadly manifest in accordance with the movement of the DeFi markets
Monolith Cards Top-Ups (Last 6 Months)
We’ll begin by taking a look at the overall trend over the past 6 months. The graph below maps the total value ($) of all tokens topped-up on the Monolith cards, on a weekly basis:
While this graph does a great job of giving a sense of the overall trend, it hides the constant shifts between the usage of each token. The nuance here was in stablecoins accounting for a larger proportion of tokens as volume has grown
The graph below clearly outlines this shift. The year starts with around $20K in weekly card topups (~85% of which was ETH ), but closes with weekly card top-ups averaging around $60K, with ETH accounting for roughly half (50%) of it.
The shift towards stablecoins
This sustained shift towards stablecoins by our users, makes sense on multiple levels:
- Practicality: By abstracting volatility, stablecoins allow for a more convenient and predictable experience.
- Lower Fees: Stablecoins only incur a 1% fee when being topped up onto the card (versus 2% for regular ERC-20 tokens).
- Source of Stablecoins: Instead of directly spending their tokens, our users are increasingly sourcing their stablecoins from decentralised finance services.
However, this goes beyond just lending on DeFi services like Compound or Aave, and extends to real world spending. For instance, one of our users won the PoolTogether USDC lottery and spent their stablecoin winnings on a wine-filled celebration with friends, enabled entirely by Monolith.
Over the past 6 months, stablecoins (that is DAI, USDC, USDT) have accounted for 32% of the total top-ups. A clear learning from this trend seems to be both how sustainable it is, and how it continues to rise. Yet, even with this in mind, we can still observe a constant rebalancing between preferred stablecoins.
The Impact of Compound’s COMP Token
The launch of COMP token has had a significant impact on the stablecoin market. Several governance changes have impacted usage, with the graph above serving to show this impact in near real-time:
- June 16–21: Early on, USDT was the preferred and almost only token used to mine COMP.
- Around June 21, BAT usage picked up prior to the upcoming change in governance
- Early July, Governance changes made the usage of DAI & USDC on Compound more practical
Revisiting our top-up graph with an increased focus on stablecoins (above), we can see the rebalances between the three stablecoins currently supported. We can expand on this rebalance along three narratives:
The Steady USDC Rise: USDC DeFi lending markets have experienced increased activity over the past few months. USDC adoption has followed suit, with services even switching from DAI to USDC as their preferred ‘pegged’ coin. An example of this would be RealT making this shift in March in the wake of The Crypto Black Thursday.
The USDT Surge: USDT has seen increased usage in DeFi services (supported on Aave since the start, then Compound, etc.) and its growing usage in card top-ups comes as no surprise.
The Return of the DAI: We saw a dynamic shift in the DAI lending markets on the heels of the latest protocol update on Compound going live. This has resulted in increased DAI usage over the past week, with the sustainability of this trend still to be determined
Trends tend to be directly impacted by product development. Initially, DAI was the only stablecoin supported on the Monolith platform, which explains its head start. As we roll out our next feature — the ability to purchase tokens such as ETH, DAI or other stablecoins directly — we anticipate an evolution in these usage patterns.
One final point of note which may affect future reporting is the eventual addition of stablecoins to be spent on the Monolith cards — an iteration meant to fit all risk profiles. So stay tuned!
Don’t trust, verify
You can follow Monolith’s growth directly on-chain using tools like EtherScan:
We understand that not everyone is familiar with these tools. To make things easier, we’ll be releasing comprehensive dashboards in the coming weeks to help you keep track of the key metrics related to the Monolith wallets, Community Chest, and cards usage.
If you haven’t tried Monolith, or ordered your card yet, you can learn more about us here