Characterizing Common Quarterly Behaviors In DeFi Lending Protocols

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Green, Aaron
Giannattasio, Michael
Wang, Keran
Erickson, John S.
Seneviratne, Oshani
Bennett, Kristin P.
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The emerging decentralized financial ecosystem (DeFi) is comprised of numerous protocols, one type being lending protocols. People make transactions in lending protocols, each of which is attributed to a specific blockchain address which could represent an externally-owned account (EOA) or a smart contract. Using Aave, one of the largest lending protocols, we summarize the transactions made by each address in each quarter from January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2022. We cluster these quarterly summaries to identify and name common patterns of quarterly behavior in Aave. We then use these clusters to glean insights into the dominant behaviors in Aave. We show that there are three kinds of keepers, i.e., a specific type of users tasked with the protocol’s governance, but only one kind of keeper finds consistent success in making profits from liquidations. We identify the largest-scale accounts in Aave and the highest-risk kinds of behavior on the platform. Additionally, we use the temporal aspect of the clusters to track how common behaviors change through time and how usage has shifted in the wake of major events that impacted the crypto market, and we show that there seem to be problems with user retention in Aave as many of the addresses that perform transactions do not remain in the market for long.
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Green, A., Giannattasio, M., Wang, K., Erickson, J.S., Seneviratne, O., Bennett, K.P. (2023). Characterizing Common Quarterly Behaviors In DeFi Lending Protocols. In: Mathematical Research for Blockchain Economy. MARBLE 2023. Lecture Notes in Operations Research. Springer, Cham. (To appear)
Springer, Cham.
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