Cointelegraph By Marcel Pechman
The price of Ether continues to push higher, and many analysts are calling for $3,000 as a short-term target. All of this “success” takes place in the face of Ether (ETH) being in a bottleneck regarding high fees, network congestion and a tense situation with miners.
With decentralized finance (DeFi) applications taking center stage and the aggregate volumes at exchanges surpassing $4 billion per day, Ether’s price has rallied over 200% since the start of the year, marking a new all-time high at $2,300 on April 13.
This impressive price surge caused Ether’s open interest to reach a record high of $8 billion. The figure represents 50% of Bitcoin’s (BTC) markets just two months ago.
Some investors might say that derivatives contracts pose a risk for larger corrections due to liquidations, but one must remember that the same instrument can be used for hedging and arbitrage.
Not every short seller is aiming for lower prices
While the typical retail trader relies on perpetual futures (inverse swaps) primarily for short-term leverage positions, market makers and professional traders will tend to seek yields.
This is usually achieved via “cash and carry” strategies that combine options trades. Therefore, to understand whether the current open interest represents a risk or an opportunity, investors must look at other indicators such as the funding rate.
Massive liquidations typically occur when buyers (longs) are excessively optimistic. Hence, a 7% intraday correction forcefully terminates everyone using 15x or higher leverage. Despite making headlines, $1 billion orders would represent a mere 6% of the current average volume.
As shown above, Ether futures aggregate volumes will climb above $25 billion when additional volatility occurs. This data means the eventual liquidation impact might be even more negligible.
The impact of futures goes in both direction
Analysts tend to ignore a futures contracts’ buy-side impact, especially during a bull run. No one blames derivatives for a sudden 7% price increase, although that might have accelerated the movement. This theory holds especially true considering the steep funding rate charged for longs. Traders should avoid these moments unless they’re confident that the rally will continue.
Whenever longs are the ones demanding more leverage, the funding rate will become positive. A 0.15% fee every eight hours equals 3.2% per week. Therefore, arbitrage desks and whales will buy Ether at regular exchanges and simultaneously short the futures to collect the funding rate. This trade is known as “cash and carry,” and it is not dependent on markets moving up or down.
Markets eventually normalize on their own
As the current futures open interest continues to rise, it reflects that markets are becoming even healthier, allowing even larger players to participate in derivatives trading.
Its CME listing was undoubtedly an important milestone for Ether, and this is confirmed by the $8 billion open interest mark.
The funding rate will adjust itself by welcoming more participants on the “cash and carry” side or by positions being terminated due to high costs.
It doesn’t necessarily end with billion-dollar liquidations, but it certainly raises the risk of them occurring. Nevertheless, these same contracts could have been used to drive Ether’s price up, netting the impact over time.
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.
Gelato Network launches ‘G-UNI’ Uniswap v3 management token
Cointelegraph By Andrew Thurman
While Uniswap’s highly-touted v3 has been racing to the top of TVL charts as of late, the need for active management has kept some retail participants out of their pools — a problem that a new product from the Gelato Network is aiming to fix.
First teased in a community call last week, the Gelato Network has released today the details of their “G-UNI” Uniswap v3 management system. G-UNI aims to perpetually maintain a liquidity range of 5-10% within the current price of an asset pair, with an oracle network checking prices and rebalancing liquidity pool position ranges every half hour. G-UNI also automatically re-invests trading fees for compounding returns.
“Passive G-UNIs work by just providing very broad liquidity, similar to Uniswap v2 that never has to be changed,” an announcement blog post reads. “It thus can be completely free of anyone’s control as it does not require changes in its price range.”
While Uniswap v3 allows liquidity providers to earn more fees by concentrating their funds at specific prices, it opens them up to risk of impermanent loss if the prices of the trading pair moves beyond the provider’s specified range.
Update: REKT ☠️ https://t.co/0MF0gCd9sm
— ameen.eth (@ameensol) May 29, 2021
The blog post notes that G-UNI’s auto rebalancing brings the benefits of concentrated liquidity, but with the option of passively managing the position in a manner more in line with Uniswap v2.
“The advantage of this includes that users can sit back and relax as all the difficulties that come with monitoring LP positions are taken care of.”
Composability and incentives
While the new tool will be a boon to passive liquidity providers, the real benefits of G-UNI might be for other DeFi protocols.
A self-described “Legendary Member” of Gelato, Hilmar, noted that projects can now incentivize concentrated liquidity in “pool 2” liquidity pools. Pool 2 is a colloquialism for a native governance asset paired with a popular base asset, such as ETH or MATIC.
3) Having an ERC20 wrapper around Uni V3 LP positions is extremely powerful, as this enables teams like Instadapp to offer “Liquidity Mining” incentive schemes on top of G-UNI.
This means you can now incentivize your community to provide liquidity around specific ranges
— Hilmar X 冰淇淋 团队 (@hilmarxo) June 16, 2021
Projects often have to provide ample liquidity mining incentives for participants in pool 2s, as liquidity providers take on the risk of the native governance token collapsing in price. Concentrated liquidity rewards may help stabilize native asset prices to a more regular range.
Additionally, G-UNI is a ERC-20 token as opposed to a NFT, which opens it up to a broader number of possible applications in DeFi. Many lending platforms accept liquidity pool tokens as collateral, but aren’t yet widely prepared for positions represented as NFTs; G-UNI will allow them to onboard v3 liquidity positions faster. Likewise, yield vaults like Yearn.Finance, which has been planning to incorporate exchange positions for some time, may find it easier to integrate ERC-20s.
G-UNI will be used out of the gate as part of the launch of Instadapp’s governance token. The team is setting aside 1,000,000 INST tokens for INST/ETH liquidity mining, with 3/4ths of the rewards focused on a higher INST price liquidity range.
Per the Instadapp dashboard, the incentivized pools are currently live and offering 2,200% and 1,800% APY respectively.
Alchemix patches ‘Reverse Rug’ exploit, address $6.5 million shortfall
Cointelegraph By Andrew Thurman
It’s as miraculous as Aladdin taking off on a magic carpet: in a possible first, some of the users of a decentralized finance protocol were the ones to benefit today from an exploit, turning the concept of a ‘rugpull’ on its head.
A colloquialism for when liquidity is drained from a project (often an unscrupulous founder or developer draining the funds themselves), depositors and DeFi users are most often the ones holding bad debt and/or worthless tokens — left to hope for compensation plans that can take months or even years to fully vest.
In an exploit today, however, the users are the ones who got to pull at the seams for a change.
This morning, Alchemix announced that the contracts for one of their synthetic assets, alETH, had experienced an “incident.”
There has been an incident with the Alchemix alETH contracts. Together with the fantastic team at @iearnfinance, we have identified the error and are both working on a post-mortem and a solution to the problem.
Funds are safe.
— Alchemix (@AlchemixFi) June 16, 2021
In a incident report published later in the day, Alchemix developer “n4n0” said that “an issue with the deployment script of the alETH vault accidentally created additional vaults,” some of which the protocol used to incorrectly calculate outstanding debts, which in turn meant protocol funds were used to “pay off user debts.”
As a result, for a short window of time users were able to withdraw their ETH collateral with their alETH loans still outstanding — a rugpull by the community to the tune of $6.5 million.
Alchemix innovating again… this time with the reverse rugpull.. a ‘rugput’
Joking aside there was a little incident with the new alETH vault in which nobody lost any funds but some users actually gained@n4n084191635 with a great incident report herehttps://t.co/Vo3cWRnZPx pic.twitter.com/68G3y1s3x0
— ⟠ toast.eth (@intocryptoast) June 16, 2021
Per the incident report, the team paused the mint contract for alETH two and a half hours after the exploit was discovered. The report notes that no users lost funds as a result of the exploit, and that Yearn.Finance — whose yield vaults automatically repay Alchemix’s synthetic loans — suffered no loss as well. Additionally, a “conservative” initial debt ceiling prevented the protocol loss from being more extreme.
The team, including incident report author n4n0 appear to be taking the loss in stride:
— n4n0 (@n4n084191635) June 16, 2021
A trio of solutions is being deployed to cover the shortfall, including a temporary increase in protocol fees, a injection of ETH liquidity from Alchemix’s treasury, and a sale of DAI from the treasury for additional ETH. The team says they will be deploying an entirely new vault to address the flaws of the original.
Further changes may be on the horizon for the alETH asset as well. Alchemix currently has a alETH/ETH pool live on Saddle, a VC-backed fork of Curve Finance, following Curve reportedly turning down creating a pool for the synthetic Ether. However, in the past 48 hours the Curve social media account has been making overtures in an effort to bring Alchemix’s latest synthetic asset back.
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