Tag: DeFi

Contagion in Decentralized Lending Protocols: A Case Study of Compound

We study financial contagion in Compound V2, a decentralized lending protocol deployed on the Ethereum blockchain. We explain how to construct the balance sheets of Compound’s liquidity pools and use our methodology to characterize the financial network. Our analysis reveals that most users either borrow stablecoins or engage in liquidity mining. We then study the robustness of Compound through a series of stress tests, identifying the pools that are most likely to set off a cascade of defaults.

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The Economics of Constant Function Market Makers

We use microeconomic theory to describe the inner workings of Constant Function Market Makers (CFMMs). We show that standard results from consumer theory apply in this new context, endowing us with powerful tools to characterize the optimal design of CFMMs. We employ them to analyze the externalities that traders and liquidity providers exert on each other when interacting through a CFMM. Liquidity providers reduce the execution costs by flattening the bonding curve on which trades are executed. Arbitrageurs impose an adverse selection cost on liquidity providers by unfavorably rebalancing their portfolio. We show that the strengths of these two externalities are pinned down by the curvature of the bonding curve and are inversely related to each other, thereby identifying the fundamental economic tradeoff that market designers have to address.

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