Decentralized Exchange Volume Dropped 25% in October

A steeper decline was avoided by one record day for Uniswap and Curve.

Nov 2, 2020 at 6:33 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:26 a.m. UTC

Monthly volume on decentralized exchanges fell for the first time since April, dropping 25% after three consecutive months of doubling aggregate volume through Q3, according to Dune Analytics.

Aggregate trading volume on decentralized exchanges fell to $19.4 billion in October, down from $25.8 billion in September amid a respite for speculative interest in decentralized finance (DeFi) applications and assets. Even highly anticipated new entrants like SushiSwap and Serum reported over 60% declines in volume last month. 

The sector’s continued cooling is demonstrated by DeFi index futures trading on FTX, which have dropped 29% so far in Q4, currently trading at $1,556. 

October’s drop in aggregate volume would have been larger if not for an anomalous record-setting day of trading on Oct. 26. Uniswap and Curve each reported over $2 billion in trading volume that day, an all-time daily record for both trading platforms and extraordinarily higher than the few hundred million dollars in volume per day through most of October.

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Monthly decentralized exchange volume since Jan. 2019

The widespread drop in volume was simply an expected decline after “peak euphoria from DeFi and yield farming craze” of the past few months, according to Jack Purdy, decentralized finance analyst at Messari, who remains optimistic about the long-term potential for DeFi protocols and assets despite October’s performance.

Notably, last month’s volume decrease didn’t extend to 0x, which reported a 50% increase in trading volume. Purdy told CoinDesk, “0x didn't see the same parabolic growth as some of the other decentralized exchanges, so it never had the chance to correct to a more normal level.”

To Purdy, the trading platform’s outlier growth demonstrates that “0x traders are more committed long term to decentralized exchange trading as opposed to buying the newest governance token that was first listed on an automated market maker.”

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Monthly growth in volume for decentralized exchanges since September 2020

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