Gm Nansen Explorers,
Welcome to this week's edition of Nansen's Weekly Research Roundup, where we bring you the latest research reports from our team. Lets dive in!
1. Comparing Token Sales' Models
Despite the burst of the ICO bubble in 2017, investment opportunities in these projects continue to be appealing for investors, boasting an average all-time ROI of 310% from the top launchpads. Xin Yi examines two prominent sales models - Dutch Auctions and Fair Launches - in detail. Analyzing the historical performance of tokens, it is observed that a majority of the tokens that were sold through Dutch Auctions remained profitable for investors a week after the token sale. Meanwhile, the Fair Launch model has shown mixed performance.
2. dYdX v4: Redefining The DeFi Derivatives Landscape
With Cosmos and v4, the dYdX team believes they can greatly increase its throughput, achieve decentralization of all aspects of the protocol, and greatly improve its tokenomics. Trading volume on dYdX far surpasses its DeFi counterparts and even that of some CEXs. Its average monthly derivatives volumes (since December 2022) exceed that of Deribit, Kraken, and Bitfinex. Osgur and Jake dive into dYdX and shed light on its current state, future architecture, challenges and risks to look out for.
3. Aztec: a Hybrid Public-Private ZK-Rollup
Aztec is building a public-private hybrid ZK-Rollup (L2) that allows both public and private execution of smart contract logic while still inheriting the security benefit of Ethereum. On Aztec, privacy is an optionality rather than being required by default. Aztec's composability enables seamless interaction between public and private environments, including private-to-public function calls, allowing for novel applications with varying degrees of privacy. The Noir smart contract language by Aztec Labs simplifies dApp development with zero-knowledge proofs, abstracting ZK cryptography complexities for developers. Yohji offers a full breakdown of Aztec network and shares his thoughts on the upcoming ZK-Rollup.
4. Mantle Network: An Emerging Modular L2 Ecosystem
Mantle Network features a unique three-layer blockchain structure. Ethereum handles settlement and consensus, EigenDA ensures data availability, and Mantle Network serves as the execution layer. Incorporating Multi-Party Computation (MPC) and Threshold Signature Scheme (TSS), Mantle Network improves trust and reduces withdrawal challenges, providing a reliable and user-friendly experience. Mantle holds one of the largest on-chain treasuries, with BitDAO (now Mantle Treasury) having $3.25b in liquid assets, predominantly in BIT (78%), followed by ETH (13%), USDC (6.2%), and others. Sandra analyzes Mantle Network and provides her insights in the report.
5. zkSync Era: A Quick Update
Since covering zkSync in April 2023, the chain has seen exponential growth. The number of unique depositors has surpassed 1 million addresses and TVL has exceeded $650m. Jake found that most zkSync bridgers deposit in small amounts and depositing $1,000 will put you ahead of 84% of addresses. Around 85% of wallets were created within the last year, signaling most of the zkSync bridgers are fresh wallets.
6. Decoding The CEX Landscape: An In-Depth Analysis of 2023 H1
The collapse of FTX and loss of customer funds significantly impacted users' trust in CEXs. Users now demand more transparency and protection measures from exchanges. Many exchanges have started offering Proof of Reserves. Others, such as Binance and Bitget, increased their protection funds. Osgur and Yohji did a thorough rundown of the current CEX landscape and future trends we can expect to see in the space.
7. “Stubborn” inflation and implication for markets
Central bank and market’s narratives are changing (again): the scenario of a recession is being pushed back and inflation is surprisingly “stubborn”. This creates non-linear effects, whereby monetary policy (outside of Asia) remains more restrictive for longer, and in turn, becomes an increasing headwind for risk assets. Shallow BTC sell-offs and ongoing decrease in crypto implied volatility tell us that a lot of regulatory and macro bad news are already priced in. Aurelie shares her thoughts on the current macro environment and key data points to look at.
That's a wrap for this week! If there's anything you'd like to see in future issues, just let us know. Follow us on Telegram to get notifications when reports go live or head to our Research Portal to get more insights.