Deflated by inflation

While many are finally concerned with the looming problem of the inevitability of rising inflation and what it is going to mean for them in the future, the rich don't have to care much about such things as the price of goods and services, as not only do they have the means to pay, but their earnings also are several times larger than the rate of inflation.

These are numbers from the 200 richest Australians over the last six months:

  • The richest 200 Australians have come out of the pandemic unscathed and raking in the money, with the elite group now worth a combined $480 billion – up 13 per cent in the last six months.
  • The rich list’s wealth is equivalent to 25 per cent of Australia’s annual $1.9 trillion gross domestic product.
  • Australia now has a record 111 billionaires, and the cut-off to make the Rich List sits at an all-time high of $590 million, up from the $540 million needed to secure a spot in 2020.

Plenty of all time highs at that end of society.

But, the answer isn't wealth distribution from the rich to the poor, as that just prolongs the cycle, what needs to happen is a complete overhaul of the economy itself. While many people would like a better system, the will to actually change is far less motivated.

Inflation on Defi platforms

I was looking at inflation of a couple Defi sites that I have interacted with - Cub, Panther and ApeSwap.

  • Panther exploded onto the scene and quickly moved to about 600M+ TVL, but has since fallen back to about 110M, with the token price in the gutter at 20 cents.

  • ApeSwap has been pretty volatile and has seen some high prices on the token and has clawed back some TVL to hold 229M, after being trounced in the early days by Panther.

  • Cub Finance has dropped back and had 70% of its TVL wiped away and the token prices dropped as low as 50 cents, but is up again at about 65 cents now.

What is interesting is that they have all taken a slightly different approach, but the steadiest out of the three for me has been Cub by far. The TVL is the lowest, sitting under 8M after getting to just over 20 a couple months ago, but considering the strong pullback in the entire crypto market, this is to be expected, considering the TVL is not only the token price, it is also all the other tokens locked onto the platform.

For those who remember the start of Cub, the first week or so saw 3 CUB per block, the next 2, the next 1 CUB - which is where it has stayed since. This means there is about 3.5M CUB in the supply and there has been 272K burned, which is about 7.7% of the supply. This means that CUB is a very low supply token if compared to the others.

Panther did something interesting, as it was meant to reduce the PANTHER per block, but didn't. It did drop from 100 to 75, but the drop from 75 to 50 never happened. This means that there is now 116M PANTHER in the supply, even though they have burned 7.9% of the supply. That is a lot of panther to dump.

ApeSwap are somewhere in the middle of the two, with 35M in the supply, but they have quite aggressively burned about 15% of that supply. They currently print 10 BANANA per block.

I have been watching with curiosity what the inflation is going to mean for these platforms and so far, it is kind of as expected. The high inflation tokens attract a lot of early interest, but once the APR starts to drop, large amounts of the tokens get sold, driving the price downward. However, due to the "difficulty" in obtaining the low supply, people are a little more careful with their holdings. Early on for CUB, the price went up past 10 dollars as people aped-in but declined quickly. However, it has been relatively stable (DeFi stable) over the last weeks and while it has declined with the market, it hasn't completely crashed.

Of course, part of the reason for this is the community of Cub Finance itself, as there ae some large and strong hands in that group - which also poses somewhat of a future risk if and when they do decide to sell onto the market. However, if the Cub team are looking for sustainability, they will hopefully be able to offer a reasonable return to the large holders that might not be as high as other platforms, but is more stable and reliable. The Cub "Kingdoms" adds weight to this view and what will be interesting to see is whether the platform can attract new stake as they add more pairings to the offer.

For me, when crypto winter arrives, I don't want to have to sell anything, but I do want to be able to earn on what I have and use some of the earnings to diversify as prices are depressed. This means that the Kingdoms can offer an attractive place to park tokens, as the "cost" is paid continually and, all fees gathered burn CUB. Over time, this becomes more expensive, but it allows for a lower level of risk, as one doesn't have to pay up front and hope that the APR will return the deposit fee fast enough. It also means that as more people stake onto the platform, the CUB burn increases and the large holders who held on the way down, will gain on the way up.

Value needs community

I might be old school in my thinking, but inflation is bad, especially if it isn't being used to generate real value. Since most (all?) of the DeFi tokens are essentially useless, the increasing inflation just means a quickening dilution of the value. It is no real surprise that at this time PANTHER price is very low. I have stake in single-side panther pools, but I sell my yield, as expect that the price is going to keep declining, as they are not offering anything that makes me want to hold the token.

CUB might be similar in appearance, but the team potentially has more avenues to take to add some utility to the token, because they have a community of users who are motivated and willing to take the journey with them. One of the challenges of adding utility is, getting usage, but Cub is on Hive and there is already a community of active and knowledgeable users participating. This is also why Cub was able to attract so much TVL quickly and hold it there even as the market is falling, because they have built up social capital in the community for a few years now. Hopefully, they can keep expanding their offers and, find ways to attract more people into the community, not just onto the platform.

I think that the future of DeFi has to be where it attaches itself to real-world activity and in order to do that, it has to be part of a community itself. Most of the blockchains and tokens out there, regardless of their value, have very little actually happening on them because they do not have users. They can talk about all of the utility the token has, but if they have no audience other than traders, they are inevitably going to struggle in the real world, as that requires people interacting.

Once these platforms start building communities around themselves and empowering the individuals in many ways, the entire global economy starts to shift and the wealth of the world moves with it. People start to learn about their personal finance, but they get to do it from a position that functions like the global economy. Rather than thinking about what to do with their salary, they have to look at it all from both the micro and the macro views of economics, making their considerations more holistic, rather than compartmentalized. In time, stability comes through widespread economic and financial literacy, where small groups taking advantage of the majority is much harder.

There are lots of things in this post to think about further, but it helps me order my thoughts and take the temperature of my position and understanding to write about them. This way, I can start shooting off on tangents to expand my view. Hopefully others are doing the same - because the more we learn, the less we can be controlled.

[ Gen1: Hive ]

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