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Ethereum Burn Rate Hits Record High as DeFi Market Jumps

The ETH burn rate hit an all-time high.

Ethereum Burn Rate Hits Record High as DeFi Market Jumps

Severe volatility has driven Ethereum’s daily burn to an all-time high,  with roughly 18,070 ETH, or $57.8M, destroyed in 24 hours on Jan. 11.

The move comes amid a strong bounce for Ethereum and decentralized finance assets, with ETH trading at $3,250 after jumping 11.3% from its local low are down for the day. NFTs are also climbing, with daily volume on leading marketplace OpenSea posting new highs this month.

According to the Ultrasound Money, Ethereum’s burn rate beat out its previous record by more than 1,000 Ether, with 16,910 ETH having been destroyed within 24 hours on Oct. 28 at a rate of 12 ETH every minute.

OpenSea was the single-largest source of burnt Ether, with 2,755 ETH destroyed within 24 hours. ETH transfers ranked second with 1,592 ETH, followed by Uniswap v3 with 1,213 ETH, Tether with 623 ETH, and the LOOKSRARE airdrop with 573 ETH.

Gas-Guzzling Protocols

Looking at 2021, Uniswap was the single-largest source of gas expended between its v2 and v3 deployments, representing roughly 40% of the gwei consumed by the top 20 gas-guzzling protocols, according to data from Nansen.

OpenSea posted dramatic growth in 2021, ranking second overall by gas consumed. The protocol closed the year at 30% despite representing barely 1% of network activity 12 months ago. 

1inch ranked third, although its share of gas consumed dropped by nearly half during the year, closing near 5% after opening at 10%. Seventh-ranked Aave experienced a similar trend, ending the year at just a couple of percent after sitting at 5% in January.

Network Activity

Chainlink came in 11th after a dramatic loss in share of network activity during the year, comprising barely 1% after representing 10% of activity among top-ranking protocols during much of Q1 2021. Axie Infinity similarly spent much of Q3 at 10% despite opening and closing the year in low single-digits.

Most other top-ranking protocols maintained a consistent share of network activity throughout the year, including Wrapped Ethereum, Tether, USD Coin, 0x, SushiSwap, and Curve.

Ethereum’s fee market was overhauled in August with the launch of EIP-1559, which introduced a base fee that is burned by the network alongside a tip that is received by transaction validators.

With the coming Ethereum chain-merge set to remove Proof-of-Work block rewards from ETH issuance and network activity soaring this past year, many analysts are predicting the burn mechanism will underscore a deflationary Ethereum 2.0.

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