AAVE Trades at Premium to LEND Amid Token Migration

Insight by IntoTheBlock shows traders are eager to stake. Also, Shell Protocol launch and DeFiDollar's governance token.

Hello Defiers! Here’s what’s going on in decentralized finance,

  • IntoTheBlock provides on-chain insights on the switch from Aave’s LEND to AAVE tokens

  • New AMM Shell Protocol draws $14M three days after launch

  • DeFiDollar introduces governance token

and more :)

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On-Chain Markets Update by IntoTheBlock

Traders Are Eager to Make the LEND to AAVE Switch

DeFi lending protocol Aave started the migration from the LEND utility token to its new AAVE governance token. The migration had originally been proposed in the Aavenomics token economics upgrade paper and was recently approved through governance with 100% of addresses voting “Yae”, or in favor of the proposal. LEND holders will receive 1/100 AAVE tokens for every LEND token that goes through the migration process. 

The migration aims to align token holders’ incentives with the protocol’s best interests: the AAVE token protects Aave against shortfall events while rewarding through staking. Shortfall events occur when there is a deficit in the system, like the one that led MakerDAO to be involved in a $28 million lawsuit following Black Thursday. 

This leads to the creation of the Aave Safety Module (SM). AAVE holders can stake their tokens in the SM and be compensated with staking rewards with an APY of approximately 11%. AAVE held in the SM then acts as a reserve protecting the protocol from unexpected losses in funds potentially stemming from liquidations, smart contract risk or oracle failure. 

This does bring additional risk to users staking, who risk losing up to 30% of the assets locked in the SM in case there is a shortfall event, slashing their positions. In the initial phase though, stakers’ positions will not be slashed, incentivizing more holders to migrate and stake their AAVE. 

The anticipated protocol upgrade already had a strong impact on key metrics. Leveraging IntoTheBlock’s on-chain indicators we can observe that Aave supporters were eager to migrate their tokens and start staking.

Here are three on-chain insights on the impact of the AAVE token migration:

1. Large Transactions Volume Sets New All-Time High as Whales Migrate

IntoTheBlock monitors transactions of over $100,000 to have an approximation of large and institutional investors’ activity. All of these transactions are aggregated in the Large Transactions Volume indicator. As can be seen below, LEND transactions recently reached a new all-time high on October 5: 

Source: IntoTheBlock’s LEND Financial Analytics

With the migration process starting on October 2 at 10:00PM UTC, LEND large transactions have increased dramatically. 

Using Aavewatch’s migration tracker, we can verify that these transactions indeed were to upgrade LEND tokens to AAVE tokens. Within 4 days, over a third of the total supply of LEND migrated to AAVE, highlighting the strong support from whales in the Aave ecosystem.

2. Active Addresses Spike as LEND Holders Migrate

While Large transactions spiked a few days after the migration, address activity picked up right away. The total number of active LEND addresses reached 2.66k, the third highest in 2020, the day after the token migration started.

Source: IntoTheBlock’s LEND Addresses Stats

Additionally, zero balance addresses — addresses that transfer out all of their tokens in a given day — spiked to over 2,000 the same day. This points to the likelihood of a large percentage of LEND holders transferring their tokens to receive the new AAVE token.

3. LEND has Been One of the Most Profitable Tokens - Can AAVE Keep Up?

Aave’s growth in 2020 has been welcomed by token holders. The LEND token has increased by 2,500% while value locked in the Aave protocol grew from $0 to almost $1.3B. As a result LEND has been one of the most profitable tokens.

Source: IntoTheBlock’s LEND Financial Analytics

IntoTheBlock categorizes addresses as in the money or out of the money based on if they are profiting or losing money on their positions based on on-chain data. Even after a 50% price correction from its highs of $0.90, almost 92% of LEND addresses are currently profiting from their holdings. 

Thus far the AAVE token has dropped in price as broader markets have fallen in October following the BitMEX scandal, Trump’s coronavirus and stimulus postponement.

That said, AAVE tokens are currently priced at a 1-2% premium over the equivalent in LEND. This shows that investors are willing to pay more to be able to stake and earn with their tokens. 

Overall, while the hype surrounding DeFi tokens seems to be settling down, leading protocols such as Aave continue to make fundamental progress. Ultimately, the token migration is set to be just a first step as Aave aligns incentives between token holders and the protocol’s security. 


Shell Protocol Draws $14M Three Days After Launch

Shell Protocol is now holding almost $14M in its stablecoin liquidity pool three days after launch.


DeFiDollar Introduces DFD Governance Token

DeFiDollar, which issues the DUSD stablecoin, is introducing a second platform token called DFD.


Solana Unveils Wormhole Cross-Chain Bridge to Ethereum: The Block

Solana, the Ethereum challenger and home to Serum, FTX’s new decentralized exchange, has unveiled a cross-chain bridge that will allow users to turn ERC20 tokens into Solana’s SPL tokens for use in DeFi applications, The Block reported. Wormhole was developed in collaboration with Certus.One, a startup that creates validator architecture for proof-of-stake blockchain networks.

Square Invests $50 Million in Bitcoin

Payments giant Square announced today that it bought ~4.7k BTC for $50M, which represents about 1% of the company's total assets as of 2Q of 2020. “Square believes that cryptocurrency is an instrument of economic empowerment and provides a way for the world to participate in a global monetary system, which aligns with the company’s purpose,” according to the announcement.


The Defiant is a daily newsletter focusing on decentralized finance, a new financial system that’s being built on top of open blockchains. The space is evolving at breakneck speed and revolutionizing tech and money. Sign up to learn more and keep up on the latest, most interesting developments. Subscribers get full access at $10/month or $100/year, while free signups get only part of the content.

About the founder: Camila Russo is the author of The Infinite Machine, the first book on the history of Ethereum, and was previously a Bloomberg News markets reporter based in New York, Madrid and Buenos Aires. She has extensively covered crypto and finance, and now is diving into DeFi, the intersection of the two.