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What drives DeFi market returns?

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  • Şoiman, Florentina
  • Dumas, Jean-Guillaume
  • Jimenez-Garces, Sonia

Abstract

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is a nascent set of financial services, using tokens, smart contracts, and blockchain technology as financial instruments. We investigate 3 possible drivers of DeFi returns: exposure to the cryptocurrency market, the network effect, and the valuation ratio. As DeFi tokens are distinct from classical cryptocurrencies, we designed a new dedicated market index, denoted iDeFiX. We compare our index with the one created by Nasdaq and obtain similar results. First, we show that DeFi tokens returns are driven by their own network variables and the cryptocurrency market. We construct a valuation ratio for the DeFi market by dividing the Total Value Locked (TVL) by the Market Capitalization (MC). Our findings do not support the assumption regarding TVL/MC exposure. Overall, our empirical study shows that the impact of the cryptocurrency market on DeFi returns is stronger than any other considered driver and provides superior explanatory power.

Suggested Citation

  • Şoiman, Florentina & Dumas, Jean-Guillaume & Jimenez-Garces, Sonia, 2023. "What drives DeFi market returns?," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 85(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:intfin:v:85:y:2023:i:c:s1042443123000549
    DOI: 10.1016/j.intfin.2023.101786
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    Cited by:

    1. Yichen Luo & Yebo Feng & Jiahua Xu & Paolo Tasca, 2024. "Piercing the Veil of TVL: DeFi Reappraised," Papers 2404.11745, arXiv.org, revised May 2024.
    2. Mensi, Walid & Gubareva, Mariya & Kang, Sang Hoon, 2024. "Frequency connectedness between DeFi and cryptocurrency markets," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 12-27.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    DeFi token; Index; Asset pricing; Financial return;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • G40 - Financial Economics - - Behavioral Finance - - - General
    • F65 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Finance

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