Coinchange Updates
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Apr 18, 2024

Yield Indexes and Benchmark Comparison - Stablecoin Assets March 2024

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This document is published monthly. It now provides information and comparison of Coinchange yield against different comparable indexes of yield in the market. We selected the components within the indexes to be direct, indirect or closely related to yield generation (DeFi and CeFi) and interest generation while maintaining strict requirements on funds availability (same day), small to no investment minimums and minimum liquidity requirement of $300k TVL for stablecoin assets like USDC, USDT, DAI, MAI, MIM, stETH, DSR.

We also provide a historical comparison of the rate across the indexes to provide some perspective on performance over time.

Yield Indexes

March Comparison

For the month of March, Coinchange has increased its Earn Account rate to 9.75%, a jump of 2.23% from February, bumping its track record above 7% to thriteen consecutive month. CeFi Yield index decreased to 8.10, closer to its rate back in Decembre 2023. The DeFi Minimum Risk Rate (DMRR) continued its increase in March reaching 11.69% from 7.24% last month.  Similarly the DeFi Lending index has increased to 13.47% from 7.82% in February. The continued borrowing demand and DEX volumes benefited the DeFi Yield index, recording an increase again this month reaching 18.90%, a 3.09% increase from February. The CeDeFi index (monitors Coinchange main competitors) is at 9.91% this month, a 3.11% from February, making it closer to par with Coinchange rate. The DeFi Risk Free rate stands at 5.35%, an increase of 1.26% from last month. The Risk-Free Rate - Non-adjusted for inflation remains the same as last month of 4.21%.

In March, the TVL increased significantly in dollar terms from around $87.6B to $100B for the whole DeFi market. DEX 30day volumes have gone up to $191B up from $130B last month after more than 5x from September 2023 at $35.2B

The US dollar index is picking up but has not reached all time which had mild effect on global markets. Fiscal policy in place by the US of maintaining interest is proving its effectiveness for the time being with CPI stabilizing around 3.8%. Argentina president is continuing its countries reform after the successful decrease of last month inflation to 13% while yearly inflation is still excruciatingly high at 276%. SBF has gotten 25 years of imprisonment while KuCoin is getting charged for not following AML and illegally running an unlicensed MSB. BlackRock has announced its Yield Bearing Token which utilize Ethereum and tokenization similar to how other yield bearing stablecoin are set up. Microstrategy has reached critical relevance in comparison to Bitcoin max supply, by owning around 1% of it with 214,246 bitcoin.

Grayscale outflows seem to have eased off while ETFs inflow are stabilizing while the expectation around an approval of VanEck spot Ethereum ETF in May after delays from SEC, has decreased, evidenced by the discount in Grayscale ETH trust down to 20% discount  

We cover more subjects for this month in our DeFi Research News - March.

For March, two data point have been removed for AAVE under the DeFi Lending and DeFi Minimum Risk Rate indexes.


The chart below provides a snapshot of the rate across indexes and standalone rate for the month of March. We then describe the component within each index and standalone rate via a legend. The rate calculation methodology is the monthly average over the time period for the different stablecoin rate tracked: USDC, USDT, DAI, MAI, MIM, stETH, DSR. The exceptions are the DeFi Minimum Risk Rate which uses a 30 day average TVL weighted stablecoin average lending rate over the last 30 days. The minimum TVL threshold for data source is $300,000.00

We organize the indexes into 3 categories of risk. 

  • Minimal risk: Risk-Free Rate non-adjusted for inflation as well as DeFi Minimum Risk Rate fall under this category. 
  • Low risk: DeFi Lending Index, DeFi Risk Free Rate and Coinchange rate are parts of the low risk category.
  • Medium to High risk: CeDeFi yield, CeFi yield and DeFi yield are found in this category.

All Yield Index comparison - March

Indexes Legend 

Minimal Risk Indexes:

Comment on the index: No comment 

DeFi Minimum Risk Rate 
  • Calculation method: 30 day average TVL weighted average stablecoin lending rate over 30days (USDC, USDT, DAI)
  • Index components: Compound v1-2 on Ethereum, Polygon, Arbitrum and AAVE v2-3 on Ethereum, Avalanche, Polygon, Arbitrum, Optimism
  • Requirements details: Markets are fully liquid (can be withdrawn within minutes) without minimum investment with highest liquidity in DeFi. 
  • Risk information: The index reflects the minimum level of risk an investor in DeFi can take to earn yield. The methodology and reasoning behind the DMRR is explained at the bottom of the document and aims to function as a benchmark for DeFi, similarly to how the ‘Risk-free Rate’ functions for traditional finance.
  • Data sources: For AAVE and Compound rates we use Dune analytics query. For the TVL we use the aggregate numbers for AAVE v1, 2, 3  from DeFi Llama CSV export. For Compound TVL we use a Dune analytics query and DeFi Llama CSV export.

Risk-Free Rate non-adjusted for inflation
  • Calculation method: 30 day average 10 year U.S Treasury note yield, non adjusted for inflation.
  • Index components: 10 year U.S Treasury note rate, non adjusted for inflation
  • Requirements details: Highest amount of liquidity in the investable landscape, redeemable when the U.S market is open. Minimum investment can vary  depending on broker & dealer but generally the minimum is 1 bond worth $1,000.
  • Risk information: Investment product carrying the minimum amount of risk an investor is willing to take to earn yield in TradFi. It is used as a benchmark in the traditional market to calculate and compare investments against each other. 
  • Data sources: We use the non adjusted for inflation 10 year U.S Treasury note from the U.S Department of the treasury website.

Below is the historical performance of the indexes mentioned above since January 2022.

Historical Minimal Risk Indexes comparison

Low Risk Indexes

Comment on the index: no comment 

DeFi Lending Index 
  • Calculation method: 30 day average stablecoin lending rate (USDC, USDT, DAI)
  • Index components: Compound on Ethereum, Polygon, Arbitrum; AAVE on Ethereum, Avalanche, Polygon, Arbitrum, Optimism; Venus on Binance Smart Chain
  • Requirements details: The markets are fully liquid (can be withdrawn within minutes), without minimum investment and have among the highest liquidity in DeFi across networks. 
  • Risk information: The main difference between the DMRR and DeFi lending index is the amount of risk taken via the component of the index. By adding more lending platforms to the index that still satisfy requirements, we gradually increase the risk of insolvency or risk of loss for the calculated rate. 
  • Data sources: For AAVE and Compound rates we use Dune analytics query and DeFi Llama CSV export. For Venus rates we use DeFi Llama CSV export and manual recording for historical rates from Nanoly (H1 of 2022).

Coinchange Yield

Comment on the index: no changes made.

  • Calculation method: 30 day average stablecoin rate (USDC, USDT, DAI) across diversified & non-correlated DeFi strategies.
  • Index components: Coinchange on Ethereum, Avalanche and Binance Smart Chain
  • Requirements details: Coinchange does not have lockups or an investment minimum. Withdrawals are processed during the same day of the request. All funds are deployed in DeFi without CeFi counterparties and are fully on-chain. 
  • Risk information: Coinchange’s strategies within each Earn account have protocol and blockchain diversification at the core. Strategies are non-correlated, meaning that it is diversified across market mechanisms while benefiting from outsized growth. Learn more in our Asset Allocation Report - March.  
  • Data sources: Directly pulled from Coinchange backend, the same rate as the one earned by Coinchange retail users.

DeFi Risk Free rate

Comment on the index:

  • Calculation method: 30 day average stETH rate for top providers and 30 day average DAI Saving Rate (DSR)
  • Index components: MakerDAO for DSR, Lido, Rocketpool, CBETH, BETH for PoS yield; all on mainnet.
  • Requirements details: High liquidity, no lockups apart from withdrawal queue. 
  • Risk information: ETH LST from those providers could be considered the most secured across the decentralized/centralized spectrum. The DSR can be considered the most secured and highly liquid native yield on decentralized stablecoin.  
  • Data sources: rated network for ETH PoS yield and DeFi llama for the DSR.

Below is the historical performance of the indexes mentioned above since January 2022.

Historical Low Risk Indexes comparison

Medium to High Risk Indexes:


CeDeFi Yield Index 

Comment on the index: 2 data sources have been removed from Swissborg since it is not disclosed anymore.

  • Calculation method: 30 day average stablecoin rate (USDC, USDT, DAI) 
  • Index components: Centralized companies operating in Decentralized Finance to generate yield: Coinchange, Idle Finance and Swissborg.
  • Requirements details: All platforms do not have lockups or an investment minimum while having high liquidity, except for Swissborg rates. We chose the rate that does not require a stake of Swissborg’s token. They enable higher yield but require lockups of 12 months and its platform token to be staked in various amounts to get to a certain tier account providing increased yield and reduced fees. 
  • Risk information: In this index the only Low Risk rate is Coinchange whereas the others are medium to high risk. The primary risks are bankruptcy due to poor asset management practices with either too much leverage or lack of safeguard measure in place.
  • Data sources: Wayback Machine snapshots for some historical rates but not all components have allowed the Wayback Machine to capture snapshots of their website. Hence we mostly use the rates displayed on the component’s web UI every week to calculate a 30 day average while saving screenshots in the database as proof. 

DeFi Yield Index 

Comment on the index: 2 data source have been added for Yearn on Optimism network. 1 data source has been removed from Yield Yak since the pool did not meet the TVL threshold this month.

  • Calculation method: 30 day average stablecoin rate (USDC, USDT, DAI, MAI, MIM, sUSD) 
  • Index components: Decentralized platform offering yield or aggregating yield across protocols and platforms: Yearn Finance, Beefy Finance, Yield Yak
  • Requirements details: None have lockups or an investment minimum. Only pools with good liquidity, secure assets and safe protocols have been selected for each index component.
  • Risk information: DeFi yield aggregators have varying degree of risk from medium to high depending on a multitude of factors such as: smart contract security, team relevancy, source of the yield generated, aggregation method for the yield, ownership and security of smart contracts. 
  • Data sources: Yearn.Vision, maintained by devs, is used to populate the rates. Displayed 30 day average rate on web UI is used for Beefy, while for Autofarm we manually recorded daily rates to calculate the 30 day average. Yield Yak rates are coming from DeFi Llama CSV export.    

CeFi Yield Index 

Comment on the index: one pool has been added for Clearpool

  • Calculation method: 30 day average stablecoin rate (USDC, USDT, DAI)
  • Index components: Centralized companies generating yield via lending interest primarily: Nexo, Goldfinch senior pool, Coinbase Earn, Clearpool. 
  • Requirements details: Nexo does not have lockups or investment minimums but it has an investment maximum $100k after which, the rate decreases dramatically. This standard “retail rate” has been selected for the index. Nexo offers higher yield if chosen to earn in $NEXO rather than in kind along with holding a certain percentage of your portfolio value in the token indefinitely over time. Goldfinch senior pool is selected because it has the lowest risk while only having a 2 weeks notice for withdrawal. Coinbase Earn USDC rate does not have an investment minimum. Clearpool borrowers are at least rate BB in credit score by Credora.
  • Risk information: Due to the business model of CeFi platform they carry significant amounts of risk, such as: borrowers default, bankruptcy risks, no asset control and low to no transparency, just to name a few. We have seen the extent of the damage this can cause with the bankruptcy of Celsius, Voyager, YouHodler, BlockFi and Genesis Global Holdco and two subsidiaries in January 2023.
  • Data sources: We use Wayback Machine snapshots of their website for some historical rates but not all components. We also use the rates displayed on the component’s web UI every week to calculate a 30 day average while saving screenshots in the database as proof. Lastly we use DeFi Llama CSV export when available and if accurate as per numbers displayed on the components UI. 


 Below is the historical performance of the indexes mentioned above since January 2022.

Historical Medium to High Risk Indexes comparison

Performance Overview

Historical commentary:

DeFi related indexes (DeFi MRR, DeFi lending, DeFi Yield) had their rates decrease during Q1 2022 and stabilized in Q2 2022. DeFi Yield index, on the medium to high risk end, stabilized at the end of Q3 2022 while having a short lived uptick in July. Q4 2022 saw all DeFi related indexes move in a general uptrend. 

Regarding CeFi related indexes (CeDeFi Yield, CeFi yield, Coinchange) they followed the same pattern in general as the DeFi related yield indexes except for Coinchange which saw its rate increase up until Q1 2022. CeFi related yield indexes rate decreased in Q2 2022 and stabilized in Q3 2022 for CeDeFi Yield index while Coinchange and CeFi yield index saw a significant uptick. In Q4 2022 all DeFi related yield index moved in a general uptrend while remaining higher than previous quarters.

Current performance commentary:

Coinchange records a consecutive streak of 13 months above 7% APR. Since the start of Q4 2023 Coinchange is benefitting from sustained activity in MMP and DEXs due to price action and volatility of the market. We further explore our strategies diversification and allocation across protocol types in our Asset Allocation Report - February and Asset Allocation Report - March.

In Q1 2024, all indexes are in general uptrend or stabilizing to the exception of the DeFi Yield Index which continues its uptrend started last year. In the beginning of Q2 the trend is picking up with DeFi related indexes leading the other by multiples. CeFi related indexes and Risk-Free rate are stabilizing.

The chart below represents the comparison of historical rates across indexes since January 2022 and aims to provide some perspective on performance over time. For full historical performance of Coinchange Earn Account check here.

Historical All Index comparison

Methodology for DeFi Minimum Risk Rate

A benchmark is a standard against which something is compared. In finance, investors use benchmarks to measure the performance of securities, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, portfolios, or other investment instruments.

Generally, broad market, market-segment stock and bond indexes are used for this purpose. If there is an investment instrument, there is a benchmark to compare it to, otherwise comparison across investment products alone does not provide the full picture.

In crypto, benchmarks do exist as well. The most common are the top 10 or 15 cryptocurrency indexes by market capitalization. DeFi benchmarks exist as well in the form of indexes, most of the time tracking the market capitalization of top DeFi governance token, which can be found for DeFi sub-segments such as DeFi yield, Oracle, GameFi, NFT marketplace, etc.

The benchmark we are seeking here, is one that could serve the same purpose as the “risk-free rate” that exists in traditional finance. In theory, the risk-free rate is the minimum return an investor expects for any investment while not accepting additional risk unless the potential rate of return is greater than the risk-free rate. Determination of a proxy for the risk-free rate of return will depend mainly on the credibility, liquidity size of the product, and availability. In practice, although a completely risk-free rate does not exist, the interest rate on a 10 year U.S. bond is often used as the benchmark for most investors while foreign investors might need to factor in the currency risk. 

In DeFi we can’t name such a benchmark “risk-free rate” since the technology it is built on is rather new and hence does not carry the same credibility as US T-Bill. Hence using “DeFi minimum risk rate” is more suited. Like in the TradFi market, DeFi has large investors seeking low risk returns in non-derivative markets which have high levels of liquidity with full redemption intraday. Protocols that fit the requirement are lending and borrowing protocols as per Credmark research. We should only take into consideration the rate of return of stable assets as the risk-free rate in TradFi is denominated in dollars. 

Hence the minimal risk rate in DeFi could be determined by taking the TVL weighted average rate for USDC, USDT and DAI - as they are the most stable with highest liquidity - on AAVE and Compound - as they are the most secure and longest standing protocols in DeFi with highest Total Value Locked (TVL).

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