When Ethereum recently completed an upgrade known as Shapella, it was heralded as opening a new era of staking ETH. Up until that point, if you staked ETH to help run the blockchain, you couldn’t get it back. Shapella made it possible to unstake, making it more attractive to pledge ETH in the first place.
A project called Agility LSD was an immediate beneficiary. The amount of money stashed in its protocol – as measured by total value locked (TVL) – soared to a peak of $487 million last month, up from zero when its contracts launched earlier in April, according to data from DefiLlama.
But, just as fast as the money poured in, it’s nearly all drained away. TVL has since plummeted 99% to just $6 million.
There are other signs the bottom has fallen out of Agility. Its stETH staking pool at its height had more than 141,000 stETH, worth $293 million, but that has dwindled to roughly 3,200 stETH tokens, worth about $5.7 million, per data from blockchain analytics firm Nansen.
Also, the price and trading volume of AGI, the native token for the protocol, have both slid more than 99%, according to CoinGecko data.
Agility’s Discord admin who goes by the screenname Nook-Stealth Cooking said the drop in TVL occurred “because we [stopped] rewarding farmers,” which was “a request from our community.” While Agility announced on May 10 that emissions for staking rewards would be paused as a result of a Twitter poll, its TVL, token price and trading volume were already declining before May 10.
Meme coins may be another reason for the decrease, according to Nook-Stealth Cooking, who said, “meme[s] gets most of the attention during this month, including liquidity.”
Meme coin Pepecoin (PEPE) did emerge out of nowhere in recent weeks, topping $1 billion in market cap. But Agility is suffering far more than its competitors in the staking space. The top 10 liquid staking protocols by TVL, according to DefiLlama, have seen their TVL drop on average by roughly 10% in the past seven days, a much smaller percentage change than Agility.
CoinGecko still has a warning on the AGI token page, saying “The smart-contract owner can mint new tokens, please proceed with caution.”
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