Finding anything positive in last year’s performance is a challenging task. We still give it a try.
2022 was a bad year for
DeFi digital assets risk assets almost all asset classes. Record high inflation added further headwind to real returns. The DeFi Pulse Index, Scalara’s benchmark for the DeFi sector was no exception. The index fell 80% in dollar terms, compared to a 68% drop in the price of ETH.
The best and worst performers of 2022 based on the current constituents are show in the table below. To paint a slightly more rosy picture, returns are based on asset prices denominated in ETH:
The overall annual return does not look good. But how did the index perform throughout the year?
Surprisingly, within 2022 there were several longer periods of strong positive performance, both in USD and ETH terms. From mid-June to mid-August the DeFi Pulse Index rallied 107% slightly outperforming ETH. These gains were lost by end of the year though.
When measuring the DeFi Pulse Index in ETH there have been times of positive absolute performance as well. From mid-May to mid-July the index increased by 81% in ETH.
Lastly, we take a look at correlations as they are the drivers of diversification. The more uncorrelated two assets are, the greater is the reduction in risk when combining these two assets. The average pairwise correlation based on daily returns in 2022 was 0.67. This is somewhat higher than the average pairwise correlations seen in the S&P 500 that is typically in the order of 0.3 to 0.5.
Happy New Year!
Scalara is dedicated to creating and maintaining indices for a decentralized world.