Fixed rate-focused Yield Protocol is the latest DeFi project to wind down

A DeFi protocol that once attracted $22 million in total value locked (TVL) and boasted some of the industry’s top venture capital backers is shutting down operations.

Yield Protocol’s closure, announced Tuesday, represents the latest casualty of a bear market that has seen multiple former high-flyers shutter their projects.

Yield Protocol’s X account announced that the protocol would “wind down.” The protocol offered duration-based fixed-rate lending and borrowing on stablecoins, and noted that borrowing and lending would cease in December 2023. 

In a follow-up tweet, Lead Engineer Alberto Cuesta Cañada thanked “everyone for all your support during these years.” 

Yield Protocol’s website lists backers like Paradigm, Framework Ventures, CMS, and Robot Ventures. The platform attracted over $22 million in TVL at its April 2022 peak, and sits at just over $2 million today. 

A protocol spokesperson cited lack of demand and an uncertain regulatory environment as key drivers behind the decision to cease operations. 

A team representative did not respond to a request for comment by publication time. 

Yield Protocol isn’t the only DeFi project to wind down in recent weeks. In September, Avalanche-based yield protocol GRO held a DAO vote to cease operations, and in July Algorand-based lending platform AlgoFi announced its closure in a blog post. 

Much of the DeFi downturn is attributable to an industry-wide activity slump. DeFi’s aggregate TVL is down 75% from 2021 highs of $320 billion to just under $80 billion today – part of a pullback in overall onchain activity.

Smaller startups may be among the hardest hit. In a recent tweet, BlockTower Capital founder Ari Paul said that there’s a growing market for down rounds of between 70-90% equity. 

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