How Yield Farmers Brought Ethereum's DeFi to a Standstill

DeFi interfaces were halted, but the protocols build on Ethereum can never be halted.

The Graph Code Review dApps Need Queries

Key Takeaways

  • A service overload on The Graph rendered a number of DeFi frontends non-responsive.
  • The Graph will soon roll out a reliable, decentralized network that will help reduce downtime.
  • Even if DeFi interfaces are down, the protocol's themselves are always active, as they are smart contracts on Ethereum.

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In two weeks, data queries received by The Graph nearly doubled due to the rise of yield farmers. This spike in activity caused the hosted service to hit max capacity and brought down several DeFi interfaces.

Yield Farming Overloads Data Providers

The Graph is a decentralized project attempting to build a trustless way for dApps to query smart contract data. An unexpected surge in DeFi activity put undue stress on it’s hosted service, bringing the server’s capacity utilization to 100%.

This, in turn, forced The Graph to reject new data queries.

Aave and Balancer, two key yield farming dApps, were among the projects whose frontend was non-functional due to a lack of data flow.

This incident brought to light the need for more robust data querying. The Graph acknowledges this and is planning to launch a completely decentralized network so clients can integrate The Graph without needing to trust the network will stay online.

This could still take another few months to roll out, however.

To bridge the gap between The Graph’s current capacity and the growing needs of dApps, the team put together a stopgap that can plug this hole for the foreseeable future.

There was bound to be technical fallout from masses of yield farmers joining the sector, as these interfaces have probably never handled traffic like this before.

Lending protocols are seeing record activity, DEXes did over $500 million of volume in a single week, and DeFi as a whole is finally capturing attention from the rest of crypto.

The Beauty of Smart Contracts might have been down when The Graph was overloaded, but Aave certainly wasn’t.

Aave is a protocol deployed on an Ethereum smart contract. The Ethereum blockchain never stops, so Aave Protocol is never down.

The frontend or the web app is designed to abstract the complexities of interacting with smart contracts. So the website halting for a while does not imply that the protocol has stopped working.

This holds for any dApp – Aave, Bancor, Compound, and thousands of others.

DeFi users should get used to this congestion for the time being. But it’s also important to understand that a dApp’s interface going offline is not a direct security threat.

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