Momentum: Phase 2 and the Dawn of Breakout 2024 | The Radix Blog | Radix DLT

An update from Adam Simmons, CMO at RDX Works.

Looking back to November, when Piers first outlined the 3 phases for an Ecosystem launch, the success we have seen in the last few months felt like a distant dream. Yet, here Radix is, growing from strength to strength. 

In November, the fledgling Radix Ecosystem was starting, and the core community was taking its first steps to explore the powerful, intuitive and secure dApps that were made possible with the Babylon upgrade. The total value locked on Radix was around $7.3m, and weekly on-chain transactions averaged around 10k. 

Fast-forward just four months, and the impact of starting #Breakout2024 is already showing. TVL is over $50m, with much of this being new wrapped asset liquidity, and weekly on-chain transactions are now reaching 100k. This firmly puts the Radix Ecosystem into phase 2. While this is just the beginning of the ambitious plans for the year, it’s a good time to take stock of the journey to this point before looking further forward. 

Breakout Successes

Right after Piers unveiled the 3-phase plan, the Radix community leaped into action, eagerly testing emerging dApps in the ecosystem. Community-driven TVL growth, notably through native liquid staking, has been critical to the ecosystem’s expansion. TVL increased by 300% in under a month to just over $21m. 

The community’s involvement also boosted credibility, attracting more partners. Many, such as Supra, Bitget, Bybit, Grove, BitMEX, and Koinly, went live or started building just a month or two after the community’s push. This also gave confidence to larger players in the industry to start taking the emerging DeFi ecosystem on Radix seriously, and it was a factor in Keyrock deploying $10m of liquidity into the ecosystem.

From the Radix side, the Dec-Jan period was focused on putting the spotlight on the ecosystem itself. 17 projects received their Babylon Booster grants, which led to a flurry of content across all the major Radix channels. Even before fully ramping up the marketing, there was a 60% increase in website traffic compared to the Aug-Nov period. A significant portion of this was driven by social activity, achieving 2 million impressions and 64,000 engagements. This was slightly lower than during the Babylon launch but was achieved with a significantly smaller marketing budget.

Activity in Q1 pushed Radix into Phase 2, achieving the liquidity and TVL growth that has pushed Radix up in the ranks on DeFi Llama and an increase in Radix’s market presence. While Project Ignition had been teased in late 2023, it was in #Breakout2024 that Piers unveiled our plan for the year. The activity outlined in that video started immediately and has already seen web traffic hit all-time highs, with social impressions, mentions, and engagement growing steadily, as well as on-chain activity that reached the 100k/week threshold, and TVL exceeded $50m. 

Not only did the metrics improve, there was also significant traction with key opinion leaders such as AltcoinDaily, Coin Bureau, DataDash, and IvanOnTech, to name a few. Engaging more with the crypto press led to Ignition features in CoinDesk and CoinTelegraph, along with a range of smaller outlets. The CryptoEQ report comparing Ethereum, Solana, Aptos, and Radix also provided some in-depth content.  

The Radix Ecosystem continued to evolve, with notable highlights from XRD Domains going live, Ociswap V2 launching, and the announcement of the first perpetuals DEX on Radix, Surge. There were many other outstanding achievements from the ecosystem, including multiple milestone rewards for dApps reaching $1m in TVL. As always, ecosystem success is Radix’s success, so to accelerate this, it was great to announce the new $1m ecosystem fund to help support the next wave of innovation and growth.

Additionally, the rise of memecoins like HUG and EARLY marks the start of a vibrant memecoin summer on Radix. As shown in other ecosystems, memecoins can be huge drivers of adoption due to these tokens’ community-focused nature. While memecoins generally have some harsh critics, the speed at which these communities grow is a testament to the power of Web3 and, specifically, the growing landscape of ‘assets’ that users want to interact with. Ultimately, the purpose of something like the Radix Network is to enable people to hold, use, and interact with assets confidently, and with tools like the Radix Wallet and Radix Engine, there is no better place to explore these emerging trends than here!

While this progress has been exciting to see, and the work everyone has been putting in is starting to show results, entering phase 2 will see activity increase even further. March, as hinted in the Breakout2024 plan, was just the beginning. Each month builds on the previous, with extensive plans for the year. 

The Significance of $50m TVL

One of the key things Piers identified is the importance of increasing the TVL in the Radix ecosystem beyond just LSU-based TVL. With Project Ignition, the Radix ecosystem now has a solid foundation of liquidity in xwBTC, xETH, and xUSDC/T. 

Liquidity is important for two reasons. First, it means Radix is now incredibly close to breaking into the top 50 chains by TVL on DeFiLlama, which will lead to a significant increase in awareness from both users and builders in the DeFi space. Second, more on-chain activity becomes economically viable.

Economically viable on-chain activity can take many forms, but to explain this, let’s look at something relatively easy to understand: arbitrage. Arbitrage opportunities arise when the price of an asset is different between two different markets, and it means that someone can buy the asset at the cheaper venue and sell it at the more expensive one for a profit. This not only gives the user doing the arbitrage a profit but also provides value to other users through fees for liquidity providers and DEXs. Perhaps most importantly, it means other users can now engage on either platform, and there is price parity, helping create a more efficient market. As the liquidity increases, the incentive to do the arbitrage (and do it quickly!) becomes greater, leading to more transactions on the network, more fees for LPs/DEXs, and more stable pricing across all venues.

For those deeper in the DeFi scene, you may notice the positive feedback loop here. More arb = more trades = more yield, which means more incentive for more liquidity to be added. 

Arbitrage is just one example of where more liquidity drives more on-chain activity. Another good one is lending dApps needing sufficient liquidity on DEXs to enable liquidation for collateral. By increasing the liquidity, there is more room for lending to occur on-chain. 

In all these cases, reaching this $50m TVL mark provides a solid foundation from which the ecosystem can grow, and there will be a lot more activity occurring in the Radix Ecosystem!  

Entering Phase 2 – The Vision Unfolds

Two things were highlighted for Phase 2 to kick off: a solid foundation of liquidity and key products like the Radix Wallet should feel nice and polished. The liquidity side should be clear by now, so what about the polish on products? 

In short, things are looking solid here too. With the latest wallet release, fiat values have been added alongside in-app history for transactions – two features the community has been keen to see. These features join other improvements made in the last few months such as additional transaction review summaries for staking, improved responsiveness, and seed phase only recovery. 

With the liquidity, polish, and ecosystem thriving, it’s now fair to say that the ecosystem is firmly into phase 2. The key difference now is that all the core pieces are in place to start focusing on attracting the next wave of users, as the general ‘crypto enthusiast’ is now presented with an ecosystem that they can confidently use which is filled with opportunities.

To achieve this, you can expect to see a few things over the coming weeks and months, such as:

  1. Increase in campaigns that incentivize users to get involved in the Radix ecosystem focused explicitly on using dApps.
  2. Continued uptick in influencers, press, and ecosystem marketing campaigns highlighting the opportunities presented in the Radix Ecosystem.
  3. Progress on trustless bridges to bring more assets into the ecosystem.
  4. Acceleration on the Ecosystem Fund grants to support the growth of new and existing dApps on Radix.

Breakout 2024 – What This Means for You

The progress in recent months is just the start; you can expect even more significant growth throughout the year. As Piers detailed in the Breakout2024 plans, it is critical that Radix outpaces the growth of other ecosystems and starts onboarding significantly more users into the ecosystem. 

There are some big milestones along the way to getting to Phase 3: the $100m TVL mark, 100k wallet downloads, 50 live dApps, and many many more. The Breakout2024 plans are one major element to driving this success, as is the continued support of the Radix community. Together, I am extremely optimistic about what can be achieved in the coming months.