The high costs on the Ethereum network have been a source of concern, as they have increased to the point where utilizing ETH for tiny transactions is no longer practicable. Users of the network became aware that they were occasionally required to pay fees in excess of the transaction amount, prompting requests for a remedy.

Numerous patches have been proposed to address this issue, the most recent of which was proposed by Ethereum inventor Vitalik Buterin himself. This problem, however, remains, and it has resulted in a huge disparity between those who can afford to pay the fees and those who cannot.

Figures from the DeFi space reveal that the market is shifting away from smaller merchants and into the hands of whales. Decentralized finance provides investors with an alternative to traditional finance, often with a high entry barrier. Still, small investors find it increasingly difficult to take advantage of services designed specifically for them.

Ethereum price chart from

On Monday, Kaiko released a research note highlighting the developing difficulties in the DeFi industry, one of which is a rise in average trade sizes. The study centered on DEXs and their increasing value. After peaking in May, trade volume on these marketplaces has increased average. If Ethereum network costs did not rise so much, this would be a pleasant outcome.

Ethereum hosts the majority of DeFi activity, making it the preferred network for investors. However, network costs have continued to grow, with values reaching $100 per transaction.

Along with this, the average trade size on DEXs has increased. According to Kaiko’s research report, the average deal amount on Curve has increased to between $500 and $1 million every trade.

Curve was not the only DEX to significantly rise in average trade size. DEXs across the DeFi ecosystem has seen increased daily trade sizes. The average deal size on centralized exchanges is $2k to $4k per trade. In comparison, the typical daily trading size for DEXs is $10Kk to $20K.


According to the research paper, the high transaction costs on the Ethereum network are to blame for the increase in trade sizes. Instead of doing many transactions and incurring hefty fees each time, DeFi customers choose to perform a single large transaction to save money.

This, according to Kaiko, backs up Chainlysis evidence indicating “whale traders” account for the bulk of trades on DEXs.

“What is noteworthy to note is that average trade sizes have climbed on all DEXs over the past several months while the actual number of deals has remained unchanged, implying that the typical trader profile now skews towards ‘whale,'” the report added.

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