Arbitrum vs Avalanche for GMX and GLP stakers (Part 2)

7 min readAug 16, 2022


# Intro

GMX is a decentralized exchange that offers perpetual futures trading. GMX is currently live on Arbitrum (Ethereum layer 2) and Avalanche. The protocol was spawned from an earlier project called Gambit which ran on BSC. BTC, ETH and AVAX are few of the tokens available to trade with up to 30x leverage. In less than a year it has achieved a total trading volume of over $50 Billion ($40 Billion on Arbitrum and $13 Billion on Avalanche).

# Analysis

This is the part 2 on my GMX analysis. In Part 1, I looked at the patterns for GMX and the GLP tokens on Avalanche. I also explained more about how both of these tokens accrue value. If you’re not familiar with these tokens, then read the introduction in Part 1 below.

In this analysis, I’m going cross-chain and comparing similar patterns for the GMX and GLP tokens on the two deployments for GMX-exchange so far — Avalanche and Arbitrum.

## Notes

  1. The time-frame on chart only goes back to around 16-June, 2022 because of the current backfill dates in the Flipside Crypto tables.

## Key Findings

  1. Arbitrum has nearly 5x the number of GMX and GLP stakers than Avalanche
  2. Despite the difference in stakers, more net GMX has been staked on Avalanche at the time of the writing.
  3. Out of nearly 28000 wallets who have used GMX on Arbitrum and Avalanche, only ~800 have used it on both chains since June 16th (Flipside data backfill date).
  4. Arbitrum Week 2 Odyssey attracted almost 6000 new users to Arbitrum as we saw a spike in GLP staking/minting users and transactions.
  5. USDC is the most used token used to mint GLP on both platforms.

# Wallets using both platforms

Before we get into the details of how wallets are using the GMX and GLP tokens on both the chains, it’s important to level set with how many wallets we’re dealing with.

Since June 16th (common backfill date for Arbitrum and Avalanche tables on Flipside Crypto), I’ve found around ~24K Arbitrum wallets and only ~4.7K Avalanche wallets.

Only ~800 of these wallets are using the platform on both the chains.


## Staked Amount

  • Let’s start with the staked amount and we can see that Arbitrum is the clear winner with most days seeing more than 20K GMX staked and as high as 80–100K.
  • On Avalanche side, the most amount of GMX staked was around 10K!
  • The daily difference can be seen in the total GMX staked—2.4M on Arbitrum vs 234K on Avalanche which is a 10x difference.
  • We see a similar pattern on the unstaking amounts as well i.e. Arbitrum shows around 10x the volume than Avalanche.
  • Most days, less than 10K GMX are unstaked on Avalanche but we see a surprise unstaking of about 50K GMX on August 14th! More on this later.

## DAU and Transactions

Now, we look at the Daily Active Users and the daily staking/unstaking transactions. The patterns in both the charts are similar because most users are doing 1 transaction a day. However, we notice a couple of differences from the patterns in the “Amounts” chart above.

  • The difference in the number of Daily Active Users (DAUs) between Avalanche and Arbitrum is much smaller— around 3–4x but the daily amounts is around 10x.
  • This means that on average, each user is staking/unstaking 2x the amount on Arbitrum.

## Net GMX Staked

If we bring back our common wallets analysis, we find that:

  • Even though Avalanche had ~4.7K users to ~24K for Arbitrum, Avalanche users have more net GMX staked at the time of this analysis.
  • It seems Arbitrum sees large GMX staking but an equally large unstaking.
  • The common users on a whole are net negative for staking GMX.


Similar to the GMX analysis above, let’s apply it to GLP.

NOTE: Staking for GLP is the same as minting GLP. GLP needs to be bought by minting by depositing any of the supported assets.

## Staked/Minted Amount

  • With GLP, the difference between Avalanche and Arbitrum is much smaller.
  • We similar peaks on GLP staked/unstaked for both the chains (around 10M).
  • For total GLP staked, Arbitrum does edge out Avalanche by around 14M (122M vs 108M) which is only a 1.12x difference compared to the nearly ~10x difference between GMX staked.
  • The timeframe for most amount of GLP staked differs between the two chains. On Avalanche we saw highest staking/minting around end of June and early July while for Arbitrum, this happens around end of July-early August.

## DAU and Transactions

Now, we look at the Daily Active Users and the daily staking/unstaking transactions. The patterns in both the charts are similar because most users are doing 1 transaction a day. Here are the patterns we observe:

  • The daily stakers on Arbitrum are around 2–3x that of Avalanche.
  • There’s a huge spike in staking and unstaking users and transactions GLP that happened around June 28th. We don’t see a corresponding spike in the staked amount. 🤔 More on this soon.

## What is that spike on June 28–29th?

The abnormal spike in DAUs on June 28th can be attributed to the Week 2 of the Arbitrum Odyssey. Week 2 required users to be a liquidity provider on GMX by minting GLP.

If we see the new users starting out on the platform, we can see that this day attracted around ~6000 new users to the platform. Since Week 2 of the Arbitrum Odyssey, Arbitrum has been attracting more new users than Avalanche.

## Net GLP Staked/minted

  • With net GLP staked/minted, we see Arbitrum comfortably take the lead as it had more users than Avalanche (~5x, 24K vs ~4.7K).
  • Surprisingly, the common wallets have minted around 17.1M GLP.

# GMX Bridged Mystery

As we saw in Part 1, the GMX bridging between both the chains was neck and neck but Avalanche had a slight edge. As I looked at the chart again, I found a mystery.

A couple of days before I wrote this bounty, Arbitrum took the lead i.e. more GMX bridged to Arbitrum.

What happened?

There was a large spike (about 50K+ GMX) in GMX bridged to Arbitrum on 8/14.

Looking deeper into bridgooooors on that day, it turns out the 0xca86...6b71 wallet was responsible for 50K GMX bridged.

And if you looked into the GMX unstaked chart above, you’ll see a large unstaking spike on 8/14 as well.

Next, if we look at our unstakers on August 14th, 2022 we can confirm this is our friend 0xca86...6b71.

Next, I followed our friend on 0xca86...6b71 on Debank and found the transaction trail. Those 50K GMX were added to the Uniswap v3 USDC-GMX 1% pool.

Here’s what our friend 0xca86...6b71 did:

  • Unstake 50K GMX on Avalanche
  • Bridge to Arbitrum
  • Unstake 1M GLP for 1M USDC
  • Pool 50K GMX + ~1M USDC into GMX-USDC Uniswap v3 1% pool.

# GLP Pool Deposits

Remember from above that GLP can be bought (minted) using one of the tokens below in the GLP index. Now, we’re looking at what users are using to mint GLP.

Accepted deposit types — Avalanche vs Arbitrum

In these next charts, we’re looking at the net daily and total deposits (deposits - withdrawals). Therefore, negative values on the daily chart represent a net withdrawal on that day.

  • Comparing Arbitrum and Avalanche we can see that USDC is most heavily leveraged token on Arbitrum.
  • WETH has also picked up in usage in August.
  • On Avalanche, both USDC and USDC.e are heavily used.
  • WAVAX does not appear to attract significant volume.

On Arbitrum:

  • We can see that DAI and USDC are polar opposites.
  • Nearly $15M DAI has been withdrawan while ~$45M USDC has been deposited.
  • With the recent surge in WETH deposits, we’ve seen nearly $30M of WETH liquidity being added.
  • USDT and WBTC liquidity is a lot smaller in comparison to USDC and WETH.

On Avalanche:

  • The deposits are much smaller e.g. USDC liquidity is ~$10M compared to $45M on Arbitrum.
  • WETH has seen negative flow of around $10M i.e. liquidity withdrawn.
  • WBTC liquidity change is close to $0 in the last few months.

# Appendix




Product strategy by day. On-chain crypto analyst by night.