DeFi protocol GRO considers shutdown amid sector-wide pullback

A yield aggregator that formerly boasted $70m in TVL is voting to close down operations


William Barton/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


As user activity and volumes across the DeFi space sink, a protocol that peaked at $70 million in total value locked (TVL) in late 2021 voted to “unwind the Protocol and the DAO” on Tuesday. 

In a vote passed early Tuesday morning, the GRO DAO voted to effectively cease ongoing operations. It will redeem the rest of its treasury directly to GRO token holders who deposit into a redemption contract. 

Three options were presented: unwinding the operations, supporting a two-person team for continued development, or dismissing the proposal entirely. The decision was made to allocate $180,000 (in USDC) for a three-month period, allowing the “Groda Pod” development team to release the reimbursement contract and cease activities.

The proposal cited “difficult market, underperformance of the Gro protocol, and key departures” as extenuating circumstances leading to the decision to put an existential vote before the DAO. 

The project was founded in 2020 by former employees of Goldman Sachs, Spotify, Morgan Stanley, and Revolut. In 2021, they announced a $7.1 million raise that included funds such as Framework, 3AC, and Nascent. At the protocol’s peak in October 2021, it boasted over $68 million in stables deposited into its yield aggregation and risk tranching contracts. 

The vote to wind down comes amid a rocky period for DeFi protocols. The sector’s aggregate TVL has drifted from a high of $1.05 billion in April to just $80 billion as of today. The pullback comes amid a broader downturn in user activity across Ethereum

User numbers for popular DeFi protocols are especially languid. Uniswap weekly volume is set to print new 2023 lows, and monthly users for popular lending protocols such as Aave have slumped by 40% from yearly highs.

Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.

The Lightspeed newsletter is all things Solana, in your inbox, every day. Subscribe to daily Solana news from Jack Kubinec and Jeff Albus.


Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

MON - TUES, OCT. 7 - 8, 2023

Blockworks and Bankless in collaboration with buidlbox are excited to announce the second installment of the Permissionless Hackathon – taking place October 7-8 in Salt Lake City, Utah. We’ve partnered with buidlbox to bring together the brightest minds in crypto for […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research Report Cover Vertex.jpg


The proliferation of new perp DEXs has led to fragmented liquidity across various DEXs and chains. Vertex, known for its vertically-integrated DEX that includes spot, perpetual, and integrated money markets, is now tackling cross-chain liquidity fragmentation through horizontal integration with the launch of new Edge instances. Vertex's integrated offerings and cross-margined account structure amplify the benefits of new instances: native cross-chain spot trading, optimized cross-chain basis trading, consistent interest rates, reduced bridging friction, and more.


Partnering with EtherFi and Angle, the fully on-chain perp DEX features bespoke collateral



Gavin Wood introduced the next evolutionary step for the Polkadot network: the Join-Accumulate Machine, or JAM


The side events were the places to be at Consensus 2024, according to attendees


Also, who’s come out swinging in the spot ether ETF fee war — and who could undercut them


I know it is not in their nature, but US regulators could learn a lot by researching the digital asset frameworks that overseas regulators have already gotten right


Also, the ETF hype train can count out at least one member