Crypto is a crazy space. The value of money is distorted, and our minds do irrational things as we consider rates of return, risk, and levels of investment. Hanging out in Discord or reading Reddit, you see all levels of investment shared with incredible transparency. But where do you really fit in? Are you a shrimp or a whale? And how many whales and shrimp are there?
In this article and the linked spreadsheet, I’ll help frame your position as an investor in Illuvium. This is by no means financial advice, and I strongly encourage everyone to consider the risks and their financial situation before participating in any investment opportunity.
Check out my dashboard here to enter your Illuvium stake to see your percentile in the core pools, and see what a new participant today would need to invest today to match your share. While whales can be vocal, the median wallet in the ILV pool staked 4 ILV, while for the SLP pool, the median is 1.64 SLP (about $7k today). The most common amount of ILV staked is 1, with 376 unique wallets with exactly one staked token.
Ask your financial advisor if participating is right for you
My primary intent in sharing this is to help people understand what “average” really is, and where they rank. I see a lot of big investors share their wallet size or investments very openly, and as we learned from the Illuvium LINK flash pool, what’s good for a whale may not be good for smaller investors. The same is the case for staking with Illuvium right now. Given its presence on the Ethereum blockchain and extremely high transaction fees, new investors may want to consider the impact and value of staking, particularly if only seeking to participate for limited periods of time. Purchasing 1 ILV (Illuvium’s staking and governance token) would currently cost you a little over $1000 today, but between transfers, swap fees, and staking fees, you can easily spend hundreds in transaction costs. Illuvium staking V2 has been teased, but no final proposal has yet been shared to indicate the extent to which staking and claiming fees will be reduced.
Does that mean that all Illuvium investors are whales and you’re behind? Not necessarily. While you may see interviews or comments from people with thousands of ILV tokens staked, that is not the norm for the pool.
My overall advice: Don’t be discouraged and accept where you are today. Everyone starts somewhere, and don’t make poor choices to “catch up.” Make smart decisions that reflect your financial situation. As Warren Buffett said, “the stock market is a device to transfer money from the impatient to the patient,” and the crypto market can do the same, just in a much shorter time frame. Hopefully the data I’ll share below lets you breathe, relax, and view your investment or potential future investment in context of what’s really happening in the Illuvium staking pools, not with the FOMO lens that the internet applies to many things.
Diving into the data!
I collected all staking wallet information on November 4, 2021, and analyzed how many tokens each wallet staked. Note: this data does not include claimed rewards, only the initial staked amounts.
The ILV Stats
Somewhat surprisingly, the median or 50th percentile of the ILV pool was 4 ILV staked. This means there are an equal number of wallets above and below a starting stake of 4. The average for the pool was considerably higher at 33.7 ILV staked, reflecting a large number of tokens staked by bigger investors. To hit the 75th percentile, one would need to stake 11.5 ILV, and the 90th percentile requires 41.5 ILV. Within the top 10% of staking wallets, the number jumps quite significantly, either reflecting those who got in early, or those who made significantly higher investments. At the 95th percentile, just over 100 ILV is required to be staked, 99th percentile jumps to 529 ILV. The largest wallet staked a somewhat staggering 17,000 ILV (worth about $18 million today), nearly tripling the second largest wallet.
By number of wallets, 65% of all wallets staking ILV start with between 0.5 and 10 ILV.
The most popular number of ILV to stake? 1 ILV, with 376 wallets staking a single token. There are even 59 wallets that have staked less than 0.1 ILV, though at the current transaction fees, I do not believe the rewards are currently worth such a staking.
On the high end, just over 100 wallets staked over 500 ILV for immediate dolphin/shark/whale status. These wallets represent a little more than the top 1%.
The SLP Stats
For the Sushi Liquidity Pool or SLP, the median is 1.64 SLP tokens. Again, due to a significant tail of large whale investors, the average wallet in the SLP is 16.4 tokens. As rewards claimed as ILV from the SLP pool end up in the ILV pool, these numbers are more representative of where you would stand if you choose to invest today. To hit the top 75% of the pool, it would require an investment of a little over $20k today, or 5.2 SLP. The top 10% starts at 16.6 SLP, or an investment of $70k. Much like the ILV pool, things ramp up quite quickly in the top 10%, with the 95th percentile requiring 37.5 SLP, the 99th percentile at 224 SLP, and the top overall wallet at 10,759 SLP, worth nearly $45 million today.
Overall, only 118 wallets have over 100 SLP staked, representing the top 2% of the pool. Nearly 72% of all wallets have staked between 0.1 and 5 SLP. Refining further, 22% of all wallets have staked fewer than 0.5 SLP, or a little over $2k.
How to use this information
My hope is that this data helps frame where you stand relative to other investors staking Illuvium. For the smaller investors, realize that you’re in the majority, and there’s a lot of people in the same boat as you. For larger investors, realize your status relative to others in significantly different financial situations. Help make the community encouraging and the DAO truly decentralized for wallets of all sizes. For prospective investors, understand your financial situation and what makes sense to you. Don’t be discouraged by whales that got in early. There are over 70% of yield farming rewards remaining to be distributed over the next 2+ years, and revenue distribution remains a significant perk to long term investment in the project. While there is yet to be a product and significant risk remains, you’re not necessarily too late and there are many others invested at all levels.
Another way to consider this data
As a longer term Illuvium investor , I looked at this data a different way. While I’m only in the SLP, I have received a number of rewards claimed as ILV. I asked myself a different question - What would it take for someone to match my investment if they found Illuvium today? To answer that, I added my current pooled ILV and SLP to see how much money someone would need to equal my current share. While the ILV percentile will be off, as claimed rewards are not reflected, the amount to match my current yield farming would be accurate. This information is shown in cell C8.
Here’s the link to my dashboard with the above information. This is an interactive spreadsheet, so feel free to enter your staked ILV or SLP in cells B6 and B7 to see your percentile in both pools (C6 and C7).
In the other dashboard tables, you can see more details on the overall percentile breakdown of both core pools, along with the level of investment today to reach those levels.
At the bottom of the dashboard, I broke down the number of wallets staking a range of tokens, with a graph in the “Chart” tab showing how the wallets are divided, reflecting the significant shift to 0.5 to 10 ILV and 0.1 to 5 SLP. There are also pie charts for number of wallets with initial ranges of staked tokens. Images of these were used in the article above.
Raw data for the staked wallets as of November 4, 2021 are in tabs slpT and ilvT, should you wish to evaluate these further.
Since yield farming began in late June 2021, over 700,000 ILV have been claimed as ILV. I will look at efficient ways to try to extract this from the on-chain data, but at this time, I don’t have an effective way to do so. We’re stuck with just the initial staking information, which hopefully gives you some perspective regarding where you’re at in terms of stakers, and where a new investment in Illuvium would place you among the over 12,000 wallets already participating in yield farming.
As always, thanks for reading and I hope you found this information entertaining and enlightening. Feel free to leave any comments or suggestions below, check out Illuvium's Discord and thanks for your support.