Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is a burgeoning space in the crypto ecosystem that is constantly growing. Currently, there are more than 500+ DeFi projects listed on CoinMarketCap and the total locked value in DeFi is worth $59.35b, as per the data by DeFiLlama. DeFi is expected to continue growing as more and more projects come closer to providing alternative solutions to the traditional financial system through continuous innovation.
But, first, let’s understand what DeFi is and what are some top DeFi crypto projects for 2023.
DeFi is the open internet for financial services that aims to reduce the middlemen friction between financial services and the end user. DeFi aims to rebuild the existing financial services like lending, borrowing, derivatives and exchanges with automation using blockchain technology and smart contracts. Presently, the majority of the DeFi projects are built on the Ethereum blockchain holding 60.65% of the total market share among the total 173 chains available.
BSC & Tron are the other major chains holding 10.29% and 8.31% respectively, according to the data from DeFiLlama.
Do you know which are the top DeFi projects in 2023 and the top DeFi tokens to invest in? Here’s the top 10 DeFi project list:
Launched in 2022, Okto is a secure Multichain self-custody wallet where you can Swap 1000+ tokens and Earn in double digits through vetted DeFi opportunities. The project is built in partnership with CoinDCX and offers solutions to the existing DeFi problems such as understanding self-custody wallets, and safeguarding long and complex private keys, while creating a DeFi experience that is as seamless as the traditional finance Apps.
This top DeFi project uses Multi-chain Computation (MPC) technology to secure the private keys of the users. “MPC or Multi-party Computation is an advanced cryptographic technique that allows the user’s private key to be used as separate, sensitive key shares to partially sign transactions that can be combined to create the user’s complete signature.”
The app is currently available through invitation only and is soon to be launched for the public.
Founded in 2020 by an anonymous group that calls themselves Chef, PancakeSwap is the largest DeFi project built on the BNB chain and is known for using Automated Market Maker (AMM) to facilitate trading. PancakeSwap is a decentralized exchange (DEX) that allows users to swap BEP-20 tokens at low fees and high transaction speed.
Presently, its native token CAKE is valued at $3.75 and has a market cap worth $706 million. With its all-time high (ATH) of $44 in April 2021, the project has the potential to grow further.
Uniswap is another DEX that was started in 2018 by Hayden Adams and is the largest DeFi project that is built on the Ethereum chain. Uniswap doesn’t maintain liquidity by matching buyers and sellers. Instead, it uses a math equation called Automated Market Maker (AMM) and pools of tokens to achieve market-making automatically. Currently, Uniswap has 370,139 wallet holders.
The platform’s native token is called UNI which is one of the largest cryptos tokens by market cap and is also used as the Governance token to vote on Uniswap proposals and make decisions for the platform. Its native token UNI is currently priced at $6.33 with its ATH of $43. Uniswap has launched its v3 in 2021 which aims to provide greater liquidity, better token pairing and faster trade execution for its users.
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AAVE is one of the biggest DeFi lending and borrowing protocols making it one of the top DeFI projects of 2023. It allows lets users to lend and borrow crypto without any intermediaries. Lenders can earn interest and passive income on AAVE by providing liquidity to the protocol.
AAVE is the native token of the protocol that serves as the Governance token, provides a discount on the fees and earns yield interest on the platform. The platform has withstood the bear market of 2022 and also during the collapse of some biggest lending and borrowing protocols.
Starting in December 2020, Lido has the highest Ethereum locked for Staking with a total value of $8.6 billion. It allows you to become an ETH Proof-of-Work Validator without staking complete 32 ETH or owning the infrastructure to host a node on the Ethereum network.
LDO is the native utility token that is used for granting governance rights in the Lido DAO, managing fee parameters and distribution. It is also used to govern the addition and removal of Lido node operators. Presently, there are more than $9,137,409,266 worth of nodes hosted by Lido for 285,403 stakers.
Its native token LDO is trading at $2.56 and has the potential to become one of the top DeFi projects of 2023 with the Ethereum Shanghai upgrade nearing its final execution date.
Curve is a top DeFi project that is home to stablecoins. It was launched in 2020 and gained popularity for its unique approach to host liquidity pools that have assets similar to stablecoins or wrapped versions of assets such as wBTC and tBTC. This approach has allowed Curve to provide low fees and less slippage, making it one of the biggest DeFi projects of all time and a top DeFi project for 2023.
Curve is also home to CRV tokens and DAO. DAO serves as a governance medium, incentivizes fee payment methods and overlooks the long-term earning methods for liquidity providers.
MakerDAO is one of the largest dApps on the Ethereum blockchain and the second largest in terms of total locked value worth $7.5 billion. Started in 2014, MakerDAO offers decentralized borrowing and lending services. The DAO is also responsible for creating and managing the stablecoin DAI which is soft-pegged to the U.S. dollar and collateralized by a mixture of cryptocurrencies.
DAI has been one of the top DeFi crypto projects since its inception due to its unique pegged feature and has the potential to become the largest stablecoin in the future. Presently, the market cap of DAI is $5.1 billion and stands as the seventeenth largest crypto, according to CoinMarketCap.
Read more: USDC Stablecoin Collapse Explained
Optimism is a layer-2 Ethereum scaling protocol that has its native token called Optimism, ticker name OP. The key benefit of Optimism is it helps the Ethereum network to process transactions faster by building its protocol on top of the Ethereum. Optimism is home to 107 protocols and has over $1 billion locked in TVL.
Its native token OP is currently priced at $2.5 which is close to the ATH of $4.57 during May 2022. The scaling abilities of Optimism make it one of the top decentralized finance projects of all time.
Compound is another lending & borrowing protocol that lets its users earn interest by depositing their funds into the different Ethereum-based liquidity pools. Users earn interest for depositing the crypto into the protocol liquidity pool and receive cTokens in return. These tokens define the share of the user’s deposit in the entire pool and the amount they will be earning.
Compound’s native token COMP is one of the top DeFi projects in 2023 due to its governance power on the Compound protocol. Users holding COMP tokens can be part of the proposal suggestions, decision-making, deciding which tokens to add or remove for collateralization on the Compound protocol and even deciding the supply of the COMP.
Founded in 2017, Chainlink is a decentralized oracle network for data abstraction that allows smart contracts to connect with the data based on the blockchain. The importance of Chainlink can be understood from the fact that blockchains are immutable and secure but highly incapable of abstracting data from outside the blockchain. It was one of the first protocols to allow the integration of off-chain data into smart contracts. The ecosystem currently accesses over 1 billion data points, securing over $75 billion in value through 1,000 project integrations with 700 oracle networks.
Its native token LINK is one of the cryptos of all time and one of the biggest DeFi projects to invest in 2023. Presently, LINK has over 653k wallet holders with a fully diluted market cap of $6,910,000,000 at $6.90 and it has a total supply of 1 billion LINK tokens.
It cannot be denied that the DeFi industry has grown to become a large-scale industry which is set to grow further. There are several top DeFi projects and top DeFi tokens that offer opportunities to grow but you should always do your own research before investing in any project.
There are multiple ways to invest in the top DeFi projects. You can start by buying them from a centralized crypto exchange like CoinDCX, or you can invest in them through Okto DeFi wallet and earn interest up to double digits through Swap and Earn features.
The top DeFi projects in 2023 according to their total value locked (TVL) are PancakeSwap, Uniswap, Aave, Lido, and Curve. The total locked value in all the DeFi projects combined is approximately $48.5 billion as of writing.
Read more: Top DeFi Indicators