As someone with an unbounded interest in software and finance, DeFi is a natural rabbit hole for me to dive into. It’s a vast world, although it’s still in its infancy. Over the next few months, I hope to dedicate a lot more time on research and investing within this space.
While in the early days of Bitcoin, most of the talk centered around how it works and its future potential, nowadays it seems to have consolidated its position as a store of value, and most of the news and discussion focuses around price action, regulations and adoption. While that is also interesting, DeFi is more aligned to my core interests and also kind of feels how the Bitcoin community felt in the early days.
Speaking of community, most of the discussions around DeFi seem to be happening within the Discord and Telegram channels of the many projects that dot the DeFi landscape. Twitter and YouTube are also important places to be for any DeFi enthusiast.
This post will serve as a repository for my overall view of the space, and eventually, I expect that I will write about certain projects separately as my knowledge levels up.
Best DeFi tools
- DappRadar – Track, analyze and discover decentralized applications.
- Defiyield – Trade and Swap assets across different blockchains. Add liquidity to earn yield. Also includes the largest database of DeFi project audits and an impermanent loss calculator.
- DeFi Rating – a simple dashboard for tracking DeFi positions in top protocols like Synthetix, Set Protocol, dYdX and Compound. Easily analyze and manage all your DeFi assets in one-stop-shop interface.
- Zapper – a simple dashboard for DeFi. Easily track and visualize all your DeFi assets and liabilities in one simple interface.
- Nansen – Ethereum wallet analytics.
- Furucombo – a tool built for end-users to optimize their DeFi strategy simply by drag and drop.
- Ethereum to Polygon Bridge – useful for moving assets to Polygon and thus paying lower fees.
My favorite DeFi projects
I’ve tried to group them into a few main categories, although some projects span multiple categories.
- Uniswap – a decentralized exchange. Together with Sushiswap, currently the best place to trade tokens in a decentralized manner.
- SushiSwap – swap, earn, stack yields, lend, borrow, leverage all on one decentralized, community driven platform.
- PancakeSwap – #1 AMM and yield farm on Binance Smart Chain.
- Bancor – another DEX. I find it particularly interest due to its liquidity pools that offer impermanent loss protection.
- Curve – a decentralized exchange that’s optimized for assets with the same relative value, for example USDC or Tether, or evcen WBTC and renBTC. Better than Uniswap for such trades.
- Perpetual Protocol – lets you trade a wide range of assets, including short selling, with up to 10x leverage. In addition, you can earn fees by providing liquidity or staking protocol tokens. All this can be done programmatically, or via web3 interfaces.
- 1inch – a DEX aggregator that works out the best crypto prices across decentralized exchanges and multiple blockchains (Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain and Polygon).
- Matcha – finds you the best prices across exchanges and combines them into one trade.
- Kyber – connects liquidity from diverse sources to provide the best rates for takers such as DApps, Wallets, DEXs, Aggregators, and users.
- Aave – an open-source and non-custodial liquidity protocol for earning interest on deposits and borrowing assets.
- Compound – a lending protocol enabling users to lend and borrow popular cryptocurrencies like Ether, Dai and Tether.
- Maker – a permissionless lending platform responsible for the creation of DAI, the first decentralized stablecoin, built on Ethereum.
- Venus – a decentralized marketplace for lenders and borrowers with borderless stablecoins, running on the Binance Smart Chain.
- Yearn – a suite of products in Decentralized Finance (DeFi) that provides lending aggregation, yield generation, and insurance on the Ethereum blockchain. The protocol is maintained by various independent developers and is governed by YFI holders.
- Alpha Homora – DeFi’s first leveraged yield farming product.
- Synthetix – lets users create synthetic versions of traditional assets (like stocks and commodities) on the Ethereum blockchain.
- Opyn – DeFi’s options protocol.
- Ribbon – generate yield through automated options strategies.
- Mirror – allows the creation of fungible assets, “synthetics”, that track the price of real-world assets.
- Nexus Mutual – most well-known insurance system in DeFi. Get covered against smart contract failure & exchange hacks.
- InsurAce – a leading decentralized insurance protocol, providing reliable, robust and secure insurance services to DeFi users, allowing them to secure their investment funds against various risks.
- Harvest – yield farming pools that automatically get you the highest yields.
- Enzyme – a decentralised asset management infrastructure built on Ethereum. Using Enzyme Smart Vaults, individuals and communities can build, scale and monetise investment (or execution) strategies that employ the newest innovations in decentralised finance.
- Lido – simplified and secure staking for digital assets.
- Terra – a financial ecosystem that includes a stablecoin facilitator, synthetic assets, savings accounts and more.
- Frax – the Frax Protocol introduced the world to the concept of a cryptocurrency being partially backed by collateral and partially stabilized algorithmically.
- Empty Set Dollar – an algorithmic stablecoin built to be the reserve currency of Decentralized Finance.
- DeFi Rate – explore interest rates from the top cryptocurrency lending protocols and crypto banks.
- Decrypt – news and guides.
- The Defiant – news.
- DeFi Pulse – DeFi rankings.
Finally, I should also note that I’m seeing a lot of bullishness around DAOs, so these seem to be the next hot thing. It would pay to keep an eye on any DAO-related projects that come about in the next few months.