The decentralized finance (DeFi) space has grown significantly in the past year, moving from a billion-dollar market to almost $10 billion in assets locked in just a few months. While many would believe that this year’s growth levels are astronomical, to say the least, some believe that things are just getting started.
Enhanced Integrations to Drive More Users
Joining the latter is Da Hongfei, the founder of blockchain project NEO. In a live stream on China’s Hub over the weekend, Hongfei explained that DeFi had expedited the process of establishing a market – something that traditional finance couldn’t do for hundreds of years. With even greater functionality and an enabling environment for everyone, the sub-industry could grow even more.
In particular, Hongfei praised DeFi and its ability to incorporate different financial products and services. He explained:
“Lending and borrowing, decentralized exchanges, insurance, and all kinds of derivatives are on the rise in DeFi. The initial stage DeFi infrastructure has a solid good start, and now it is time to see more and more applications to be built and innovated on DeFi.”
The tech mogul added that with more possibilities, DeFi could replace traditional banks and deliver a future where people take more control of their financial lives. He pointed out that citizens make most of their payments with processors in China – particularly, WeChat Pay and Alipay. As DeFi continues to grow and add more financial services, people could eventually ditch banks altogether and digitally move their finances.
DeFi: Bubble or Not?
The growth of the DeFi space has invited both optimism and scrutiny from various parties. While Hongfei appears to be a bull, several notable people have voiced their concerns with it.
Most prominent is perhaps Nouriel Roubini, a famed economist and even more famous crypto pessimist. Roubini has been critical of anything crypto-related for years. Last week, he took to Twitter to bash DeFi, explaining that it has been “vaporware” from the onset. A slang, vaporware is used to depict a product or concept with great hype but little to no substance to back it up.
“DeFi was vaporware from its onset. Now totally faltering as blockchain was always the most over-hyped technology in human history,” Roubini said.
Changpeng Zhao, the founder and CEO of top exchange Binance, has also sounded off some warnings. In a recent interview with Cointelegraph, he explained that he has always believed in DeFi from the start and still does. Regardless, there appears to be a large number of projects with empty promises that are barely doing anything right now.
Zhao explained that many of these “two-week projects” tend to fizzle out quickly and take investors down with them. However, the core principles of DeFi – which include decentralized staking and lending – are still strong.
Opinions regularly vary as far as DeFi is concerned. It certainly holds, given that several projects have shown differing performances. While projects like Compound and Uniswap have shown long-term potential, others haven’t been so lucky and have either been plagued by volatility and security issues.