The Decentralized Finance (DeFi) markets have grown more than twofold in 2021 itself. According to data from Defipulse, the total value locked in DeFi protocols on 1st Jan was $15.7 billion. This number grew to $41.97 billion as of 12th March. In this rapidly expanding market, there are many innovations and use cases of blockchain technology proliferating through the decentralized market space.
Two of the largest decentralized networks we’re seeing value being locked onto in the previous few months are Ethereum, and a rising competitor in the Binance Smart Chain. Although Binance has been dealing with a hack on their flagship Pancakeswap, a recent Bybit blog post notes how Vitalik Buterin and his team of developers are speeding up the process to improve network efficiency amid fears of the competition potentially taking over their lion’s share of market dominance.
Although, there are many uses of DeFi protocols, namely, lending, Decentralized exchanges (DEXes), DeFi derivatives, Defi payments, and assets that combine yield farming protocols and DeFi mining projects even including the use of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT’s) at times. Luis Aureliano, a financial crypto analyst, says that “The tremendous growth we’ve seen over the last couple of months is correlating almost perfectly with the recent wave of interest from institutional money; the money is flowing into NFTs and DeFi. After an amazing Q1 for the crypto market I believe we’re going to have a smooth 2021 for DeFi.”
Here, we identify a few unique DeFi projects that provide investors and users immense value propositions as investments and for their use cases:
Pylon Finance is a Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) mining project which provides the kit to mine the second most prominent cryptocurrency, Ethereum, whose network is arguably the most engaged and decentralized blockchain in the world. Pylon’s token, PYLON, is the world’s first and largest cryptocurrency which is backed by real world income generating assets such as GPU’s in addition to the land and facilities which house the machines.
Pylon Finance was launched in August 2020 by an anonymous individual named ‘Grim Reaper’ who has operated the largest GPU mining facility based in the United States for over 6 years with relatively little competition due to their unique value proposition. Its main aim is to make a GPU mining asset that is semi-correlated to the wider crypto market. This is unique and hasn’t been done by any other DeFi project in the past.
While most DeFi tokens have little or zero tangible value, PYLON’s price is supported by
the largest Ethereum GPU mining operation in the United States. Being semi correlated entails that the value of the token is not just decided by the supply demand factors in the DeFi market, it is dependent on the value of the underlying mining operation. PYLON is a 100% community-mined coin with no presale or pre-mine, and fixed supply of approximately 7,700 tokens. In 2020 alone, the value of the PYLON token has gone from trading below the $100 mark to nearly reaching $500.
The Orion Protocol is an all-in-one cryptocurrency trading platform that combines every centralized exchange (CEX), every decentralized exchange (DEX) and a swap pool into one decentralized trading and liquidity aggregator. It aims to be a one-stop shop for all investors or stakers crypto transactory needs. It aggregates liquidity from all the major exchanges and provides trading tools to investors on the platform. It allows investors to do so without ever giving up any private keys, users can connect their wallets to the platform and execute orders over any exchange, even those where they have no accounts setup in. Instead of taking the approach of competing with other exchanges, Orion acts as an aggregator for investors to have a one-stop shop for all their crypto investing needs.
They claim to have solved the liquidity, custody, accessibility, and scalability problems all in one go. The Orion Protocol token, ticker “ORN”, is the native utility token of the protocol and is based on the ERC-20 standard. After it’s launch in July 2020, the token has gone from trading at $0.8 to trading currently at $18.6, signifying twenty-three-fold growth rate. In the measure of the success of the platform and it’s token, in 2021, the token’s value has multiplied more than eight times showing from the price point of $2.1 on Jan. 1.
Such interesting and innovative DeFi projects come as a breath of fresh air for crypto investors who are often spoilt for choice with regard to exchanges and investing opportunities that are only speculative in nature with no real value attached to them. Projects such as the ones mentioned are here to break that monotony.
HXRO is a decentralized cryptocurrency trading platform that sets itself apart from all the competitors as it gives traders an alternative way to express a view on price, hedge risk, and trade digital assets. HXRO was created in 2018 by Dan Gunsberg, CEO and Co-founder of The HRXO. It was created based on the thesis that trading is the ultimate massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). Thus, spawned the idea of putting an aspect of gamification into the cryptocurrency and DeFi trading markets. The platform is inspired by legacy systems in the traditional financial markets and combines that with a social gamification concept to provide an unique experience to their users.
HXRO is the network token that powers the HXRO network. It is an ERC-20 standard token on the Ethereum blockchain. The platform also offers special platform benefits based on these tokens. Holders earn exchange fee discounts through a rebate system, higher the holding, higher the rebates given to the holders. The users could even earn more HXRO as a reward by contributing to the token network. In September 2020, HXRO partnered with Nervos, China’s leading blockchain project to launch DeFi projects in the Asian markets. These developments have led to fruitful results from HXRO, the native token has grown more than twofold year to date in 2021, from $0.17 on Jan.1 to $0.35 on March 12th at the time of publication.