Top 100 Defi cryptocurrencies by market cap
Quote DeFi tokens sorted by market cap, trading volume and change.
What is DeFi cryptocurrencies?
DeFi is short for "decentralized finance", a comprehensive term for a variety of financial applications in cryptocurrency or blockchain aimed at disrupting financial intermediaries.
DeFi takes inspiration from blockchain, the technology behind the digital currency bitcoin, which allows multiple entities to maintain a copy of a transaction history, meaning it is not controlled by a single central source. This is important because centralized systems and human gatekeepers can limit the speed and sophistication of transactions while giving users less direct control over their money. DeFi is distinct because it expands the use of blockchain from simple value transfer to more complex financial use cases.
Lending markets are a popular form of DeFi cryptocurrencies, which connect borrowers with cryptocurrency lenders. A popular platform, Compound , allows users to borrow cryptocurrencies or offer their own loans. Users can cash in on interest to borrow their money. The composite sets interest rates through algorithms, so if there is more demand to borrow a cryptocurrency, the interest rates will be increased.
DeFi lending is collateral-based, meaning to get a loan, the user needs to put up collateral – usually ether, the token that powers Ethereum. This means users don't provide their identity or associated credit score to take out a loan, which is how non-DeFi loans normally work.
Another form of DeFi is stablecoin. Cryptocurrencies tend to experience more pronounced price fluctuations than fiat, which is not a good quality for people who want to know how much their money will be worth in a week. Stablecoins peg cryptocurrencies to non-cryptocurrencies, like the US dollar, to keep the price in check. As the name implies, the stablecoins aim to bring “price stability”.
One of the oldest DeFi cryptocurrency apps that live on Ethereum is the so-called "forecast market", where users bet on the outcome of an event, such as "Will Donald Trump win the 2020 presidential election?"
The participants' goal is, of course, to make money, although forecasting markets can sometimes predict results better than conventional methods, such as surveys. Centralized forecasting markets with good records in this regard include Intrade and PredictIt. DeFi has the potential to increase interest in forecasting markets, as they are traditionally frowned upon by governments and tend to be closed when executed centrally.
See also the largest exchanges by volume.