Top 60 DeFi Statistics (2023 Onwards): Market Growth and User Demographics
Estimates suggest that DeFi could be responsible for trillions of dollars by 2030.
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Top 10 DeFi Statistics
DeFi market cap sits at about $43 billion.
The cryptocurrency market cap is around $1.13 trillion, showing that DeFi makes up a small percentage of the total cryptocurrency market.
Total global DeFi assets have grown four-fold since 2020.
Blockchain spending grew from $1 billion in 2018 to roughly $14 billion by the end of 2022. It is expected to reach $19 billion by 2024.
There are roughly 6.5 million active DeFi users across the globe today.
The total cryptocurrency market cap peaked at $3 trillion, but it has since fallen to around $1 trillion.
North America hosts roughly 34 percent of all DeFi holdings.
Bitcoin is the top cryptocurrency in terms of market cap, worth more than twice as much as second place, Ethereum.
Stellar is the most traded cryptocurrency with more than 7 million transactions daily.
The United States sees the most DeFi trade at a volume of almost four times the second-place country, China.
Are you familiar with DeFi? It stands for “decentralized finance,” and it represents a range of trading, lending, borrowing, and saving options that allow people to exchange money without going through any formal, centralized channels like traditional banks or government-controlled channels.
Ultimately, DeFi is an emerging market within the broader spectrum of cryptocurrency and blockchain. While it’s a small corner of those markets, it is growing fast, and DeFi currently has a market cap of over $50 billion, and that is a number that is expected to change rapidly every single year. Estimates suggest that DeFi, as a whole, could be responsible for trillions of dollars by 2030.
There’s a lot to say about DeFi, and sometimes, it’s best to let statistics do the talking. So, let’s explore some of the major statistics attached to DeFi to try to illuminate what it is, how it works, and what you can expect moving forward.
DeFi Market Statistics
Generally speaking, DeFi assets are spread across various stable cryptocurrencies. An easy way to gauge DeFi at a glance is to look at the top 10 DeFi protocols:
Lito: with a current total value of $8.87 billion
MakerDAO: valued at $7.51 billion
Curve: sitting around $5.07 billion
AAVE: valued at $4.96 billion
Convex Finance: contributing a total of $4.29 billion in total value
Uniswap: worth a total of $4.13 billion
JustLend: estimated around $3.69 billion
PancakeSwap: valued around $2.5 billion
Instadapp: securing about $2.08 in collateral
Compound Finance: representing a value of $1.99 billion
These resources are used for a number of purposes, including staking. In such instances, they provide collateral for DeFi transactions through a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain. Other protocols facilitate trades with specific currencies, for specific purposes, or via specific mechanisms.
What the top 10 protocols really show us is how much value is invested across the various trading mechanisms that run the bulk of DeFi transactions.
Sources: Coin Market Cap, Coindesk, iExpats, DeFi Llama
DeFi Growth Statistics
Recent DeFi Market Growth
Looking at data from 2018 and since, it’s easy to paint a picture of the rise of DeFi and even estimate projections for future growth.
For starters, the total value of DeFi assets has grown roughly four-fold since July of 2020. That growth number holds in spite of significant cryptocurrency shrinkage throughout 2022. In July of 2020, there were $9.1 billion worth of assets in DeFi. That number grew to $25 billion by December of 2020. It peaked at around $42 billion in November of 2022.
Analysts predict that DeFi will grow as a whole at a rate of about 46 percent from 2023 to 2030. If those projections hold, DeFi assets will be worth more than $60 billion by the end of that period.
Another way to estimate DeFi statistics is to look at blockchain in general. The blockchain market is larger than DeFi (since not all blockchain assets are included in DeFi transactions), but the general fate of DeFi seems tied to that of blockchain.
From 2018 to 2022, the value of blockchain transactions grew seven-fold. Blockchain spending hit $1 billion for the first time in 2018. Spending was up to $2.7 billion in 2019, and it is estimated to reach $19 billion by 2024.
Considering these trends, analysts project blockchain spending to reach $70 billion by 2026, and DeFi trading will likely follow the same trajectory.
Theft and Hacking Statistics
It might seem counterintuitive, but sometimes, crime statistics can illuminate broader trends. When it comes to DeFi, the vast majority of theft is cryptocurrency theft through various hacking attacks, and there are some statistics worth exploring in that regard.
In 2018, more than $1 billion was stolen from DeFi platforms. Those numbers shrank by more than half in 2019 and 2020, but in 2021, the numbers exploded. Roughly $3.2 billion was stolen by hackers in only 251 attacks. In 2022, the numbers grew again with more than $1.3 billion stolen in the first quarter alone.
In fact, in the first quarter of 2022, a full 97 percent of all cryptocurrency theft was stolen from DeFi protocols. That number was just 30 percent in 2020, showing that DeFi is a premier resource for cryptocurrency exchanges. Because DeFi protocols consolidate so many exchanges, hacking those protocols is much more efficient (from the hacker’s perspective) than attacking individual cryptocurrency owners.
Sources: CNet, ECOS, Grand View Research, Blockchain.com, Chainalysis
DeFi Coin Statistics
The Total Coin Market
To better explore DeFi as a whole, we can look deeply into blockchain and cryptocurrency statistics. Before breaking down individual coins, we can review some numbers related to the totality of blockchain as a market.
The combined cryptocurrency market cap peaked at around $3 trillion in 2022. Currently, that number is down to a little over $1 trillion. This shows that the recent crypto crash was severe, erasing more than 60 percent of the total value of all cryptocurrency.
Long-term projections suggest that cryptocurrency will grow from current values, but timelines are hotly debated. The cryptocurrency market cap may drop further before any long-term rebounds take root.
Now, let’s compare coin uses specifically under the purview of DeFi. The DeFi market cap sits around $56 billion, with assets spread across hundreds of coins and protocols. The top DeFi coin is Avalanche, with a market cap over $6 billion. Uniswap and Dai are both DeFi coins with a market cap over $5 billion.
More than a dozen different DeFi coins have a market cap of more than $1 billion, and hundreds of coins are valued in the tens of millions or more.
Clearly, DeFi coins only constitute a niche chunk of the total cryptocurrency market, but DeFi continues to hold the attention of investors around the world.
The Top Currencies
Another angle we can take is to look at the top currencies that are used for DeFi trading. These coins include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Stellar, and Litecoin.
Each of these coins is traded more than 100,000 times each day. Of them, Stellar is the most traded with more than 7.1 million trades every day.
As for market caps, they are $7 billion (Litecoin), $2.4 billion (Stellar), and $20 billion (Ripple). We have already discussed the market caps of Bitcoin ($450 billion) and Ethereum ($200 billion).
The combined DeFi holdings in these five currencies currently makes up about $4 billion. The rest of DeFi assets are tied to other technology features, like applications, smart contracts, games, and more. In all, DeFi assets are valued above the raw cryptocurrency holdings of the entire market, showing that there is inherent value in the protocols and infrastructure running DeFi.
Sources: Coin Market Cap, Blockchain.com
DeFi User Statistics
DeFi is often measured in terms of finances, but we can also compare raw user statistics.
At the start of 2022, there were 4.7 million active users across DeFi systems. Today, that number is closer to 6.5 million, representing a growth of 28 percent over the period.
That compares to more than 85 million blockchain wallet users around the world. That number is up from 45 million in January of 2020, showing almost 100-percent growth in the three-year span.
Interestingly enough, the number of unique users is closer to 1 million. That demonstrates that the average DeFi user has multiple accounts.
Regardless, these users spend around 220 million gas per day. For anyone unfamiliar, gas is a unit of measurement related to blockchain exchanges. A user has to spend gas in order to confirm a blockchain transaction. The expenditure of 220 million gas equates to about $15,000 a day in total transaction fees, which is sufficient to process billions of dollars in total daily trade value.
Now, those fees do not go exclusively to DeFi managers. Instead, the bulk of the fees go to pay the blockchain miners who confirm transactions. As a result, the cumulative revenue generated by DeFi at this point is estimated at around $3.7 billion. That revenue is expected to explode to $231 billion by 2030. That would represent a 62-fold increase in less than a decade.
Average User Statistics
Statistics that look at individuals can also demonstrate the general landscape of DeFi.
One aspect of DeFi is that investors prefer protocols that specialize in derivatives. These protocols saw the largest growth of any DeFi sector in 2022. Meanwhile, high-risk liquidity mining shrank over the same period, once proving the largest aspect of DeFi trading.
DeFi users also prefer Ethereum. While Bitcoin represents the highest value in DeFi, that’s largely because each coin is so valuable. Ethereum actually accounts for 58 percent of DeFi purchasing.
While there are roughly 6 million DeFi users, there are an average of 1 million transactions every day. This suggests that the majority of users are active every week, but not necessarily every day.
Sources: Bankless Times, Nansen, Consensys
DeFi Geographical Statistics
DeFi is used across the globe, and developers consider the entire Earth’s population as the target demographic. Despite that, the limited number of users (6 million users compared to almost 8 billion people on the planet) shows up in some interesting geographic disparities.
North America is the most active region for DeFi, despite being only the second-biggest trader of blockchain in general (more North America statistics in the next section).
The continent may not hold onto that spot, as Asia is the fastest-growing region in terms of DeFi adoption. This growth is most notable in Southeast Asia where more than 600 crypto companies have emerged in the last 5 years.
An estimated $1 billion in funding was raised in the region in 2022, all with the goal of launching additional blockchain services and applications. That’s after more than $1.4 billion was raised in 2021, showing consistent, high-value investment.
Southeast Asia is home to roughly 700 million people and has a fast-growing population. There are also several emerging and fast-growing economies in the region, making it a prime location to surge in cryptocurrency and De-Fi investments.
If Southeast Asia doesn’t outgrow the rest of the world, it will be because China and India pushed the pace. Both regions are large drivers of cryptocurrency, and both are expected to grow rapidly over the coming decade.
North America is the number-two region when it comes to blockchain trading and cryptocurrency in general. The region saw $750 billion in cryptocurrency trades in 2020 and 2021, and that accounted for almost 20 percent of global activity.
Meanwhile, North America is the top region for DeFi adoption and activity. In fact, DeFi was largely responsible for growing monthly cryptocurrency activity in the region in 2021. Over the course of the year, monthly trades rose from $14.4 billion to $164 billion, and DeFi was at the heart of it all. Out of all of that, roughly $276 billion was sent to DeFi.
Unsurprisingly, the United States is the primary driver of North American DeFi trades, and as a country, the U.S. is the biggest trader in DeFi around the world. The U.S. currently trades more than three times the total value of the number-two country, China. The U.K. comes in at nearly an identical trade value as China, sitting at about $3 billion per year. Meanwhile, the U.S. is over $11 billion.
Those numbers mean that the United States accounts for roughly 34 percent of all DeFi revenue, but that is expected to change. Emerging DeFi growth across East Asia is expected to surge over the next day and match, if not overtake, U.S. DeFi involvement over that time period.
Sources: TechCrunch, Chainalysis, Focus On Business
DeFi is an emerging application of cryptocurrency and blockchain, and even while cryptocurrency has recently struggled with value losses, DeFi has grown steadily. DeFi has even pushed cryptocurrency growth in many respects.
As a means of trading beyond the reach of central authorities, removing institutional middlemen, and creating novel financial products, it seems to be gaining a consistently more mainstream following. Projections all show DeFi continuing to spread over the coming decade, and by 2030, it will be a major sector of the global economy.
Until then, it remains a popular investing niche with a level of risk and opportunity that one might expect from an emerging trading technology sector.