Less than one month ago, Ethereum’s biggest dApp, the lending protocol MakerDAO, became the first DeFi project to manage over $1 billion in crypto assets. Now, two more projects have just crossed that impressive early milestone: Aave and Curve.
For a time, it seemed lending protocol Compound might be the second to reach the $1 billion total value locked (TVL) mark, with TVL essentially meaning “assets under management.” Yet a flurry of recent developments around Aave and Curve propelled these projects past the line first.
Lending protocol Aave joined the $1 billion TVL club on August 15th on the heels of a series of major happenings taking place around the project. Among other things, these developments include the following intrigues:
The introduction of Credit Delegation, which lets users delegate crypto credit lines.
The introduction of Aavenomics, a new token system that will migrate LEND to AAVE.
The introduction of Aave V2, which grant users new protocol features and optimizations.
The rise of Aavegotchi, a promising DeFi-NFT gaming meld.
These rollouts have taken place as 1) Aave’s main offerings have been proven in the wild for months now, 2) the project’s community is blooming, and 3) the DeFi sector has been catching fire in general. Taken altogether, the result has been rapid growth for the Aave protocol, which is now the second-largest DeFi dApp with a TVL of $1.15 billion at press time.
Of course, as the DeFi sector has seen fits and bursts of activity all year long, it’s entirely possible that Aave will trade that second-place position back and forth with other hot projects like Curve, Compound, Synthetix, or yEarn for the foreseeable future.
Even still, Aave’s acute arrival at the upper echelon of DeFi is a shot across the bow in the sector. The protocol’s a force to be reckoned with, and it’s here to stay.
Curve Joins the Club
One day after Aave secured its $1 billion TVL milestone, Curve, the decentralized stablecoin exchange that’s one of Ethereum’s breakout hits this year, became the third project to hit that mark.
That surge upward slots Curve as the third-largest DeFi dApp with a current TVL of $1.01 billion. The run-up is no real surprise, as Curve just had a huge week with the launches its CurveDAO and CRV governance token days ago.
Those launches, which were preemptively deployed by a community member but eventually accepted by the Curve team, were among the most highly-anticipated rollouts in the DeFi arena this year. As such, the ensuing excitement has driven more users to supply their assets than ever before.
Next Contenders Up …
At the rate DeFi has been growing this year and in particular in recent weeks, it seems likely that we’ll see a handful projects cross the $1 billion TVL mark in the months ahead.
For now, prime candidates to do so include synthetic assets protocol Synthetix, lending protocol Compound, and yield aggregator project yEarn. All three projects have been on a tear so far in 2020, and all three are in striking distance: Synthetix’s current TVL is $830 million, Compound’s TVL is $750 million, and yEarn’s TVL is $600 million.
Of course, the $1 billion TVL mark is ultimately an arbitrary milestone, and the sum is ultimately small in the grand scheme of things. At the same time, the milestone’s an extremely validating achievement for young DeFi projects that are trying to build a new kind of open and global financial system. It shows their work hasn’t been in vain and that so much more can be achieved from here.
And as such milestones keep falling for more and more projects, it seems more and more likely Ethereum-based projects will continue to eat mainstream finance with web-native alternatives.
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