Blockchain-based DeFi products have certainly made the news in 2021, with new innovations, and solutions that have answered problems that we didn’t even know we had. That explains why they are increasingly being adopted by consumers and businesses at such a rapid pace.

Decentralized finance is giving traditional banking a run for its money, quite literally, which is why this year, institutional banks and private investors have flooded the market with funding.  dApps and protocols help us to do the things we have historically used our banks for, but now the blockchain has removed the middle man from the picture and is opening up opportunities unparalleled in the centralized marketplace,  from banking, to saving, to acquiring or issuing loans, trading derivatives, earning sizable returns via staking and/or liquidity mining, and for minting NFTs or digital collectibles.

Explosive growth  in DeFi in 2021

After the brief worldwide market crash following the COVID-19 outbreak, the DeFi market has grown exponentially and recently surpassed the $100 billion mark of Total Value Locked into the various projects and protocols, according to DeFi Pulse data . It has become clear that crypto and DeFi are not only here to stay, but they are set to grow even faster from here onwards. That’s because the Internet and Web 3.0 (the blockchain’s answer to the internet) have allowed consumers and businesses to communicate and share ideas and updates instantly.

For the modern world that has prioritized financial inclusion, which includes serving the unbanked or financially underserved, DeFi has become a critical service. Financial services should no longer be considered a luxury or something that only the rich should have. Every global citizen should be able to participate in the digital economy and that is part of what the DeFi movement aims to offer. In addition to providing much-needed financial services, DeFi platforms have adopted the best of the blockchain to provide services and products that are anonymous yet transparent and highly secure.

Let’s look at some of the most notable DeFi projects as we head into 2022.

Revuto - DeFi Platform for Subscriptions

Revuto is an innovative platform that manages subscriptions for its users. For instance, if you have ever signed up for a free trial for a service, only to be asked for your credit card details (annoying), and then once your free trial ends forgotten to cancel the subscription, then this might just be a godsend. Additionally, users can manage all of their subscriptions on the one screen, and with one click they can Block, Pause or Approve subscriptions. Believe it or not, there is no other service on the market offering a product like this, and Revuto takes it one step further by doing it all on the blockchain. That could explain the explosion of users this project has enjoyed, with currently over 200,000 users since launch, and why it was voted the fastest-growing consumer product in the crypto-space during the World Blockchain Summit (WBS) in Dubai.

Revuto carried out its token sale via Cardano and acquired $10 million in funding. While the Ethereum ecosystem continues to dominate the DeFi space, Cardano has also emerged as a major platform for building decentralized applications (dApps).

Safle - Blockchain Identity Wallet for DeFi Investors

Another project to watch in 2022 is Safle, which is a decentralized blockchain identity wallet implemented by Safle Network and Mainchain Research & Consulting. It has been designed to support secure private key management as well as offering an intuitive experience for dApps, DeFi platforms and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

As a retail user trading or buying tokens across different chains, it can be hard to manage all of your private keys, and without those, you simply lose your funds. That’s why an identity tool which helps you keep all of your assets safe and secured across multi chains seems like such a great idea. No more seed phrases and no more keys across multiple exchanges and wallets.

According to the project’s developers, purchasing, selling, transferring and storing crypto-assets should be an easy and intuitive process, just like using a social media platform or checking your email. The Safle project’s goal is to provide frictionless experiences for end-users and application developers who are interested in accessing and creating solutions on decentralized infrastructures.

Infinity - Community-Owned NFT Marketplace

Infinity is a NFT marketplace that is governed and guided by its community, by way of a distributed autonomous organization (DAO). It aims to support programmable NFTs and is a completely decentralized platform for creating, storing, and listing NFTs, with the added benefit of earning rewards for all your activity. Plus, users pay low fees on sales, compared to the competition. Infinity is now in the process of carrying out an incentive program to attract users of OpenSea to its platform, an airdrop to literally bite out a chunk of the OpenSea user base.

Infinity says it will compete directly with OpenSea with 600M tokens that are ready to be given away. Traders who have performed transactions on one of the biggest marketplaces for NFTs may qualify to receive free tokens, however, the users must access the services of the new competitor — and do it as soon as possible.

Infinity says that it aims to serve as the “FTX for NFTs.” The project’s creators say that it is a community-led, decentralized NFT marketplace established for the future of discovering, developing, and truly owning digital collectibles. As an OpenSea competitor, it plans to better represent, and incorporate the requirements of the global NFT community.

Avarta - DeFi-focused Platform for Supporting Decentralized ID System

Avarta is yet another promising DeFi-focused platform offering a multichain, decentralized ID system. Imagine being able to use your face as your ID? That means no more private keys, and  no more seed phrases. It gives users the ability to store all of their wallet details in the one place and to use their face across protocols and networks.

As well as its biometrically-secured, multichain blockchain wallet, it also provides an anti-bot mechanism for public DEX listing, focusing on the ultimate in security. In addition to these capabilities, there’s support for multi-signature wallets for corporations and legacy planning. Multi-chain, decentralized ID management with risk-based scoring mechanisms are offered as well.

Centrifuge - Bringing Business Invoices, Real Estate to DeFi Space

Centrifuge is worth paying attention to. It currently has a locked-in value of $44,649,627 and it notably won the 9th parachain auction on Kusama, where it is known as Altair. Altair aims to combine the infrastructure created by Centrifuge to finance real-world assets (RWA) on the Centrifuge Chain. This is done with the latest experimental features — right before they are ready to go live on the Centrifuge Chain. Even after Centrifuge is completely live on Polkadot, Kusama will be used for issuing art NFTs, funding undiscovered assets, and other use-cases.

Centrifuge aims to effectively bring assets such as business invoices, real estate, and royalties to the DeFi space. With this platform, borrowers may finance their real-world assets without needing banks or other third-parties. Offering liquidity is open to everyone and investors should get a return as well as CFG rewards.

Ardana - DeFi Primitives for Economies Built on Cardano

Ardana serves as Cardano’s (ADA) all in one stablecoin hub, providing the DeFi primitives required to effectively bootstrap and maintain any economy via Cardano.

As explained by its creators, Ardana provides an on-chain asset-backed stablecoin as well as a decentralized stable-asset DEX. The stablecoin is reportedly backed by a surplus of on-chain collateral and should allow borrowers to leverage on their ADA token holdings (or other types of supported assets). The platform’s DEX will serve as a capital efficient exchange allowing for swaps with very low slippage and fees while offering low-risk yield opportunities to liquidity providers (LPs). Notably, Ardana has its token launch scheduled soon and its DEX is set to go live early next year.

2022 Should See Increased DeFi Adoption, A More Mature Digital Financial Ecosystem

As 2021 comes to an end, we should be prepared for even more exponential growth in the DeFi space. The traditional financial system settles trillions of dollars in transactions on a daily basis, yet it is highly inefficient as it’s based on outdated technological infrastructure. Given that decentralized finance is being built on the latest Web 3.0 protocols, it should have the capacity to handle many more transactions once it has sufficiently matured.

In the coming year, we should see many more DeFi use-cases emerge while others like crypto staking, lending, borrowing, and investing should become a lot more accessible to a diverse group of users across the globe. Decentralized applications (dApps) should also run a lot faster following upgrades to major smart contract platforms like Ethereum.