Despite the consensus view that emerging markets and economies of Africa are defining and adopting DeFi, data seems to indicate the opposite.
A recent report by DeFiant News has shown that developing nations made up only 10% of the biggest DeFi dapp’s traffic sources on average in February 2021.
Some of the top largest dapps by total value locked (TVL) surveyed (from highest) include:
- MakerDAO (US dominates at 10% traffic)
- BadgerDAO (US dominates at 27% traffic)
Below are some stats on DeFi adoption and use from the report:
- Developed nations made up 28% of all DeFi traffic
- United States took 8 of the top 10 DeFi projects in traffic
- Balancer DEX saw the highest numbers coming from emerging markets at 34%
- UniSwap saw the lowest numbers coming from emerging markets with almost all of the top traffic sources coming form developed nations
- Google Searches show Nigeria and Thailand as the 2 countries with the most searches for ‘Decentralized Finance’ in the last 1 year
- Emerging markets dominate traffic on Venus – the top DeFi protocol built on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC)
Despite DEXs like UniSwap reporting massive transaction volumes, it is increasingly evident that a large part of these transactions are coming from developed nations with negligible participation from the emerging markets of Africa.
Part of the reasons proposed for this low uptake in developing nations is the skyrocketing fees asociated with Ethereum.
On the other hand, the low gas fees on BSC has seen players in emerging markets enter the DeFi space. The launch of the Africa-focused Xend Finance DeFi product on BSC and Balancer DEX is a classic example these dynamics at play.
Check out this exclusive BitKE interview with Xend Finance CEO, Aronu, as he discusses the project inception, vision, and lessons for fellow African entrepreneurs on how to build successful DeFi crypto projects:
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