A Coinbase report reviewing the first six months of 2021 has revealed that Ethereum surpassed all cryptocurrencies in both trading volume and growth.
The report largely attributes Ethereum’s growth to the explosion of decentralized finance (Defi) on the Ethereum network. The report indicates that a total of $61.2 billion is locked in Ethereum’s DeFi ecosystem.
The total exchange volume for Ethereum shot up 1,461% in the first half of 2021 to $1.4 trillion, rising from $92 billion in 2020
Trading volume for Bitcoin, by comparison, only increased by 489% – which still nearly doubled ETH’s total volume
Ethereum has consolidated its place as the second most valuable cryptocurrency – Its value has risen by 210% in the last 6 months. In the last 12 months, its value has shot up by 895%
DeFi includes several projects that are innovating new ways of trading, lending, borrowing and banking.
One classic example of such innovations is Uniswap, a decentralized exchange that has innovated a protocol for creating liquidity and trading ERC-20 tokens on Ethereum.
Uniswap is estimated to have a 24-hour volume of $295 million with $5.58 billion locked value as of this writing.
Aave is a decentralised non-custodial liquidity market protocol where users can participate as depositors or borrowers. It currently has over $19.6 billion in total locked value.
Coinbase notes that while DeFi was dominated by retail investors in 2020, institutional investors have been attracted in 2021. Some of these institutions includes hedge funds and global investment banks, which are likely fueling the surge in cash on the platform.