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The DeFi market has evolved at breakneck speed due to the potency of open finance and the minds committed to making it a reality. In 2021 alone, the total value of assets locked on DeFi protocols has surged by over 600%. While it is impossible to ignore the explosion of the prices of altcoins and their impact on the exponential growth of the DeFi market, metrics like the number of DeFi users show the appeal of such products and the potential for more.

However, for DeFi to outdo itself and finally emerge as a viable alternative to conventional financial methods, it must first break free from recurring restrictions including the complexity associated with open finance protocols, the risks that come with them, and the apparent lack of regulated gateways. Experts believe that the emergence of solutions that robustly cater to the needs of mainstream investors or users by doing away with the aforementioned limitations would ultimately usher in a new DeFi era.

Notably, DeFi 2.0 seems more attainable each passing day, thanks to the remarkable efforts on the part of developers to enable new layers of functionalities. Several projects are on the verge of resolving recurring issues, perfecting existing techniques, and proffering new paradigms. It goes without saying that such an impressive burst of innovation makes it a lot harder for users to keep track of developments. And so, we have decided to collate 10 of the interesting projects poised to bring about tremendous advancement in the DeFi landscape.

Here, we have based our list on the uniqueness and appeal of the project. The projects highlighted below have the potential of championing new levels of growth in the DeFi market.

1. EQIFI

EQIFI is looking to ensure that open finance finally comes of age such that the democratization of global banking services transits from mere wishful thinking to an achievable goal. Therefore, it has taken up a community-powered architecture for providing banking services and leveling the playing field. With the help of blockchain technology, the project has set up advanced infrastructures for lending, borrowing, and investing in Ethereum, ERC-20 tokens, and selected fiat currencies.

Interestingly, this project is powered by a regulated and fully licensed bank, EQIBank. Unsurprisingly, the team has capitalized on this affiliation to enable direct fiat integrations and other features poised to normalize DeFi. Such products include multi-currency bank accounts and credit cards, along with fixed-term investment products. The goal is to bring banking and standard financial products to a global audience via blockchain technology. In tandem with the innovation of EQIFI, it took the team only ten days to achieve the funding goals set for the seed phase and other strategic rounds.

2. SmartDeFi

Much like Eqifi, SmartDeFi is hoping to influence the adoption of DeFi positively. The team behind this project understands the risk factors that are currently holding traditional investors back from testing the waters. And in response, they have developed a dynamic DeFi investment app that considers the risk appetite of users before recommending a DeFi strategy to them. The platform combines several DeFi products to establish an ecosystem where investors can minimize their exposure to risk while still generating significantly high-profit margins.

Core to SmartDeFi operations is its integration with Wyre and Toru Labs. These integrations offer seamless channels to Apple Pay and Google Pay’s infrastructures. More importantly, SmartDeFi is offering smart baskets of investment products representing the value of a combination of underlying DeFi protocols and digital assets. In essence, SmartDeFi users can enjoy what the team calls decentralized exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

3. Pera Finance

Another promising DeFi platform that is worth checking out is Pera. The project is a revolutionary trading and yield farming protocol that combines deflationary and inflationary yield farming for optimum liquidity and trading volume. Unlike existing DeFi trading architectures, Pera has opted to incentivize both sides of the trading spectrum such that liquidity providers and traders receive rewards for their contributions to the sustainability of the platform.

The unique thing about this approach is the inclusion of a fairly rewarding opportunity for not just liquidity providers but also traders. The protocol uses smart contracts that can log the trading volume of users and reward the top 10 with the highest activities. In a way, this utilizes a system where users with the highest trading contributions are adequately rewarded. Then there are the gasless yields distributed to everyone holding the project’s native token, PERA.

4. Hybrix

Imagine having the infrastructure necessary to execute cross-blockchain transactions and operations seamlessly. It is this possibility and all the benefits attached to it that have spurred the creation of Hybrix, a multichain protocol that allows the swapping, storing, and building of digital assets across multiple blockchains.

The ecosystem consists of a wallet 2.0 service, a multichain software development kit, and a native token, which is compatible with several blockchain networks. Currently, Hybrix supports over 30 blockchains and 387 tokens. Thus, users can access a plethora of DeFi services regardless of the nature of their underlying blockchain infrastructure. With Hybrix, it is now possible to explore the unique advantage of two or more blockchain ecosystems without worrying about compatibility.

5. Clever

Clever is solely marketing itself as a simple investment product entrenched in the fundamentals of decentralized finance. The project generates interest to CLVA token holders on a fixed cycle. The protocol uses an automated interest payment mechanism that generates 11% interest to CLVA tokens every 14 days. While this does not seem unique at first, it is the approach adopted by the project’s developers that sets it apart.

For one, the protocol compounds interest. The second unique feature is the long-term nature of the investment product. The platform claims that there will be over 888 14-days cycles, stretching the duration of the interest-generating opportunity to 34years. Notably, you do not need to stake or lock your tokens to become eligible to receive interests. Also, the development team does not automatically own a share of the minted tokens. As such, it is almost impossible for a rug pull to occur.

6. Gravis Finance

Gravis Finance is another DeFi platform that has caught the eye. The project focuses on delivering a decentralized exchange for NFTs. While this functionality is impressive on its own, the team takes it up a notch and adds extra multi-chain capabilities. In essence, not only would users have access to the tools to trade NFTs autonomously, but they can also facilitate exchanges between multiple blockchains.

Moreover, the ecosystem comes with a cross-chain NFT marketplace. With this, NFT users can create an NFT on a blockchain network and sell it on other networks without having to worry about the siloed nature of such ecosystems. Also, like every other decentralized exchange protocol, Gravis Finance supports yield farming. However, in this case, it is designed for NFT tokens.

7. Dice Game

Dice Game is a new generation protocol that combines gaming and other prominent elements of decentralized finance for even more versatility and functionality. The protocol is based on the emerging Fantom blockchain. Therefore, speed or network congestion is never a problem when using the protocol. You can either play a dice game to earn the platform’s native token, DICE, or provide liquidity to receive DICE tokens as rewards.

Also, the protocol provides a decentralized exchange feature that allows users to swap their FTM tokens for DICE. What makes this work is the simplicity of the entire platform. The interface is surprisingly uncomplicated for a DeFi protocol.

8. Jigstack

For Jigstack, decentralized governance and functionality are the defining principles of DeFi. While there is a massive list of protocols and applications developed within the Ethereum ecosystem, only a handful have truly delivered on the promise of open finance and community governance. Therefore, Jigstack, a decentralized autonomous governance (DAO) system, has set out to develop a growing list of Ethereum-based DeFi applications that fix specific problems and interact seamlessly for even more advanced functionalities.

More importantly, they all operate under a single algorithmic governance model powered by Jigstack. In turn, Jigstack redistributes governance rights and revenue to users. Think of it as a DeFi conglomerate purpose-built to provide efficient services while generating revenue to active users. Some of the tools already operational under the Jigstack umbrella are Ethlink, a decentralized affiliate marketing solution,  and Lemonade, a decentralized launchpad for reputable DeFi projects.

9. PancakeSwap

PancakeSwap is one of the many clones of Uniswap. However, the developers have done enough to add unique features that had since established PancakeSwap in the decentralized exchange market. The Binance Smart Chain-based protocol comes with two yield farming mechanisms. It also supports the gamification of trading by implementing leaderboards and various milestones.

Another unique feature is the platform’s native auction market for NFTs. With all these extra benefits, it is easy to see why PancakeSwap is fast becoming the go-to exchange for DeFi users.

10.Litentry

Litentry describes itself as a cross-chain identity aggregating platform. This project focuses on managing decentralized identities spread across multiple networks. This will in turn provide developers or decentralized protocols with the appropriate data and resources for researching and creating new DeFi features.

The protocol offers decentralized identity management tools that allow other platforms to securely and privately confirm the identities of users and other metrics. Note that these checks are instantaneous and on-chan.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of projects, ranging from mediocre to absolutely groundbreaking, brewing in the DeFi landscape. We have managed to handpick a handful that has featured prominently in the DeFi narrative in Q2 2021. However, regardless of what we believe, do ensure to do your research before investing in any crypto or DeFi-related project.

Image by Med Ahabchane from Pixabay