DeFi records 31% growth in users QoQ in 2022


  • DeFi continues to attract more users with strong products and services across segments such as decentralised exchanges, lending protocols and staking.
  • Users across the sector increased by 31% quarter on quarter in 2022, although that pales compared with the 525% spike seen in 2021.
  • Latest estimates for total DeFi users suggest the number will surpass 5.5 million in Q4, 2022.

Decentralised finance, or DeFi, remains big, though not with the same numbers as seen a year ago. In 2021, user numbers skyrocketed 545% as cryptocurrencies boomed on the back of a staggering bull run.

While DeFi statistics for 2022 show a decline in user growth amid the year-long crypto winter, the sector still witnessed a 31% increase in users. The quarter on quarter increase in users was captured in the latest report on DeFi growth by HashKey Capital.

DeFi users have surpassed 5 million

As HashKey Capital analysts highlighted in their recent report, DeFi is not just eating into the traditional finance, or TradFi market, but it’s also curving its own new market. The trend relates to what is a “blue ocean market,” the report noted, with the DeFi sector’s new and innovative services capturing demand that’s adding to the steady growth in users.

A drop in total value locked (TVL) – it is now below $40 billion as per DeFiLlama, still doesn’t tell the whole story of decentralised finance in the past one year.

Overall, user wallets across DeFi segments such as decentralised exchanges (DEXs), lending, collateralized debt positions (CDPs), bridges, staking and yield, surpassed 5 million in the third quarter of 2022. It is estimated DeFi users will number more than 5.5 million by the end of Q4, 2022, with a growth projection of 8% during the quarter.

Projects use crypto winter to build and improve

A look at market prices shows that most assets in the space have plummeted in value and the DeFi index has shrunk by 76%, compared with a 65% decline for Ethereum. But despite this, projects have used the crypto winter to build and improve their products, attracting more users.

The sector has also seen continued investment from venture capitals. For example, the first half of 2022 saw VC invest more than $14 billion across 725 projects in the crypto space. Many of these were DeFi-focused.


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