Analysis

For decentralized finance (DeFi) to make its mark, it must reach beyond the crypto bubble, said MakerDAO founder Rune Christensen.

“Compared to where we’re going next, we’ve still just scratched the surface of what this technology will do,” Christensen, whose lending platform recently topped $1 billion in committed assets, said.

He was joined by fellow DeFi luminaries Robert Leshner and Hayden Adams on Wednesday in a live-streamed conversation on the state of the $3.8 billion DeFi market. The session, part of CoinDesk’s Ethereum at Five series, was moderated by reporter Will Foxley.

It will certainly be a hard row to hoe, but the craze for yield farming and other middleman-less innovations could yet subvert traditional lenders. To date, DeFi has arguably been Ethereum’s best use case.

“We’re moving towards a world of mass tokenization, where everything that has value is going to be tokenized,” said Adams, the founder of Uniswap, a platform for exchanging ERC-20 tokens. “At the moment it looks like Ethereum is at least in the lead in terms of where it’s going to be tokenized.”

Leshner, the founder of the Compound lending protocol, said DeFi has the potential to transform the opaque, expensive and slow systems of traditional finance.

“The best things that work in traditional finance are the things that you know are there, they work, and they’re not that exciting,” Leshner said. “Can you supply $100 million of assets and begin earning interest on them immediately? Or can you borrow $100 million of assets instantaneously and note that the entire system works?”

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