DeFi 2.0: The New Wave of DeFi Protocols

If you have been following the decentralized finance space, you may be familiar with UniswapAaveBancor, and MakerDAO. These pioneering protocols have facilitated billions of dollars worth of trades, proving that DEXs can function as intended. Today, we have a whole new wave of DeFi protocols emerging that are building on their success and taking the concept to the next level. We’re talking lending platforms, derivatives exchanges, margin trading protocols, and more. 

These second-generation DeFi dApps are shaping the future of finance and allowing people like you to earn interest, trade assets, and access financial services without any centralized authority in control.

Indeed, DeFi has come a long way. The first generation of DeFi protocols focused on decentralizing specific financial services like trading and lending. Now, newer DeFi protocols are building an entire decentralized financial system from the ground up.

The first DeFi protocols like Uniswap, were groundbreaking but have some downsides. They don’t offer advanced trading features like limit orders, margin trading, or derivatives that many traders have come to expect. Needless to say, we are now moving from DeFi 1.0.

Without a limit on orders, you can’t set a target price to automatically buy or sell. You have to manually check prices and execute trades. No margin trading means you can only trade with the funds in your wallet. You can’t borrow to increase your buying power.

The lack of derivatives like options and futures restricts how much you can potentially gain from price moves. These basic protocols also often have low liquidity for all but the most popular trading pairs. Prices can slip significantly from the mid-market rate when trading larger amounts.

More recent DeFi protocols aim to solve these issues by incorporating features like:

  • Limit orders, margin trading, and derivatives to provide more advanced trading options
  • Aggregated liquidity pools that combine funds across protocols to reduce slippage
  • Yield incentives and gamification techniques to increase liquidity provider participation.

While first-gen DeFi protocols showed what was possible, newer DeFi protocols are working to build a more robust, full-featured decentralized trading ecosystem. 

Many new DeFi platforms are focused on user experience and simplifying the interface. Dashboards that clearly show your positions, balances, and transactions make it easy to keep track of your decentralized finance activities. Simple buy, sell, lend, and borrow interfaces lower the barrier to entry for new users.

Real-World Use Cases and Adoption Outlook

DeFi protocols are finding real-world use cases that go beyond speculation. Some promising examples include:

Lending and Borrowing

DeFi lending protocols like Aave and Compound allow users to lend and borrow crypto assets. Interest rates are set by the market, not banks, often resulting in lower rates for borrowers and higher yields for lenders. 

Both people and institutions use these protocols to lend and borrow stablecoins, ETH, and other assets.

Payments and Remittances

Cross-border payments and remittances are expensive, slow, and exclusionary. DeFi payment solutions are faster, cheaper, and more accessible. For example, the 0x protocol and its ZRX token power decentralized exchanges and payment apps. 0x also enables “relayers” to build apps on top of its protocol, like Matcha, which offers cheap swaps and payments.


DeFi insurance protocols like Nexus Mutual and Opyn allow users to buy coverage for smart contract risks. If there’s a hack or exploit, insurance holders can claim compensation. This gives DeFi users more security and confidence. 

While still a niche market, DeFi’s real-world use cases are gaining traction. Widespread adoption depends on overcoming UX challenges, security risks, and regulatory uncertainty. However, the opportunity is huge. 

If DeFi can replicate and improve legacy finance for billions of users, then the future is exceptionally bright. The outlook is for gradual progress over the next 3-5 years, with meaningful mainstream impact thereafter.

Image Source: Adobe Stock

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.