The world of decentralized finance [DeFi] exploded in 2020 as crypto caught the attention of the mainstream. It was looked upon as a good diversion for assets especially when the crypto market was going through a consolidation phase. The increased use of DeFi enabled aggregators to reach users who wanted cost-effective trades and according to recent reports the popularity of aggregators will only rise in 2021.
According to Delphi Digital’s latest report, the year-to-date growth for DeFi aggregators in 2020 could be dwarfed by the growth we might see in 2021. According to this, the aggregators had a breakout year in 2020, with platforms like 1inch Exchange and Zapper recording significant growth.
The need for decentralized finance aggregators increased due to the growing market volatility and a higher need for liquidity. Liquidity has been the lifeblood of the decentralized finance market and as protocols began competing on technical and capital efficiency, the need for specialized aggregators also grew.
A DeFi aggregator provides users with a one-stop place to get the best rate available for their token swap by collecting information and prices from various exchanges. According to Delphi Digital, platforms like 1inch, Matcha, and Paraswap contributed a total of $9.3 billion in volume in 2020. However, 2021 has seen the volume boost especially for the 1inch exchange that noted $10 billion in volume year-to-date.
The report stated:
“If liquidity aggregators gain further usage, investors may be forced to re-think their theses. For example, aggregators like 1inch are looking for the best price and don’t care about the UI/UX of the underlying protocols. In many cases, under-utilized liquidity sources like Kyber and Bancor stand out on aggregators by offering less slippage on bigger orders for certain pairs.”
In short, in an aggregator-centric world, the protocols with better capital efficiency but less direct adoption will grab the spotlight. The DeFi ecosystem has been looking forward to more adoption and aggregators could play an essential role in getting new users this year.