In brief

  • Chainlink founder Sergey Nazarov thinks the DeFi ecosystem is poised for exponential growth.
  • Nearly $80 billion is already “locked up” in DeFi—in May of last year, the number was closer to $1 billion.

Sergey Nazarov, founder of the oracle network Chainlink, thinks the DeFi ecosystem could swell to $1 trillion next year.

Asked about his predictions for crypto during a panel at this year’s Ethereal Virtual Summit, Nazarov said that “the value locked in DeFi will have another zero next to it in the next year. So if it's at $70 billion now, it gets to $700 billion. Maybe it gets to $1 trillion. And ignoring it will become impossible."

Decentralized finance, or DeFi, is an umbrella term for non-custodial protocols—essentially chunks of code that handle your money for you, as opposed to bankers or investment managers. When people talk about the value “locked in” or “locked up” in DeFi, they’re talking about the amount of money users are entrusting to these systems.


The current number is around $80 billion, according to data from the analytics site DeFi Pulse. That’s up from around $1 billion at this time last year.

Popular DeFi projects like AAVE, MakerDAO, and Uniswap have led the charge, reflecting broader trends across the rest of the cryptocurrency market (the total value of the market hit $2 trillion last month).

That Nazarov is shilling for DeFi shouldn’t come as a surprise, given how deeply he’s invested in the space: Chainlink provides data to many of these applications through oracles, which are tools that funnel external (off-chain) data onto a blockchain. They allow programs to absorb information without sacrificing the decentralized aspect.

The Chainlink network’s native token, $LINK, is currently the 11th most valuable cryptocurrency.


The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.

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