Ether is the “gas” and currency of the Ethereum network. As a testament to the growing use of that network, the USD value of ether locked up in Ethereum-powered decentralized finance applications, or DeFi dApps, crossed an all-time high of $700 million on November 29th.
That milestone has many Ethereum proponents guessing: when $1 billion?
To be sure, crossing the $1 billion mark is an arbitrary threshold, but it is a round, psychological point for stakeholders to gauge Ethereum’s fledgling performance.
Moreover, for the reigning smart contracts platform it represents a watershed moment — validation by tangible, even if relatively modest adoption when Ethereum is rising but still very much so insurgent.
With detractors who have said Ethereum would never get this far and more yet who have never heard of the project at all, seeing $1 billion locked in DeFi shows not only that real utility is at work but that it’s also gaining traction.
ethereum grows nonstop regardless of externalities. https://t.co/cDsJbFtGoy
— santi.eth is post-money 👹 (@santisiri) November 29, 2019
The rise toward $1 billion comes after Ethereum’s biggest DeFi dApps have ascended in 2019.
DeFi Has Hit a Stride
For example, the biggest DeFi project to date, Maker, saw its governance votes — facilitated through MKR tokens — take on increased importance this year as Maker’s Dai stablecoin has become more and more of a darling to the Ethereum community. Notably, the Maker team just achieved its biggest milestone yet in activating Multi-Collateral Dai (MCD) earlier this month, a system that, among other things, allows users to draw out Dai loans using collateral beyond just ether.
Another big DeFi riser this year has been Compound, one of Ethereum’s growing stable of composable “money legos” that has in short order become the second most popular DeFi crypto lending service behind Maker. As a possible indicator of Compound’s future prospects, the dApp’s builders raised a $25…