Decentralized finance (DeFi) and centralized finance (CeFi) have emerged as two of the most widely discussed topics within the cryptocurrency landscape. DeFi tokens represent decentralized financial protocols that function autonomously without intermediaries. On the other hand, CeFi tokens typically correspond to centralized exchanges, showcasing a clear distinction between the two financial paradigms.
In the past week, both DeFi and CeFi tokens have seen significant price movements, with some tokens performing better than others. In this article, we will compare the top gainers in the last seven days for both DeFi and CeFi tokens and analyze which one has fared better. We will also look at recent news and events that have influenced the movement of these tokens.
So, let's get started with the current state of the DeFi and CeFi markets!
When it comes to CeFi tokens, AscendEx (ASD) has taken the lead, registering an impressive 121% growth in the past week. However, ASD's market cap is just shy of $100 million.
Another significant gainer in the CeFi landscape is Delta Exchange, which experienced a 25% increase within the same period. But despite its gains, Delta Exchange remains a smaller coin, with a modest market cap of $5.8 million and a trading volume of merely $12,760.
It's important to note that smaller tokens can be susceptible to pump-and-dump schemes. Therefore, we will focus our attention on the top 200 tokens by market cap in this article.
The $1.89 bln market cap coin CRO went up 11.2% in the past week and is now trading at $0.0746. The coin is up 32.5% in 2023 so far.
Cronos (CRO) is a crypto exchange token that has faced challenges this year, including heavy staff cuts due to the FTX collapse, which has raised concerns about the project's financial stability. While the project has the support of Visa and a popular rewards system with its debit cards, data from J.P. Morgan shows that only Coinbase added volumes in early 2023.
Cronos (CRO) has 70 million users, but the bear market caused its token price to drop 92.3% from its all-time high (ATH) of $0.965 hit in Nov. 2021.
Besides the exchange, there is also Cronos Labs, a Web3 startup focused on DeFi and blockchain games. It recently collaborated with Amazon Web Services (AWS), a cloud computing platform provided by the online retail giant. The partnership aims to support the growth of Web3 and develop DeFi, GameFi, SocialFi, and Infrastructure applications via the Cronos Accelerator Program.
Leo Token (LEO)
This $2.36 billion market cap CeFi token is up 3% in the past week but is in the red by 0.69% YTD. As of writing, LEO trades at $3.51, down 56.8% from its $8.14 ATH from Feb. 2022.
LEO is a unique utility token created by iFinex, the team behind Bitfinex, a well-known cryptocurrency exchange. It is not mined but issued proportionally to trading activity on Bitfinex, ensuring a dynamic supply that's not subject to the same volatility as other cryptocurrencies.
One of the most significant benefits of LEO is that it can be used to pay for fees on Bitfinex at a discounted rate of up to 25%, depending on the amount of LEO a user has in their account.
Recently, Bitfinex achieved an “A-grade” from CCData, which has positively impacted the value of LEO. The Hong Kong-based exchange is committed to providing the safest place to buy and sell crypto and has become the first international exchange platform to receive a Digital Asset Service Provider license in El Salvador.
This license allows Bitfinex to issue cryptocurrencies and offer trading within the country, and Bitfinex Securities El Salvador, a fully-regulated exchange, is now operational in the country. With El Salvador being the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, LEO's positive fundamentals are expected to continue to drive its value higher.
The native token of the largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance is only up 2.5% in the past seven days but in green by 354% YTD. The 4th largest cryptocurrency by market cap of $51.55 bln is trading at $330.16 and is 51.86% off its peak.
The coin's moderate gains have been despite the cryptocurrency exchange having lifted sanctions against Russian citizens and residents that were imposed over a year ago. The sanctions were imposed after the European Union (EU) placed restrictions on Russia in March 2022 due to its attack on Ukraine. The lift means that users can now deposit Russian rubles, euros, British pounds, and other currencies from bank cards issued in Russia. However, the exchange has not made an official release to confirm these changes.
The reason for this lack of performance could be due to Binance facing legal pressure from multiple agencies, including a suit filed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) against both Binance and its founder Changpeng ‘CZ' Zhao.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is also investigating Binance's conduct in a probe led by its money laundering squad, while the SEC is looking into the company's business practices. Binance has hired white-collar defense lawyers to represent both the company and Zhao in the case.
The CFTC, however, hopes to find a “path forward” in its ongoing legal dispute with Binance though a decision has not yet been made on whether to settle the charges or take the case to court.
Additionally, Binance.US has withdrawn from its $1 billion Voyager acquisition deal, citing a “hostile and uncertain” regulatory climate in the US. This move was likely due to regulatory pressure, according to CZ. The US Attorney and the SEC also filed requests to postpone the buyout, but the court denied their pleas.
The total market cap of DeFi coins is currently $50.39 bln, according to CoinGecko. Meanwhile, the ecosystem's total value locked (TVL) is $49.18 billion, down from $180 billion in Dec. 2021, as per DeFi Llama.
But how are these tokens faring exactly? Overall, IDEX, with 67%, and MCB, with 12.3% 7-day gains, are leading DeFi tokens this past week. However, when it comes to the top 200 coins by market cap in general, DeFi tokens like INJ and DAO take the lead in terms of 7-day gains.
Injective Protocol (INJ)
INJ is up 8% in the past week to now trade at $8.83. The coin is up a whopping 600% in 2023 but still down 64.6% from its peak of $24.9 hit in April 2021.
Injective is a DEX built on Cosmos, offering perpetual swaps, futures, and spot trading services. And unlike Ethereum, Cosmos protocols run on independent blockchains with their own set of validators.
The protocol uses Tendermint, a Byzantine-Fault Tolerant consensus mechanism that remains functional even if a third of the validators act maliciously. Injective is also compatible with the Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) protocol, allowing it to communicate with other IBC-compatible chains.
The platform was founded by Eric Chen in 2018 and is backed by investors such as Mark Cuban, Binance Labs, and Pantera Capital. Its mainnet was launched in November 2021, along with a $120 million protocol incentive program called Astro.
In May 2022, Injective partnered with cross-chain bridge Wormhole to add ten new blockchains to its protocol, including Solana, Avalanche, and Polygon. Its governance token, INJ, allows holders to vote on the protocol's operations.
DAO Maker (DAO)
With 7-day gains of $7.7%, the $227.7 mln market cap token DAO is trading at $1.52. The token is currently down about 82.7% from its peak of $8.7 hit on April 22 but still up 85% YTD.
The DAO token is a deflationary one that ensures that its supply is limited, with 13.2% of its supply already burned. Stakers can earn up to 15% APY without any inflation.
Already, 50.7% of the DAO circulation supply has been locked voluntarily for 737 days. Stakers can also choose to stake their tokens for as little as 30 days. The DAO token's value is distributed to participants, with a total of $178 million distributed so far.
DAO is the native token of next-generation digital financial solutions provider DAO Maker, which has been trusted by over one million users worldwide to take part in the growth and development of the digital asset ecosystem.
One of the project's most popular offerings is the DAO Launchpad, which allows users to access incubations and other top-tier tokens and NFT projects before they reach secondary markets.
The Launchpad has raised $36M in funding and has contributed $178M to 116+ startups. Additionally, there are currently 288,000 KYC-verified users.
The project counts Avalanche, Elrond, Harmony, ECOMI, and other leading players in the blockchain space among its clients. DAO Maker's venture arm, market-making team, in-house dev lab, and public sale platform are all part of its growing ecosystem.
DAO Maker also offers Stake DAO that unlocks maximum benefits for its users by allowing them to access yield, discounts, and exclusive private allocations. Under this, private SHOs allow users to stake any amount of DAO to get guaranteed allocations and yield. Then there's Venture Yield, which lets users stake to earn non-inflationary yield, financed by payments of users who are not staking.
Through Farms and Vesting, users participate in token staking and liquidity farms, monitor liquidity locks, distributions, and vesting schedules, and claim token distributions. Additionally, community Voting allows users to vote for startups to earn allocations and free token bribes, while governance lets users take part in the future and development of the DAO ecosystem.
In conclusion, while CeFi tokens are performing slightly better than DeFi tokens, the overall crypto market remains in a downtrend with gains that are both low in magnitude and short-lived.