The total value locked, or TVL, in decentralized finance (DeFi) has soared to over $250 billion as 2021 closes out, with most activity on Ethereum, according to DeFi Llama. The budding DeFi industry only became mainstream during summer 2021.
While TVL valuations underscore the rapid growth of the industry, Cardano (ADA) founder Charles Hoskinson has warned about the challenges facing DeFi. In a YouTube video entitled, "DApps and Cardano DeFi Alliance," Hoskinson talked about DeFi's potential as well as Cardano's small role within the industry.
According to Hoskinson, who has been on a decade-long quest to transform traditional finance, there needs to be more long-term vision among developers and creators:
“It’s very hard to do this kind of engineering and to do it right, with an eye and foresight for the future. Unfortunately, many of the projects in this space will not stand the test of time. It’s just a fact that we will see a great extinction occur in the next five to 10 years.”
Although he believes that 2022 will be “a big year” for both the industry and Cardano, there is “still so much to do,” particularly when it comes to certification standards, the production quality of DApps and security. He noted that almost $10.5 billion have been lost to hacks, scams and theft in the sector in 2021 alone.
Despite considering the crypto community to be “the weavers of the genetics of finance and of the destiny of humanity’s financial operating system for the 21st century,” Hoskinson claims that the “only thing that holds us back is us. If we fight each other, demean and attack each other, all we are doing is hurting our ability to be able to steer the dialogue towards productive ends.”
During the session, Hoskinson talked about Cardano’s current plans, mentioning its 127 projects in development and how the first half of 2022 will be “an essential window for commercialization and utility of Cardano projects.” He expects the user count to grow tenfold from the current 2 million users due to the nonfungible token revolution.
Hoskinson also introduced the Cardano DeFi Alliance, or CDA, to drive collaboration among developers. He hopes to take Cardano from being a custodial entity to a fully formed open-source platform with the ability to include hundreds more projects across the entire industry.
Cardano's ADA was one of the top-performing cryptocurrencies through the first half of 2021. Despite being backed by a strong community, Cardano has been criticized for its slow progress and lengthy development timelines. The network achieved a major milestone in September with the Alonzo hard fork, though concerns remained that real utility for the platform was still on the distant horizon.