The US is leading global DeFi adoption, with Vietnam, China, and the UK close behind as crypto finance gains momentum

In this photo illustration, a visual representation of digital cryptocurrencies, Ripple, Bitcoin, Ethernum and Litecoin are displayed on January 30, 2018 in Paris, France.

The US is leading global adoption in decentralized finance with Vietnam, Thailand, China, and the UK close behind as cryptocurrencies gains momentum, according to a new study by Chainalysis, a crypto analytics firm.

The increase in DeFi adoption was mainly driven by experienced cryptocurrency traders looking to diversify their portfolios, Chainalysis said. As a result, middle- to high-income countries with established cryptocurrency markets and growing institutional approval ranked higher on its list.

"Right now, DeFi is targeted towards crypto insiders," David Gogel, Growth Lead at dydx, a popular DeFi protocol, said in the study. "It's people who have been in the industry for a while and have enough funds to experiment with new assets.

The 2021 Global DeFi Adoption Index Top 20
The 2021 Global DeFi Adoption Index Top 20

The 2021 Global DeFi Adoption Index of Chainalysis analyzed 154 countries and ranked them based on three metrics: on-chain cryptocurrency value received by DeFi platforms, on-chain retail value transferred by DeFi platforms, and individual deposits to DeFi platforms.

Each country was weighted to avoid skewing the results towards larger countries. The closer the country's final score is to 1, the higher the rank.

While countries are increasingly embracing DeFi, the space has yet to enter the mainstream relative to the broader cryptocurrency market, the study said.

DeFi is an umbrella term for various applications - lending, borrowing, trading, saving, derivatives, options, stocks - that use public blockchains and crypto assets to disrupt traditional financial sectors.

Share of total transaction volume by transaction size for DeFi crypto activity
Share of total transaction volume by transaction size for DeFi crypto activity
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