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Jul 04 • 27 mins

What is DeFi 2.0? 


In recent years, decentralized finance (DeFi) has emerged as a disruptive force in the financial world, revolutionizing traditional systems and democratizing access to financial services. DeFi’s ability to eliminate intermediaries, offer transparent transactions, and empower individuals with greater control over their assets has attracted significant attention and capital. However, as the technology matures, a new chapter in the DeFi narrative is beginning to unfold – DeFi 2.0.

DeFi 2.0 represents the next phase of development for decentralized finance, building upon the foundations laid by its predecessor. While DeFi 1.0 focused primarily on creating decentralized exchanges, lending protocols, and yield farming opportunities, DeFi 2.0 expands its horizons to address the limitations and challenges encountered along the way.

From decentralized oracles to layer-two solutions and novel consensus mechanisms, DeFi 2.0 promises to reshape the financial landscape, presenting new opportunities and challenges for individuals and institutions alike.

What is DeFi 2.0? 

DeFi 2.0 refers to the second phase of development in the decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem. It represents an evolution beyond the initial wave of DeFi applications and protocols that gained prominence in recent years. While DeFi 1.0 focused on building the foundational infrastructure of decentralized exchanges, lending platforms, and yield farming, DeFi 2.0 expands the scope and capabilities of this ecosystem.

One of the key areas of advancement in DeFi 2.0 is scalability. DeFi 1.0 faced challenges with high gas fees and network congestion on blockchains like Ethereum. DeFi 2.0 aims to address these issues by implementing layer-two scaling solutions, such as sidechains and state channels. These solutions allow for increased transaction throughput and lower fees, enabling a more seamless and efficient user experience.

Interoperability is another crucial aspect of DeFi 2.0. In DeFi 1.0, most applications were built on a single blockchain, limiting interaction and liquidity across different platforms. DeFi 2.0 seeks to overcome this limitation by fostering interoperability between multiple blockchains. This can be achieved through cross-chain bridges, interoperability protocols, or the use of decentralized exchanges that support assets from various blockchains.

Furthermore, DeFi 2.0 aims to integrate real-world assets into the decentralized finance ecosystem. While DeFi 1.0 mainly dealt with purely digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies, DeFi 2.0 explores the tokenization of real-world assets like stocks, commodities, and real estate. This introduces a new level of accessibility and liquidity, allowing individuals to invest in traditional assets through decentralized platforms.

The problems of DeFi 1.0

​​DeFi 2.0, with its ambitions for scalability, interoperability, and integration of real-world assets, brings forth several challenges and problems that need to be addressed for the ecosystem to flourish.


Liquidity is a critical aspect of any financial ecosystem, and DeFi 2.0 faces challenges related to liquidity fragmentation. With the expansion of various blockchains and protocols, liquidity is spread across different platforms, resulting in fragmented markets and limited price discovery. This fragmentation hampers efficient capital allocation and liquidity provision. Achieving cross-chain liquidity and interoperability is crucial to mitigate this problem, enabling the seamless movement of assets and fostering a more liquid DeFi ecosystem.


Scalability remains a key challenge in DeFi 2.0. While layer-two solutions hold promise in addressing scalability concerns, implementing and adopting these solutions across different platforms is a complex task. Seamless transition of assets between layer-one and layer-two solutions requires careful coordination and widespread adoption, which may take time to achieve. Ensuring high transaction throughput, low fees, and fast confirmation times are essential to deliver a smooth and scalable experience for users.


Oracles play a vital role in DeFi by providing external data feeds to smart contracts. However, ensuring the accuracy and security of oracle data is a significant challenge. Manipulation or compromise of oracle data can have severe consequences, leading to financial losses and system vulnerabilities. DeFi 2.0 needs robust oracle solutions that leverage multiple trusted data sources, implement data verification mechanisms, and utilize decentralized consensus algorithms to minimize the risk of data manipulation and improve the overall security of the ecosystem.


Centralization in DeFi can occur in various forms, such as the concentration of governance power, ownership of key infrastructure, and the influence of dominant protocols. Addressing centralization in DeFi 2.0 requires designing governance models that empower a diverse set of stakeholders, encourage decentralization of infrastructure, and foster interoperability between different platforms to prevent the dominance of a single protocol or blockchain.


Security is a paramount concern in DeFi 2.0. The integration of real-world assets, expanded functionalities, and the growing value locked in DeFi protocols make them attractive targets for malicious actors. DeFi 2.0 must prioritize robust security measures, including formal verification, comprehensive auditing processes, bug bounty programs, and improved smart contract standards. Enhancing the security infrastructure and fostering a culture of proactive vulnerability disclosure is essential to protect user funds and maintain trust in the ecosystem.

Liquidity Mining

Liquidity mining, also known as yield farming, has its own challenges. Oversaturation of liquidity mining incentives can lead to market distortions, unsustainable yields, and the concentration of rewards in the hands of a few. DeFi 2.0 needs to strike a balance between incentivizing liquidity provision and ensuring the long-term sustainability of protocols. Introducing innovative and diversified incentive mechanisms, reducing reliance on excessive token distribution, and aligning incentives with the ecosystem’s long-term success are crucial considerations.

DeFi 1.0 vs DeFi 2.0: What’s the difference?

DeFi 1.0 and DeFi 2.0 represent different stages of development and evolution within the decentralized finance ecosystem, each with its own distinct characteristics and advancements. Understanding the differences between the two is crucial to grasp the trajectory and potential of this rapidly evolving space.

DeFi 1.0 primarily focused on establishing the foundational infrastructure of decentralized finance. It introduced concepts like decentralized exchanges (DEXs), lending and borrowing protocols, and yield farming. DeFi 1.0 platforms mainly operated on the Ethereum blockchain and predominantly dealt with digital assets like cryptocurrencies. While DeFi 1.0 brought about groundbreaking advancements in removing intermediaries, enabling peer-to-peer transactions, and providing access to financial services for a broader audience, it also faced challenges related to scalability, security, and regulatory compliance.

DeFi 2.0 represents the next stage of development, building upon the successes and learnings from DeFi 1.0. This phase began around the early 2020s and aims to address the limitations encountered in the earlier phase. Key differences in DeFi 2.0 include improved scalability through layer-two solutions, enhanced interoperability between multiple blockchains, and the integration of real-world assets into the DeFi ecosystem. 

Scalability solutions like sidechains and state channels have been introduced to alleviate congestion and reduce gas fees. Cross-chain bridges and interoperability protocols facilitate the seamless movement of assets between different blockchain networks, increasing liquidity and access to various DeFi protocols. Moreover, DeFi 2.0 explores tokenizing real-world assets, such as stocks and real estate, bridging the gap between traditional finance and the decentralized world. 

In summary, DeFi 1.0 served as the foundation of decentralized finance, pioneering crucial applications that demonstrated the potential of blockchain technology in finance. DeFi 2.0 builds on this foundation, introducing improvements in scalability, interoperability, and the integration of real-world assets.

DeFi 2.0 protocols

Olympus DAO

Olympus DAO is a protocol that introduces the concept of a “reserve currency” called OHM (Olympus). OHM is designed to be a decentralized store of value and a stablecoin alternative. The protocol utilizes a bonding mechanism, where users can bond their assets to receive OHM rewards. These rewards are generated through seigniorage, a process of expanding or contracting the OHM supply based on market demand. 

Convex Finance

Convex Finance is a protocol built on top of the stablecoin exchange platform. It focuses on optimizing yield generation for users who provide liquidity to and other protocols. Convex Finance enhances the rewards earned by users by utilizing strategies such as fee optimizations, governance participation, and yield optimization. By locking their liquidity provider (LP) tokens into Convex Finance, users can earn additional yield in the form of the platform’s native token, CVX. is a protocol that combines yield farming and lending in a unique way. It offers users the ability to deposit stablecoins and to earn yield through the protocol’s yield aggregator strategy. Users can then borrow from the deposited value without affecting the yield generated.’s innovative approach provides a simplified and seamless experience for users to maximize their yield-generating potential.

FRAX bond

The FRAX bond protocol allows users to lock their FRAX stablecoins in a bonding mechanism, contributing to stability and liquidity while earning rewards.

DAI bond

DAI bond offers users the opportunity to lock their DAI stablecoins in a bonding mechanism, enhancing stability and reducing volatility within the DAI ecosystem.

wETH bond

The wETH bond protocol enables users to lock their wrapped Ether (wETH) tokens, promoting liquidity and stability within the wETH market.


OHM-FRAX LP bond allows users to bond their LP tokens by providing liquidity to the OHM-FRAX pool, contributing to market stability and earning rewards.


The OHM-DAI LP bond protocol enables users to bond their LP tokens by providing liquidity to the OHM-DAI pool, fostering stability and incentivizing long-term participation.

These protocols introduce bond mechanisms that allow users to lock their assets for a specific period in exchange for yield. FRAX, DAI, wETH, OHM-FRAX LP, and OHM-DAI LP are among the assets that can be bonded, depending on the protocol. The bonding mechanism is designed to incentivize long-term participation, increase liquidity, and stabilize the ecosystem.

Investing in DeFi 2.0

With innovative features and improved infrastructure, DeFi 2.0 introduces various investment avenues that can generate attractive returns. 

Yield farming

Yield farming involves providing liquidity to decentralized protocols in exchange for rewards. Investors can lock their assets, such as stablecoins or cryptocurrencies, into liquidity pools and earn additional tokens as incentives. These rewards are often derived from platform fees, governance tokens, or newly minted tokens. Yield farming can be lucrative, but it also carries risks such as impermanent loss and smart contract vulnerabilities.

Staking tokens

Staking tokens involves locking a specific cryptocurrency in a protocol to support network operations and secure the blockchain. In return for staking, investors receive rewards in the form of additional tokens or a share of transaction fees. Staking provides an opportunity to earn passive income while actively contributing to the decentralized network’s security and governance.

DEX Trading

Decentralized exchanges (DEXs) enable users to trade cryptocurrencies directly from their wallets without relying on intermediaries. Investing in DeFi 2.0 can involve engaging in DEX trading, which offers benefits such as increased privacy, reduced transaction costs, and access to a wide range of token offerings. However, DEX trading carries risks associated with slippage, low liquidity, and potential smart contract vulnerabilities.

Liquidity mining

Liquidity mining involves providing liquidity to decentralized exchanges or liquidity pools and earning rewards in the form of tokens. By contributing to the liquidity of a particular market, investors can earn transaction fees and receive additional tokens as incentives. Liquidity mining can be an attractive investment strategy for those seeking to earn passive income while supporting the efficiency and liquidity of the DeFi ecosystem.

Lending tokens

Investing in DeFi 2.0 also presents opportunities to lend cryptocurrencies and earn interest on the lent assets. Lending platforms connect borrowers and lenders, allowing individuals to lend their tokens in exchange for interest payments. This investment strategy can provide a predictable and steady income stream, although it carries risks such as borrower defaults or smart contract vulnerabilities.


In addition to lending tokens, investors can also explore lending their own assets to earn interest. By lending cryptocurrencies to lending platforms, individuals can generate passive income based on the interest rates offered by the platform. However, investors should be aware of the risks associated with lending, including counterparty risk, platform security, and the potential for loan defaults.


Staking is another investment strategy in DeFi 2.0 that involves locking tokens in a staking platform to support the network’s operations and earn rewards. Stakers receive additional tokens as incentives for their participation in securing the network and maintaining consensus. Staking provides a way to earn passive income while contributing to the growth and development of blockchain networks.

DeFi 2.0 use cases 

DeFi 2.0 use cases exemplify the ongoing innovation within the decentralized finance space. 

Unlocking the value of staked funds

DeFi 2.0 introduces innovative solutions that enable users to unlock the value of their staked funds. Staking typically involves locking tokens in a protocol, restricting their liquidity. However, new protocols and platforms offer mechanisms that allow users to collateralize their staked assets and borrow against them, effectively unlocking liquidity without sacrificing the benefits of staking. This use case provides users with flexibility and the ability to access capital while still participating in staking activities.

Smart contract insurance

Smart contract insurance is a critical use case in DeFi 2.0 that aims to protect users against the risks associated with smart contract vulnerabilities and potential hacks. Insurance protocols allow users to purchase coverage for their funds locked in smart contracts, providing a layer of protection in case of unforeseen events. These insurance solutions mitigate the financial risks faced by participants in the decentralized ecosystem, promoting trust and confidence in DeFi applications.

Impermanent loss insurance

Impermanent loss insurance is specifically designed to address the risks associated with providing liquidity in automated market maker (AMM) pools. These insurance protocols provide coverage against impermanent losses incurred due to changes in the relative prices of the assets in a liquidity pool. By mitigating the potential downside of liquidity provision, this use case encourages more participants to contribute liquidity and enhances the overall efficiency of AMMs.

Self-repaying loans

Self-repaying loans, also known as “flash loans,” is a unique use case in DeFi 2.0 that allows users to borrow funds without collateral as long as the loan is repaid within the same transaction. Flash loans have gained popularity as they provide instant access to large amounts of liquidity, enabling users to execute complex arbitrage strategies or participate in other high-yield opportunities. This use case has revolutionized the lending landscape by eliminating the need for traditional collateral and significantly reducing barriers to entry for borrowers.

Cross-chain liquidity

Cross-chain liquidity is a crucial use case in DeFi 2.0 that aims to overcome the challenges associated with interoperability between different blockchain networks. Through bridging mechanisms and protocols, users can seamlessly transfer assets across multiple blockchains, unlocking new opportunities for liquidity provision, decentralized trading, and other financial activities. This use case facilitates the integration of various blockchain ecosystems, enhancing liquidity and expanding the reach of DeFi.

Top 10 DeFi 2.0 tokens

The DeFi 2.0 landscape is continuously evolving, with new tokens emerging representing innovative projects and protocols that offer unique features and opportunities for investors and users. We will explore the top 10 DeFi 2.0 tokens that have garnered significant attention and recognition in the industry.

  1. Uniswap (UNI)

Uniswap is a decentralized exchange protocol that operates on the Ethereum blockchain. It facilitates the swapping of ERC-20 tokens, providing users with a seamless and permissionless trading experience. UNI is the native governance token of the Uniswap protocol, allowing holders to participate in decision-making and earn rewards by staking their tokens.

  1. Aave (AAVE)

Aave is a decentralized lending and borrowing protocol that enables users to lend and borrow a wide range of cryptocurrencies. AAVE is the governance and utility token of the Aave protocol, allowing holders to participate in governance and access various features within the ecosystem.

  1. Synthetix (SNX)

Synthetix is a decentralized derivatives platform that allows users to mint and trade synthetic assets. SNX is the native token of the Synthetix protocol, serving as collateral to mint synthetic assets and providing holders with staking rewards and voting rights.

  1. Compound (COMP)

Compound is a lending and borrowing protocol that operates on the Ethereum blockchain. It allows users to lend and borrow various cryptocurrencies. COMP is the governance token of the Compound protocol, enabling holders to propose and vote on changes to the protocol’s parameters.

  1. (YFI) is a decentralized platform that aggregates various yield farming strategies to optimize returns for users. YFI is the governance token of the ecosystem, providing holders with voting rights and rewards generated from platform fees.

  1. Maker (MKR)

Maker is a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) and lending platform that allows users to mint and manage the stablecoin DAI. MKR is the governance token of the MakerDAO, providing holders with voting rights and influencing decisions related to the stability and parameters of the DAI stablecoin.

  1. Curve Finance (CRV)

Curve Finance is a decentralized exchange optimized for stablecoin trading. It focuses on low slippage and low fees when swapping stablecoins. CRV is the governance token of Curve Finance, allowing holders to participate in protocol governance and earn rewards by providing liquidity.

  1. SushiSwap (SUSHI)

SushiSwap is a decentralized exchange and automated market maker (AMM) protocol that operates on the Ethereum blockchain. It offers various features such as yield farming and staking. SUSHI is the governance token of SushiSwap, enabling holders to participate in governance and earn rewards.

  1. Balancer (BAL)

Balancer is an automated portfolio manager and liquidity provider that allows users to create and manage liquidity pools with multiple tokens. BAL is the governance token of the Balancer protocol, providing holders with voting rights and a share of the protocol’s trading fees.

  1. Polygon (MATIC)

Polygon, formerly known as Matic Network, is a Layer 2 scaling solution for the Ethereum blockchain. It aims to improve scalability and reduce transaction costs. MATIC is the native token of the Polygon network, used for various functions within the ecosystem, including staking and governance.

These top 10 DeFi 2.0 tokens represent a diverse range of projects and protocols that have gained significant traction in the decentralized finance space. They offer unique features, including decentralized exchanges, lending and borrowing platforms, synthetic asset creation, yield optimization, and governance participation. 

Investors and users interested in the DeFi 2.0 ecosystem should carefully research and evaluate these tokens to determine their suitability for their investment and participation goals.

What does the future of DeFi 2.0 look like?

The future of DeFi 2.0 holds immense potential for further innovation and growth in the decentralized finance space. As the industry continues to mature, we can expect several developments. First, we anticipate the expansion of interoperability between different blockchain networks, allowing for seamless cross-chain transactions and liquidity. This will enhance accessibility and open up new possibilities for users and investors.

Additionally, advancements in scalability solutions and layer 2 technologies will address the current limitations of high transaction fees and network congestion, making DeFi more efficient and user-friendly. Improved user interfaces and enhanced security measures will also contribute to a more seamless and secure DeFi experience.

Furthermore, the emergence of decentralized identity solutions and regulatory frameworks specific to DeFi will promote mainstream adoption and trust among traditional financial institutions and users. We can also expect the introduction of innovative financial instruments, such as tokenized assets and decentralized derivatives, expanding the range of investment opportunities within the DeFi ecosystem.


DeFi 2.0 represents the evolution of decentralized finance, pushing the boundaries of innovation, scalability, and user experience. With the introduction of new protocols, tokens, and use cases, DeFi 2.0 is poised to revolutionize the financial landscape by offering more advanced solutions and opportunities for individuals to participate in a decentralized economy.

With its transformative capabilities, DeFi 2.0 has the power to democratize finance, enhance financial inclusion, and reshape the global economy. As we embrace this exciting future, let us work together to unlock the full potential of DeFi 2.0 and usher in a new era of financial empowerment.

If you are ready to make a significant impact in the DeFi 2.0 space with your groundbreaking solution, ND Labs can offer comprehensive support. Our seasoned blockchain developers are equipped to assist you in creating a highly secure, scalable, and resilient DeFi 2.0 platform that will captivate users and surpass your competition. From refining your smart contracts to crafting cutting-edge protocols and establishing a robust architecture, we have the expertise to bring your vision to life. At ND Labs, we are committed to delivering exceptional solutions in the decentralized finance realm.

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    About the author

    Dmitry K.

    CEO and Cofounder of ND Labs
    I’m a top professional with many-year experience in software development and IT. Founder and CEO of ND Labs specializing in FinTech industry, blockchain and smart contracts development for Defi and NFT.

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