8 best DeFi coins to buy in May 2024

Our experts pick the 8 top DeFi tokens to invest in that combine strong foundations, unique tech and the highest upside for the future.
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Updated: Apr 9, 2024
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With so many different DeFi crypto projects available today, it’s never been more important to invest in the best ones. Pick wisely and you can make 10x or more on your money, but poor quality projects can flop during crypto’s notorious winters.

We’ve picked out the top 8 DeFi coins with the most potential to help you make the best investment decisions. Compare the leading lights with the latest projects to find the 8 best DeFi tokens to buy today.

Top 8 DeFi coins to buy now

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  1. Chancer: Best for creating your own crypto betting markets
  2. AltSignals: Best for highly rated decentralised crypto signals
  3. Uniswap: Best for discounted trading fees on the world's largest DEX
  4. Avalanche: Best DeFi blockchain for fast financial transactions
  5. Chainlink: Best for connecting decentralised blockchains to real-world data sources
  6. Aave: Best DeFi coin for decentralised borrowing, lending, and loans
  7. 1inch Network: Best for access to best crypto prices through a DEX aggregator
  8. MakerDao: Best DeFi project for investing in a the Dai ecosystem

Our best DeFi crypto coins in detail

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RankDeFi coin listSymbolPriceMarket cap
1ChancerCHANCER$0.002636$3,673,500
2AltsignalsASI$0.02085$4,303,265
3UniswapUNI$6.23$4.75bn
4AvalancheAVAX$14.92$4.97bn
5ChainlinkLINK$6.59$3.41bn
6AaveAAVE$63.65$0.92bn
71inch Network1INCH$0.41$335.81m
8MakerDAOMKR$635.13$620.92m

Detailed reviews of the top DeFi coins

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1. Chancer: Best for creating your own crypto betting markets

CHANCER/USD
  • Symbol: CHANCER
  • Market cap: $3,673,500
  • Current price: $0.002636
  • Founded: 2023
  • Whitepaper

Overview

The decentralised predictions platform, Chancer, is our expert pick as the best crypto coin to buy in 2023. Chancer allows you to create your own markets and make predictions on events created by the community. It’s the ‘Bet365 of the blockchain’, a platform that tilts the prediction market power back towards individual users.

When you own the CHANCER token, you have the ability to set up live prediction markets on any event, whether it’s live TV, the latest Premier League game, or anything else that springs to mind. You set the rules, you set the payouts, and then you can place your wager along with everyone else on the platform.

The community is a big part of Chancer’s early success, because it recreates the social aspect of betting that has made it so popular for centuries in an offline world. You can even live stream your markets, creating a unique opportunity to share the thrill of the bet with the Chancer community.

Key features

Bet tokens on live markets created by the community Create your own betting markets on any event and spread the word to earn rewards Earn more tokens from successful predictions

Key negatives

Still in the early stages of development
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CFD service. 82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

2. AltSignals: Best for highly rated decentralised crypto signals

ASI/USD
  • Symbol: ASI
  • Market cap: $4,303,265
  • Current price: $0.02085
  • Founded: 2021
  • Whitepaper

Overview

With AltSignals new crypto token, ASI, you can join a crypto signals platform with a proven track record of success. AltSignals has been providing crypto trading signals since 2017, creating value for a user base that rates it at an average of 4.8 stars on Trustpilot.

AltSignals uses a combination of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing to provide its signals. ASI token holders receive the very best of these signals from the latest technology, a unique AI algorithm that has been christened AltAlgo.

On top of that, owning the ASI token grants you access to an exclusive members club, where you receive signals directly on TradingView, showing clear buy and sell signals that can be copied directly to your trading account. Inside the club, you can test out new features before they’re released to the general public and suggest any new tools you think would be worth introducing.

Key features

Get trading signals based on advanced AI and machine learning algorithms Invest in ASI to get exclusive access to unique features and new tech A great trading signals service even if you have never traded before

Key negatives

Have to be a subscriber to get the best signals
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CFD service. 82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

3. Uniswap: Best for discounted trading fees on the world's largest DEX

Uniswap
  • Symbol: UNI
  • Market cap: $6.54B
  • Current price: $10.91
  • Founded: 2020
  • Whitepaper

Overview

Uniswap is a decentralised cryptocurrency exchange (DEX) platform that operates on the Ethereum blockchain. Uniswap operates without intermediaries or a central authority, instead acting as an automated market maker (AMM) to provide liquidity for instant token swaps.

The Uniswap DEX is the largest decentralised exchange in the world, with a daily trading volume almost five times higher than its nearest competitor. Part of the reason for that is the large range of tokens available on the platform, which you can trade directly from your crypto wallet.

The UNI token is the native governance token of the Uniswap DeFi ecosystem. It plays a crucial role in the governance, participation, and development of the platform. UNI token holders vote on governance proposals, while a portion of the UNI token supply is allocated to a treasury which funds further development of the Uniswap exchange.

On top of that, Uniswap token holders can earn a portion of the platform’s trading fees by staking tokens inside a governance contract or acting as a liquidity provider. As a UNI token holder, you also get access to special perks and airdrops from other popular DeFi projects that Uniswap is involved in.

Key features

Uniswap is a decentralised and censorship-resistant platform for trading and providing liquidity Uniswap allows anyone to create or use liquidity pools without any permission or approval UNI token holders can stake their coins to earn a pro-rata share of trading fees

Key negatives

There are lots of other DEXs competing for users
Trade Uniswap More about Uniswap

CFD service. 82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

4. Avalanche: Best DeFi blockchain for fast financial transactions

Avalanche
  • Symbol: AVAX
  • Market cap: $14.42B
  • Current price: $36.71
  • Founded: 2020
  • Whitepaper

Overview

Avalanche is a blockchain network and DeFi protocol designed to provide a highly scalable and efficient infrastructure for dApps, particularly ones that operate financial systems. Like many other chains, the aim is to support high transaction volume while also keeping costs low.

Avalanche is more customisable and flexible than many of its competitors. It supports smart contracts that give developers more choice in designing their apps and allows for the creation of private or public networks with varying levels of decentralisation, scalability, and security.

Owning AVAX is a way to invest in the success of the DeFi protocol, while also being the way you pay transaction fees, transfer crypto assets, and create apps. Avalanche has become one of the most successful blockchains in the DeFi world, making its native token highly sought after as one of the top cryptos available today.

Key features

Avalanche’s novel technology enables rapid transaction speeds, high processing power, and customisable app development It supports cross-chain compatibility and the creation of subnets, which makes it easier to create specialised networks AVAX is a flexible utility token used to pay fees, develop apps, and earn rewards

Key negatives

Difficult to beat out competition from the likes of Ethereum
Trade Avalanche More about Avalanche

CFD service. 82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

5. Chainlink: Best for connecting decentralised blockchains to real-world data sources

Chainlink
  • Symbol: LINK
  • Market cap: $10.85B
  • Current price: $18.49
  • Founded: 2017
  • Whitepaper

Overview

Chainlink provides a bridge between blockchain smart contracts and real-world data, enabling secure and reliable data feeds for decentralised applications. It connects to a wide range of external data sources, making it versatile and adaptable to various use cases within the DeFI space.

DeFi crypto projects that use Chainlink to get real-world data gain access to the most up-to-date information on prices. That opens up a whole new world of possibilities for DeFi applications on the blockchain, as they can offer tokenised versions of traditional finance products, or real-world betting markets that wouldn’t be accessible without live data.

Chainlink provides a robust framework for developers to create and customise their own ‘oracles’ – the network that links together to provide live data – to suit their specific requirements, enabling the integration of unique data feeds and services.

LINK is one of the best DeFi crypto coins because it’s the means of payment inside this decentralised information space. Chainlink users can pay oracle operators for their services using LINK tokens.

Additionally, LINK tokens are used as incentives for node operators, encouraging them to provide accurate and timely data to the network, while users influence the reputation of data providers with LINK, so that only the best ones receive requests in future.

Key features

Chainlink can connect with a wide range of external data sources, including both web APIs and premium data providers. LINK is the means of payment within Chainlink, used to pay data providers and as incentives LINK token holders have the ability to influence the reputation of data providers within the network

Key negatives

Chainlink's technology has been overtaken by some layer 2 projects
Trade Chainlink More about Chainlink

CFD service. 82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

6. Aave: Best DeFi coin for decentralised borrowing, lending, and loans

Aave
  • Symbol: AAVE
  • Market cap: $1.56B
  • Current price: $105.00
  • Founded: 2020
  • Whitepaper

Overview

Aave is a decentralised lending protocol that allows users to lend, borrow, and earn interest on digital assets, offering flexible borrowing, dynamic interest rates, and pioneering flash loans. Aave is already extremely popular, with more than $8 billion in total value locked on the platform.

The platform works like a traditional bank but with far more flexibility. You can deposit crypto assets onto Aave and earn interest on your holdings, while Aave lends that money out to other users who want to borrow it. Borrowers can access funds without going through traditional financial intermediaries, allowing for greater accessibility and efficiency.

The Aave DeFi protocol also offers extremely short duration loans – ‘flash loans’ – which can be borrowed without collateral, a concept that has revolutionised DeFi by opening up new opportunities for arbitrage and capital efficiency.

The AAVE token is one of the best DeFi coins to buy as it’s a route into earning a piece of the pie. A portion of the fees generated by all these transactions are used to buy and burn the token to reduce the supply. This deflationary pressure should increase its value over time. The native token also acts as a Safety Module, essentially an insurance fund to protect against potential failures in the system.

Key features

Dynamic lending and borrowing protocol Interest rates are determined algorithmically to ensure the most competitive rates Aave pioneered the concept of flash loans

Key negatives

Incentives to encourage lenders and borrowers lack something
Trade Aave More about Aave

CFD service. 82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

7. 1inch Network: Best for access to best crypto prices through a DEX aggregator

1inch Network
  • Symbol: 1INCH
  • Market cap: $548.08M
  • Current price: $0.47
  • Founded: 2020
  • Whitepaper

Overview

1inch Network is a decentralised exchange (DEX) aggregator that offers better liquidity, improved trading rates, and reduced slippage by aggregating liquidity from different DEXs. It’s one of the most promising penny cryptocurrencies, with a chance to change the way traders interact with crypto markets.

The 1inch Network is designed to recreate the best features of a DEX – security, flexibility, decentralisation – while solving some of the issues. It routes orders via popular DEX platforms, like Uniswap, Sushiswap, and PancakeSwap, to find the best prices and optimise transaction fees.

Users who interact with the 1inch Network, such as trading or providing liquidity, can receive 1INCH tokens as rewards, while holders get fee discounts as well as other benefits. It’s this that makes 1INCH an intriguing penny token, as the incentives mean the coin might soar in value as more people join the exchange.

Key features

1inch Network aggregates liquidity from multiple decentralised exchanges It gets users better fee rates by optimising order distribution and using smart contracts to find cost-effective trading routes Earn 1INCH tokens as rewards and access fee discounts

Key negatives

Competing with many decentralised exchanges for users
Trade 1inch Network More about 1inch Network

CFD service. 82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

8. MakerDao: Best DeFi project for investing in a the Dai ecosystem

Maker
  • Symbol: MKR
  • Market cap: $2.51B
  • Current price: $2,709.09
  • Founded: 2017
  • Whitepaper

Overview

MakerDAO is a decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) that created and manages the Dai stablecoin. It also operates its own cryptocurrency, the MKR token, and ownership of that token gives you the chance to invest in the Dai ecosystem and participate in the DAO.

More than 400 apps are already integrated with Dai, so MakerDAO offers the chance to invest in a thriving decentralised economic system that does not rely on a central authority. Users can generate Dai by locking up collateral, so the stablecoin is always backed by real-world assets.

Owning the MKR token gives you a stake in this alternative to the traditional financial system. Native token holders have a direct impact on the future of the protocol, such as where to set the Dai interest rate and adjusting risk parameters.

On top of that, Dai has grown in size and stature since competitors, like Luna, left the stage in 2022. Dai is one of the leading stablecoins out there and MKR offers the chance to endorse and shape its future.

Key features

MakerDAO offers a decentralised stablecoin, Dai, which already integrates with 400+ apps Users can generate Dai by locking up collateral, creating stablecoins backed by real-world assets. MKR token holders vote on the governance and decision-making processes of the protocol

Key negatives

Lots of competition from other stablecoins
Trade Maker More about Maker

CFD service. 82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

What are DeFi coins?

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DeFi coins, also known as decentralized finance coins, are digital tokens that are native to decentralized finance platforms and ecosystems. These DeFi platforms might be decentralized exchanges, yield farming platforms, stablecoins or even data aggregators. Many of them are built on the Ethereum network.

DeFi tokens play a specific role within each protocol. Some DeFi coins are simply governance tokens, which allow you to participate in important decision-making processes, while others have more practical uses as a means to access financial services, make payments, to secure the network, to provide liquidity, or offer discounts when used to pay transaction fees.

The DeFi coin market has experienced significant growth over the past five years, propelled by the increasing popularity of decentralized finance. The TVL (total value locked) across the best defi crypto projects exploded from just a few hundred million dollars in 2019 to $52 billion today.

How many DeFi crypto coins are there?

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There are more than 600 DeFi coins in the crypto market today. There’s even more room to grow, as blockchain spending is predicted to triple to $19 billion by 2024, offering plenty of space for more DeFi coins and the overall DeFi market cap to grow.

How to find the best DeFi project to invest in

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The most important feature of a successful DeFi project is a solid financial base. We’ve seen numerous examples of services like BlockFi, Celsius, and FTX running into trouble because they were too reckless.

Keep that in mind whenever you’re researching a new crypto project and use this list as a guide to help you pick one of the best DeFi investments.

  • Use the news and social media to identify new DeFi services. Twitter accounts and Telegram groups can be a good place to find ideas, while crypto news sites often run interviews with founders of DeFi cryptocurrencies that you can use to assess the service and its leadership.
  • Read the whitepaper. The whitepaper lays out the technology behind a DeFi protocol and its ultimate mission. Compare the whitepapers to the best DeFi crypto projects to find unique ideas and assess whether the tokenomics make sense.
  • Look for unique technology that fills a niche. There needs to be a reason for people to use the service. That might be because it offers much higher yields than TradFi competitors and traditional financial institutions, or greater flexibility, or is much easier to use. Think about where there’s a gap to be filled in decentralised finance and how the project might solve it.
  • Only back DeFi projects with proven popularity. For any DeFi crypto coins to go up in value, more people need to get involved in its ecosystem. A DeFi project needs to show that it can attract users and provide value to them before you invest.
  • Use technical analysis to find value. Trading indicators can be a great help at telling you when to buy DeFi coins. Keep different projects on your watch list and use these indicators to time your DeFi investments.

Conclusion

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DeFi makes up a huge percentage of the overall crypto market, offering a variety of ways to spend, store, and swap digital assets and fiat currencies. The decentralized finance industry is more inclusive and flexible than traditional finance, with DeFi protocols that hold billions in total value locked (TVL), offer higher rates of interest, more lending routes, and cheaper trading than their centralized counterparts.

However, it’s more risky as well. There’s less regulation and fewer protections for your DeFi portfolio in the event that something goes wrong. That’s why it’s important to pick the best DeFi projects when you invest. We recommend coins like CHANCER and ASI as two of the best, most reliable DeFi coins available right now.

Invest in DeFi coins now

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Risk disclaimer
James Knight
Editor of Education
James is the Editor of Education for Invezz, where he covers topics from across the financial world, from the stock market, to cryptocurrency, to macroeconomic markets.... read more.