In page navigation
- 1. Compare the best DeFi platforms in 2023
- 2. 8 best decentralised finance platforms overall for 2023
- 3. What are the best DeFi platforms?
- 4. Top 8 DeFi platforms, reviewed
- 5. Best Defi protocols for your needs
- 6. What are DeFi platforms?
- 7. How do DeFi platforms work?
- 8. Quick answers to key questions
- 9. How should I choose a DeFi platform?
- 10. Should I use a DeFi platform?
- 11. Methodology: How did we choose the best DeFi platform?
- 12. FAQs
Compare the best DeFi platforms in 2023
DeFi platforms offer a route into a digital financial system built on blockchain technology that enables individuals to access banking services without the need for a central authority.
Our expert panel regularly tests and reviews all the leading DeFi platforms to find services that offer the best way to save, borrow, and lend crypto.
8 best decentralised finance platforms overall for 2023Copy link to section
What are the best DeFi platforms?Copy link to section
Our experts recommend these three platforms as the best place to store or borrow money in the DeFi space. They offer the largest range of financial services alongside top-level security and low transaction fees.
77% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
Top 8 DeFi platforms, reviewedCopy link to section
1. eToro. Best for beginners, copy-trading & demo-account
Pros & Cons
We love eToro because it makes it simple to trade crypto at home or on the go. If you’ve never bought cryptocurrency before, then eToro makes it simple to buy 75+ of the leading coins, including the likes of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin. Every crypto trade comes with a flat 1% fee, which makes it one of the cheapest crypto brokers on the market to boot.
As well as being a broker that offers lots of investor protection, eToro offers a very social trading experience. You can easily see what’s trending on the crypto market every day, browse the latest technical analysis about every one of those tokens, and copy other people’s trade suggestions from your desktop or the eToro app.
The fees: You will be charged a 1% fee every time you buy or sell crypto. The charge is included in the market price that’s displayed on eToro. CFD trades may be charged an overnight or weekend fee if you leave the position open.
77% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
2. Public. Best for sharing beginner trading ideas
Pros & Cons
We love Public because it’s a social platform where you can share trading tips and get ideas from other people. Public offers 9,000+ financial instruments, including cryptocurrencies and stocks from around the world.
Alongside a community of other investors all sharing their ideas, Public offers real time news and information so that you can see the full picture before you invest. And the assets don’t just include your run-of-the-mill assets; you can make alternative investments in things like handbags and comic books as well.
The fees: Cryptocurrency trades are charged a 2.5% fee per transaction.
3. Uphold. Best for building long term wealth
Pros & Cons
We love Uphold because it’s a regulated and transparent digital asset platform. There are 160+ cryptocurrencies available to hold and trade, along with three fiat currencies; GBP, EUR, and USD.
Uphold’s key features include the ability to schedule transactions to avoid trying to time the market. With a focus on long term wealth building, Uphold also offers the ability to earn rewards of up to 25% on staked crypto, as well as 4% cashback paid in XRP for purchases made with the Uphold card.
The fees: Crypto spreads start from 0.9% and are usually lower than 1.3% for BTC and ETH. Other cryptocurrency spreads are higher. Average spreads on fiat currency are 0.2%. There is a $0.99 fee for transactions under $100 made with the Uphold card.
4. OKX. Best for futures and margin trading
Pros & Cons
We love OKX because it’s an adaptable and flexible exchange, with an app that’s available in three different versions depending on how you trade. Choose from the beginner-friendly Lite version, Web3 option for NFT traders, or the Pro version for a plethora of trading tools.
From an app or desktop you can trade 350+ crypto coins on one of the world’s top crypto exchanges. You can fund your account easily, through a variety of simple payment methods, and a sliding scale of fees that means you can access discounts by holding the OKB token or trading high volumes.
The fees: Regular users pay a 0.1% fee on spot crypto trades. OKB crypto holders are entitled to a discount, up to 0.02% off for holding more than 2,000 coins. High volume traders are also entitled to a discount, with the cheapest fees available for traders with a 30 day trading volume above $10,000,000,000.
5. Nexo. Best for earning interest & rewards
Pros & Cons
We love Nexo because you earn rewards every time you make a purchase. You can trade 60+ cryptocurrencies and earn rewards of up to 0.5% on every transaction, then store your coins on Nexo to build your wealth through passive interest payments.
You can trade on the go from a mobile app and Nexo is designed for simplicity. Every trade is locked in at the rate you see on your screen, so you won’t suffer from price slippage, and it has the added bonus that any crypto held in your account automatically starts to earn interest.
The fees: Nexo charges a 2% spread on buy and sell transactions. There are no fees for storing coins in your Nexo account. Depending on your loyalty tier, you receive a fixed number of free withdrawals, and any additional withdrawals will be charged a network fee.
6. KuCoin. Best social trading altcoin exchange
Pros & Cons
We love KuCoin because it;s a great place for beginners to trade more than 700 altcoins. KuCoin is a social trading platform with 20+ million investors worldwide in 200+ countries.
KuCoin’s beginner zone offers up rewards up to $500 for new users. The rest of the platform has plenty of features for the crypto enthusiast: a staking service to earn money on your stored crypto, an NFT marketplace, and margin trading features to buy leveraged tokens.
The fees: Trading fees are charged on a sliding scale. Fees are 0.1% on trading volumes below 50 BTC in a 30 day period. Discounts are available if you pay fees in KCS or store more than 1000 KCS in your account.
Best Defi protocols for your needsCopy link to section
Which DeFi platform has the best decentralised exchange?Copy link to section
Curve Finance is the best decentralised exchange protocol that allows you to swap between stablecoins, wrapped tokens, and Ethereum. This helps Curve to be more efficient and offer lower fees than the competition.
|DeFi protocol||Supported crypto markets|
Which DeFi protocol is the best automated market maker?Copy link to section
Uniswap is the best exchange that uses automated market maker (AMM) technology. It’s the largest and most long-standing decentralised platform and one of the leaders in the DeFi space.
|DeFi protocol||Supported cryptos|
Which DeFi project has the most total value locked?Copy link to section
Lido has the highest TVL of any project in the DeFi ecosystem. It holds more than $12 billion, more than double the next highest platform.
|DeFi protocol||Total value locked (TVL)|
|Aave V2||$3.47 billion|
Which platform has the highest DeFi interest rate?Copy link to section
Kucoin Earn offers the highest interest rates on DeFi coins thanks to its dual investment product, which allows you to access APR in excess of 100% for some coins.
|DeFi protocol||Max APY|
|Binance||Up to 100%|
|Nexo||Up to 16%|
What is the DeFi protocol with the best rates of stablecoin interest?Copy link to section
Nexo offers safe and stable returns of up to 16% on stablecoin cryptos. You can also earn interest on fiat currency when you deposit through the platform.
|DeFi protocol||Stablecoin interest rate|
What’s the best DeFi lending platform?Copy link to section
dYdX offers a wide range of loans and will offer lending to the value of 125% of your collateral. There are 37+ cryptos available to borrow and you can use USDC as collateral.
|DeFi protocol||Max loan to value||Supported cryptos|
What is the best DeFi platform for yield farming?Copy link to section
The Flynt app offers the best interest rate for yield farming Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. You can access rates of more than 12%.
|DeFi protocol||Average interest rate (APR)|
What are DeFi platforms?Copy link to section
DeFi platforms, short for decentralised finance platforms, are financial applications built on blockchain networks that aim to provide traditional financial services, such as lending, borrowing, and trading, without relying on intermediaries like banks or brokers.
Platforms in the DeFi space leverage smart contracts and decentralised technologies to enable peer-to-peer transactions and automate processes, making it possible to access financial services without using a bank.
What types of DeFi protocols are there?Copy link to section
DeFi protocols can be categorised into several types, including:
- Lending and borrowing protocols. These enable users to lend their cryptocurrencies and earn interest or borrow assets against collateral.
- Decentralised exchanges (DEXs). These platforms facilitate peer-to-peer trading of cryptocurrencies, where you can buy and sell directly with other users.
- Stablecoins. These are cryptocurrencies designed to maintain a stable value by being pegged to an external asset, such as a fiat currency.
- Automated market makers (AMMs). These protocols use algorithms rather than traditional order books to create liquidity and offer digital asset trading platforms.
- Yield farming and liquidity mining. These protocols reward users for providing liquidity or participating in specific activities on the platform.
How do DeFi platforms work?Copy link to section
DeFi platforms operate on blockchain networks and utilise smart contracts, which are self-executing contracts written in computer code with predefined rules.
These smart contracts define the rules of the DeFi ecosystem, creating boundaries within which various processes take place automatically, such as lending and borrowing, or the buying and selling of collateral to maintain a stablecoin’s value.
All transactions and data are recorded on the blockchain, ensuring transparency and immutability, while users always maintain control over their funds as they hold the private keys to their crypto wallets.
Quick answers to key questionsCopy link to section
What is an automated market maker?Copy link to section
An automated market maker (AMM) is a type of DeFi protocol that enables decentralised trading. Popular examples of this type of decentralised exchange are Uniswap, SushiSwap, and PancakeSwap.
Instead of relying on traditional order books, like those found in centralised exchanges, AMMs use mathematical formulas and liquidity pools to determine asset prices and facilitate trades.
Automated market makers eliminate the need for buyers and sellers to match their orders directly. Instead, liquidity providers deposit funds into ‘pools’, which are then used to match trades. Prices are determined based on the ratio of assets in the pool.
What is liquidity mining?Copy link to section
Liquidity mining, also known as yield farming, is a mechanism used by DeFi platforms to incentivise users to provide liquidity in the absence of a central authority to match orders.
In its most basic form, users contribute their funds to liquidity pools, which are used for trading on the platform. In return, users receive rewards in the form of additional tokens, which act as an incentive for people to provide that liquidity and keep the platform running smoothly.
What is a liquidity pool?Copy link to section
A liquidity pool is a pool of funds locked in a smart contract on a DeFi platform. It is used to facilitate trades and ensure there is sufficient liquidity to match an order every time one is placed on the exchange.
What does total value locked mean?Copy link to section
Total value locked (TVL) is a metric used to measure the amount of assets (in terms of their value) locked or deposited in a specific DeFi protocol or across multiple protocols. TVL reflects the overall demand and popularity of DeFi platforms and can indicate the level of trust and confidence users have in these protocols.
What are the fees for using a DeFi protocol?Copy link to section
You may have to pay transaction fees when you buy or swap tokens, gas fees every time you move crypto around, or additional fees for borrowing or lending tokens. But, ultimately, the fees for using a DeFi protocol vary depending on the specific platform and the type of activity you engage in, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.
Are DeFi platforms better than traditional savings accounts?Copy link to section
DeFi platforms and traditional savings accounts have different characteristics and trade-offs. DeFi platforms often offer higher interest rates compared to a traditional savings account, as well as more control and ownership over your funds. They are also more accessible, as there are generally no restrictions based on your location as there are in traditional finance.
However, DeFi platforms are more risky. They aren’t regulated in the way traditional bank accounts are and aren’t backed by the same level of deposit insurance. The technology is also newer and there is the possibility of vulnerability in smart contract code.
How do DeFi platforms offer such attractive interest rates?Copy link to section
DeFi services reduce their overall costs by removing middlemen, which means higher rates are passed on to the end user. All the processes are automated, which makes the whole enterprise more efficient and cost-effective as well.
Often, these platforms also engage in yield farming themselves, so they are able to generate higher rates of returns which are then passed on to depositors. This is another reason why the DeFi space is a bit more risky, as yield farming can be a volatile practice that can lose money just as quickly as it makes it.
How should I choose a DeFi platform?Copy link to section
Choosing a DeFi platform is much like choosing any other type of financial platform and there is a range of factors to consider. Below you will find the key features to look out for when choosing a DeFi platform:
- Fees. All DeFi platforms charge fees for various services and sometimes the charges can quickly add up. Before selecting a platform you should check the fee schedule for a specific service you require.
- Services. Not all platforms offer the same services – some may focus only on lending while others will incorporate a wide range of decentralised services. Before using a platform you should make sure that it offers the services you’re after.
- Choice of crypto available. If you want to use a DeFi platform to trade then you’ll need to check what coins are available. Some brokers or exchanges are limited in what is available so it’s a good idea to find out before you register.
- Payment methods. When using some DeFi platforms you can connect your wallet and deposit any crypto you hold. Others accept fiat deposits but may charge a fee. The payments page for any platform will give you the answers you require.
- Security. Hacks are a worry for many users and platform operators and while they are not a frequent occurrence as they used to be, malicious attacks can still happen. It’s a good idea to go with a platform that takes security seriously.
- Supported wallets. Some DeFi platforms, especially those operating as a DEX, require you to connect a wallet before using one. Not all platforms accept the same wallets so you should check before hand.
Should I use a DeFi platform?Copy link to section
It depends on your level of experience and what you want out of your crypto activities. If you want to generate yield or interest from your idle assets then using a DeFi platform is your only choice.
On the other hand if you just want to buy Bitcoin, you don’t necessarily need to use one. Before you start you should have a clear idea and understanding of your requirements.
What are the risks of using a DeFi platform?Copy link to section
Using a DeFi platform comes with a lot of benefits but there are a few risks you need to take into account too. Here’s a few of the benefits and risks of using a DeFi platform:
BenefitsCopy link to section
- Access to decentralised financial services
- You can start with very little initial deposit
- Ability to earn interest and take loans at good interest rates
- Buy, sell, and trade lots of crypto coins
Methodology: How did we choose the best DeFi platform?Copy link to section
Helping people make better financial decisions is at the heart of our mission at Invezz.
We periodically test more than 48 DeFi platforms to provide our users with clear, accessible guidance on the investing and earning options available. All testing is carried out by our panel of crypto experts, analysts, and active traders who use each protocol, conduct research, and score each service.
Our tests are designed to find decentralised finance platforms that offer a beginner-friendly, secure experience at a fair price. To supplement our practical testing and experience, we research each service to gather any further relevant information. We read online customer reviews, app reviews on the Play Store and App Store, and conduct user surveys to get feedback from real people about what works, and what doesn’t.
Each DeFi protocol is awarded a final score based on 130+ data points across 8 ranking categories: cost, reliability, user experience, deposit & withdrawals, investing options, range of products/markets, research & analysis tools, and the availability of educational & learning resources.
We work closely with individual crypto brands to ensure all factual information displayed here is accurate. All data is then fact-checked by an independent reviewer. You can learn more about our expert panel and how we test, rate, and review platforms in our review process.
FAQsCopy link to section
It is in its infancy and decentralised finance is always changing so there is some risk involved. Most notably it is possible the platform you use could stop operating and withdrawing you funds could become difficult. It is best to use a DeFi platform that has been around for a while and has a robust userbase and foothold in the market. The platforms we’ve discussed on this page are good options.
Yes in some circumstances you will need to use a wallet. In order to interact with DeFi products you may find that a wallet is the most secure and accessible way of doing so. However you can still use some DeFi services without a wallet.
There are some DeFi trading robots that will buy and sell automatically for you. If you want to use one it is recommended you check reviews beforehand as some are better than others.
Invezz is a place where people can find reliable, unbiased information about finance, trading, and investing – but we do not offer financial advice and users should always carry out their own research. The assets covered on this website, including stocks, cryptocurrencies, and commodities can be highly volatile and new investors often lose money. Success in the financial markets is not guaranteed, and users should never invest more than they can afford to lose. You should consider your own personal circumstances and take the time to explore all your options before making any investment. Read our risk disclaimer >