Max Korpusov

Why DeFi Adoption by Institutions is Slower Than Expected?

DeFi, which stands for Decentralized Finance is a term gaining momentum in the world of cryptocurrencies. Investors see opportunities in DeFi compared to traditional or centralized finance.
CeFi vs. DeFi Image from
It's a market that is growing rapidly and has already valued at billions of dollars with more growth expected in the future.

The Current Status of the DeFi Landscape

The crypto industry has faced challenges in 2022 resulting in significant drops in value of assets year to date. Factors such as incidents like the Terra crash and bankruptcies of lenders like Celsius and fund failures like Three Arrows Capital have contributed to increased volatility. Unfortunately, these events impacted investors negatively due to risk management and unsustainable business practices. As a result, regulators decided to intensify their scrutiny of the industry. Janet Yellen (US Secretary of Treasury) has called for stablecoin regulations while G7 finance ministers are urging the Financial Stability Board to strengthen regulation.
Both Europe and the US are making strides, toward implementing regulations as digital assets undergo significant changes. In Europe, the Regulation on Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) has been introduced to establish a legal framework for digital assets. It focuses on asset-referenced tokens, stablecoins, and other types of assets.
BlackRock, the world's biggest asset manager, is showing a keen interest in DeFi and its potential impact on the financial industry. According to Joseph Chalom, Head of Strategic Alliances at BlackRock, the company is exploring opportunities that arise from the DeFi sphere.
However, Chalom believes that it may take years before institutional adoption becomes widespread. Nonetheless, he remains optimistic about the future of DeFi and companies like Coinbase playing a vital role in connecting DeFi with traditional investors.
BlackRock is also closely examining tokenization and how reserved stablecoins can influence institutional funding flows. While there are hurdles to overcome Chaloms perspective indicates that BlackRock is prepared to embrace both the challenges and opportunities presented by DeFi.

The Resilience of DeFi Lending Protocols

Despite the challenges facing the cryptocurrency market as a whole, certain DeFi lending protocols have demonstrated resilience during significant market shifts. That's one of the reasons why more investors are turning their attention towards DeFi.
Experienced players in the lending industry such as AAVE and Compound have expanded their services to include lending. They are responding to the increasing demand from clients of financial institutions who want to explore DeFi opportunities.
According to Fidelity's 2021 report, 40% of hedge funds and venture capitalists are showing interest in digital assets because of the potential offered by DeFi ecosystems. The report also highlights that in an environment DeFi lending protocols present higher risk-adjusted returns that make them more attractive for investments. It's no surprise then that AAVE has introduced AAVE PRO and Compound has established Compound Treasury. This significant demand further solidifies DeFi's position for the term.

Headwinds for Institutional Investment in DeFi

However, there are challenges for institutional investment in DeFi adoption. Regulatory concerns and security issues remain obstacles that must be addressed before institutions fully embrace this sector. Additionally, certain limitations within the DeFi ecosystem may impede its adoption by institutions.
Again the U.S. Senate is focusing on regulating the crypto industry through a new bill called the Crypto Asset National Security Enhancement Act of 2023. This time it specifically targets DeFi. The Crypto Asset National Security Enhancement Act of 2023 aims to tackle related crimes by implementing anti-money laundering (AML) requirements on DeFi protocols. The bill's objective is to prevent money laundering and circumvention of sanctions which are crucial for national security.
Unlike established institutions that prioritize their interests, DeFi protocols prioritize the needs of their users. It would be reasonable to expect that regulators, who share the goal, would view this development positively. DeFi protocols operating with transparency and adhering to standards are likely to engage in constructive dialogues with regulators. However, it is more realistic to anticipate that regulations will initially target players in the crypto space such as exchanges, on-ramps, and custodians.
One significant obstacle that needs attention is infrastructure security. It is crucial to protect keys and ensure robust multi-signature capabilities at all times.
When it comes to managing sums of money for clients, ensuring security is always a top priority. However, certain firms are tackling this issue by offering custody solutions and DeFi services that strictly adhere to KYC/AML regulations and provide high-level security measures. By implementing these safeguards institutions can invest in assets with greater confidence.

The Rise of DeFi Practices

With the increasing demand for access to digital financial products and services within traditional finance, DeFi protocols have a significant opportunity to thrive. One effective way for DeFi to overcome its challenges is by adopting business practices. These practices not address regulatory concerns but also boost institutional confidence in the DeFi ecosystem.


DeFi adoption opens up opportunities for investors seeking to explore the cryptocurrency market. Nevertheless, it's crucial to acknowledge the challenges it faces such as scrutiny and security issues. Despite these obstacles, DeFi has demonstrated resilience with certain protocols proving highly effective even amidst significant market changes. As the blockchain industry continues its growth trajectory we can anticipate that DeFi will claim a substantial portion of the overall market share.

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