Tuesday, June 22, 2021

5 crypto unicorns that charged onto the blockchain scene in 2020

Quite a lot of decentralized finance protocols skilled volatility across the $1 billion mark in 2020, briefly making a few of them unicorns within the crypto area. Although the 2020 numbers are similar to the variety of initiatives that emerged as unicorns throughout the 2017 preliminary coin providing increase, Gemini co-founder Cameron Winklevoss said in September that DeFi protocols have extra endurance:

“Again then, cash was raised on shitcoin white papers written in a espresso retailers. DeFi is already reside and dealing within the wild. Billions of {dollars} are at work incomes constructive yield. This isn’t hypothetical vaporware, that is actual.”


This platform pays customers curiosity on locked funds in alternate for loans. Aave was one DeFi challenge to achieve $1 billion in market capitalization in 2020, however its worth has dipped underneath crypto unicorn standing a number of occasions following information of a $6 million flash mortgage exploit. The protocol’s personal LEND token — which has migrated to a brand new AAVE token — surged after Aave received an Electronic Money Institution license from the UK Monetary Conduct Authority in August.

The DeFi protocol unveiled its second version earlier this month, which is able to reportedly make enhancements on flash loans and the usage of collateral for reconciling loans.


The market capitalization of YFI reached $1 billion in August earlier than hitting an all-time excessive on Sept. 12. Although many contemplate YFI to be one of many prime tokens in DeFi, it hasn’t regained its crypto unicorn standing since September. On the time of publication, the token’s market capitalization was roughly $750 million.

Curiosity within the Yearn.finance DeFi platform has surged because it launched its native token, YFI, in July. The yield aggregating platform offers liquidity by sensible contracts and presents curiosity to liquidity suppliers.


Synthetix is a decentralized alternate constructed on the Ethereum blockchain by a collection of sensible contracts. Nevertheless, Synthetix doesn’t provide buying and selling between crypto belongings like tokens and stablecoins, however relatively between “Synths” created by utilizing one other asset as collateral.

This DeFi platform passed $1 billion in total value locked in August. Its Synthetix Community Token (SNX) made substantial beneficial properties this 12 months, having hit its all-time excessive of $7.74 on Sept. 11, rallying greater than 400% from its worth at the start of 2020.

Harvest Finance

Harvest Finance could have had one of many briefest stints as a crypto unicorn this 12 months. The DeFi protocol collected as a lot as $1 billion in complete worth locked earlier than a hacker was capable of launch an assault on Harvest’s liquidity swimming pools, draining $24 million. Information of the exploit precipitated the full worth locked of the protocol to drop almost half a billion dollars in 24 hours. 

Working equally to Yearn, Harvest Finance is an automatic yield administration system that enables customers to earn curiosity after supplying sure crypto belongings for lending.


Exterior of DeFi initiatives, blockchain analytics agency Chainalysis has expanded quickly in 2020, raising its complete valuation to greater than $1 billion following a $100 million financing spherical final month. The agency develops investigative instruments that allow firms, governments and regulation enforcement companies to watch blockchain transactions and observe suspected illicit actions.

Particular mentions

There have been different crypto unicorns that popped up in 2020, as effectively. With Bitcoin (BTCrising to more than $23,000 for the primary time in historical past and Ether (ETH) passing $600 for the primary time in two years, this 12 months has been relatively bullish for main digital belongings and new DeFi initiatives.

Filecoin was one of many quickest blockchains to achieve and lose crypto unicorn standing this 12 months. After the community launched its mainnet on Oct. 15, Filecoin’s FIL token surged 118% to achieve a market cap of simply over $1 billion earlier than the value plunged practically 80%. FIL’s market cap didn’t return to the identical degree till a month later and presently stands at $1.3 billion.

Polkadot adopted the identical sample as Filecoin, with its DOT token rapidly rising to a market cap of greater than $5 billion. The blockchain has been reside since Could as a permissioned “proof-of-authority” community however launched its mainnet in late July. Polkadot doesn’t immediately compete in opposition to the Ethereum community and permits a number of blockchain networks to exist on its protocols.