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DeFi Protocols Still Low on Usage Despite High Brand Awareness

Stablecoins may well be the entry medium for many to find their way into decentralized finance (DeFi) but the protocols for this major blockchain use case still have high brand awareness but low usage, the CoinGecko DeFi Market survey findings have shown.

The total value of all assets currently deposited in DeFi reached $1 bln the first time ever earlier this year and the buzz surrounding its uptake has spiraled like never before. However, going by the survey, the Asian crypto data aggregator attributes the high brand awareness but low usage of these protocols to their inability to offer “a strong reason for users to use them or users simply do not understand the product offerings”.

On the other hand, it says protocols with low brand awareness and low usage could still lack media mentions or likely that users are not actively looking for their products citing the example of PoolTogether and dYdX which are barely known unlike other brands which are one-year old protocols as well.

Nine major categories in the DeFi ecosystem were identified for the survey. They include Ethereum Wallets, Decentralized Exchanges, Decentralized Derivatives, Decentralized Lending Platforms, Decentralized Payment, Decentralized Insurance, Decentralized Fund Management, Decentralized Lotteries and Decentralized Dashboards.

While Kyber Network led as the most popular brand recognized in Decentralized Exchange category with 78% of respondents, followed by Uniswap (60%), and Bancor (59%), Metamask led in the Ethereum Wallets category with 72% of respondents recognizing the brand.

In terms of use, Metamask, as one of the earliest Ethereum wallets, emerged the only protocol with a high brand awareness and high usage (53% of users having used it in the past three months) according to the survey thus placing it as the preferred wallet to power users’ DeFi experience. The rest of the protocols – have low usage (less than 50% of users having used it in the past three months).

MetaMask also came top as the most popular wallet for accessing DeFi according to findings from a similar survey put together by, a hybrid-decentralized exchange for ERC20 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. It says 71% chose MetaMask compared to Ledger (32%) and Trust Wallet (27%). It also finds that the average DeFi user is pretty active as ~75% of all users surveyed interact with their DeFi apps at least twice per week while almost half of this 75% of people interact with their dApps on a daily basis.

On’s identified motivation for participants to trade on a decentralized exchange (as opposed to a centralized exchange), 60% of them chose the desire to gain financial independence while “Understanding the underlying tech” and “Pushing the decentralized ideology forward” tie with ~20% each.

In addition to the claim that 90% of respondents who have heard of DeFi own at least a stablecoin, another highlight of the CoinGecko survey is that there is a significant gender gap in the DeFi community with only 9% of the 619 respondents which have heard about DeFi identified to be women. Also, users are closely split over willing to go completely bankless and somewhat impartial to doing so – though users that are more familiar with DeFi are more comfortable in becoming completely bankless.

The two surveys helped touch on knowing more about who DeFi users are and what more could be done to attract users.

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