Expert Reviews of DeFi Apps, Platforms, and Protocols
Our DeFi experts research, test, and write unbiased reviews of the best decentralized finance protocols, apps, platforms, and other tools.
Decentraland Review—Ease of Use, Fees, Profitability, and More
As the name suggests, Decentraland is a fully decentralized virtual reality platform where its users can create assets, trade coins, and explore the virtual world while using cryptos and NFTs. This virtual reality platform is in the form of a browser-based game where the main goal is working with virtual real estate and earning money. Once a user joins the Decentraland platform, they can start buying virtual real estate in the form of parcels with cryptocurrencies. If you have a parcel, you can use it to construct buildings like museums, art galleries, theaters, and much more. Since the platform is built on the Ethereum blockchain, anyone can join it as long as they have an ETH wallet. To learn more about Decentraland, continue reading. ProsOne of the biggest platforms in the VR worldOne of the largest collections of NFT artMANA has risen over 3,000% in value since its inceptionA lot of potential for an industry that's still undervaluedConsThe platform is still in its early stages of development There is massive competition in the VR spaceDecentraland charges a fee for every transaction How Decentraland Works Unlike other virtual reality games and worlds, Decentraland is entirely decentralized and runs on the blockchain. With the governance of a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization), Decentraland has preset policies and rules that it runs on. Since Decentraland is—you guessed it—fully decentralized, it must be on a blockchain. In this case, the software is on the Ethereum blockchain, and it requires the user to have MANA (Decentraland's coin) and an Ethereum wallet to start playing in their virtual world. Decentraland can run on the ETH blockchain and build its own components on top of it with the help of smart contracts. Smart contracts regulate every transaction that happens on Decentraland, with all parcels of land having real coordinates written on the blockchain. So, what is the purpose of Decentraland, and how does it work? Once a user joins, they can start buying and exchanging LAND tokens (representing parcels) with MANA. Users can buy parcels of land, construct buildings on them (like a museum with a collection of great NFTs), and then sell them for more MANA than they were originally bought. Decentraland Fees Decentraland is on the low end when it comes to fees, though the platform charges a fee for every transaction. Each time there is a transaction with a land parcel on the Decentraland marketplace, the platform burns 2.5% of the transaction’s value. This is because Decentraland runs on the Ethereum blockchain, and just like Ethereum, it must pay gas fees for all transactions that happen on their blockchain. Still, you can expect this number to drastically lower in the near future, as Ethereum has announced its shift from PoW to PoS by the end of 2022. This will lower the gas fees by approximately 90%. Could Decentraland Be Profitable for the User? Absolutely! Decentraland can be incredibly profitable for the user, as it’s not just a simple virtual reality game with land parcels. The platform offers an entire virtual universe where you can do everything that happens in your day-to-day life. This includes working a job, buying clothes from a mall, going out with friends, learning new skills, or even working on real projects in the VR world. So, can you make money on Decentraland? Yes, there are many ways you can earn money in Decentraland. Let’s go over them: Buying and Selling Land Since Decentraland’s VR world was primarily based on working with virtual real estate, it is no surprise that you can do that for a profit. In the Decentraland universe, every land parcel comes as a unique 16m x 16m NFT, and there is proof on the blockchain that you’re the owner. Once you’ve purchased the land parcel, you can build something on it to increase its value. Keep in mind that Decentraland has a massive virtual universe where many real-life cities are featured. For example, you can buy a plot of land in virtual New York City and then sell it for a profit. Work in the Virtual Universe Many aspects of our day-to-day lives are featured in Decentraland. For example, you can work at a company and have a part-time job in the virtual universe where you will be paid in MANA tokens. Some of the most popular jobs in the Decentraland universe are designing clothes, creating NFTs, offering freelance services like making videos, marketing, and more. Play Mini-Games Decentraland’s virtual universe offers users the opportunity to play games and win rewards. Of course, these rewards don’t come in the form of classic fiat money. Instead, you’ll get paid in cryptocurrency and NFTs. Some of the most popular play-to-earn games in Decentraland are poker, blackjack, and roulette. Should You Invest in Decentraland? If you believe that the virtual reality industry has potential, you should invest in Decentraland. The overall market size of the VR industry was estimated to be around $20-30 billion in 2021, but many experts believe it will exceed $80 billion by 2028. If you’d like to invest in Decentraland, all you have to do is buy MANA. As of June 2022, the MANA token has jumped in price by over 3,000%, and we believe it still has big potential. To buy the Decentraland coin, you'll need an ETH wallet and an account at an online exchange. You can then search for MANA and buy as much as you want.
Alpaca Finance—Ease of Use, Fees, and More
Starting as a stockbroker in 2015, Alpaca Finance has risen to be one of the biggest players in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space. As of June 2022, it offers one of the highest returns for yield farms and staking, so it is no surprise that millions of users in the DeFi space flock to it. When it was created, the platform started offering CFDs on US stocks and ETFs and offered one of the most extensive APIs for data research. Over the years, Alpaca Finance has evolved and has become one of the biggest DeFi projects, even creating its own token—ALPACA. It offers all of the features of modern DeFi, including yield farming, staking, lending, and borrowing on a blockchain. To learn more about the details of Alpaca Finance, continue reading. ProsProvides amazing DeFi features Offers access to incredibly detailed charting tools An overall safe and legit platformCommunity-owned and stands as one of the biggest players in DeFiConsCustomer support needs improvement Lacks the same variety of assets as its competitors How Alpaca Finance Works Since Alpaca Finance is a part of the DeFi space, it should be no surprise that its platform is placed on the blockchain. Specifically, Alpaca uses the BSC (Binance Smart Chain), widely regarded as one of Ethereum’s largest competitors. The platform’s token (ALPACA) works on a proof-of-stake algorithm, which is one of the main reasons sending and receiving money is so cheap. ALPACA is used for governance, DeFi features (like borrowing, lending, and leveraging), and an overall utility function on its blockchain. For every ALPACA coin you hold, you’ll get one vote in the network, meaning that you can participate in the big governance decisions. Like many DeFi projects, this blockchain is entirely governed and owned by the community. Obtaining Alpaca Finance Obtaining ALPACA coins is relatively easy. To start, you need to have a wallet on the BSC network. Then, all you need is to sign up at a centralized or decentralized exchange and buy the amount of ALPACA that you’d like. There are many places where you can buy ALPACA, though we would highly recommend researching for the most cost-effective one. We recommend sticking to the big platforms that have proven to be safe and cost-effective, like Binance, Gate IO, and KuCoin. Alpaca Finance Farming Options Alpaca Finance offers many features to those who want to participate in the network and earn money from DeFi, with farming and lending being the biggest ones. Let’s go over them briefly. Lending Lending is one of the safest ways to earn interest at Alpaca Finance. When lending at Alpaca Finance, you’ll deposit the crypto in question, give it to the platform, and the amount will then be given to a borrower. Then, the borrower will have to pay back the loan with interest. The loan will be repaid in full thanks to smart contracts, so you don’t have to worry about the borrower defaulting. Yield Farming Yield farming is a higher-risk approach than lending, though it offers significantly better returns. Due to the way Alpaca works as a DeFi platform, you can put two coins together in a farm and then farm them by providing liquidity. Let’s say that you stake ETH and USDT. You'll receive a reward whenever a user comes to swap ETH for USDT from the pool (or vice-versa). Alpaca Finance also allows you to leverage your yield farming position, which is a big plus. Liquidating A liquidator is someone who provides the financial liquidity of the staking pool in question. Since ALPACA’s network is a proof-of-stake blockchain, liquidating automatically translates to liquidity farming, which rewards you with ALPACA—the same coin that you can later use to vote and participate in the governing process. Why Is It a Good Idea to Invest in Alpaca Finance? As of June 2022, Alpaca Finance is a big participant in DeFi and is one of the most profitable DeFi platforms. For this reason, many experienced investors in the DeFi space believe that it has great potential. When buying ALPACA, you’ll have a chance to participate in the governing process of the coin and become a contributor to the DeFi space. So, yes, it’s a good idea to invest in ALPACA.
Alpha Homora—Ease of Use, Fees, Wallets, and More
Alpha Homora is the first product that Alpha Venture DAO (formerly Alpha Finance Lab) ever released. As a platform, it is a pioneer in DeFi, and it practically helped define what leveraged yield farming is and how it works. Yield farming is a process in which crypto farmers provide liquidity to decentralized exchanges. In return, they get rewarded with a part of the fees that the users pay at the platform providing the pools. What makes Alpha Homora special is that it allows users to leverage their yield farming position up to 2.5x. It also provides yield farmers with plenty of options that they can set according to their own preferences. In simple terms, Alpha Homora gives crypto farmers the opportunity to maximize their earnings from liquidity mining. However, do keep in mind that while the product allows you to increase your profit, it also increases the risks, as is the case when working with leverage. ProsAn innovative product that provides a new approach to yield farmingBeneficial to both yield farmers and the entire DeFi systemGives users the opportunity to earn more without relying on intermediariesAudited by PeckshieldIncludes users in the governance process by providing tokensConsIntroduces higher risks of liquidationIt is not free of vulnerabilities Alpha Homora Fees When comparing Alpha Homora with other DeFi platforms, its fees are on the low end of the spectrum. Alpha Homora charges a borrow interest rate of 10% for the vast majority of yield farms, 8% of which is given back to the lenders. The remaining 2% is the platform's fees, so you can say that Alpha Homora charges 2% for all transactions. However, there are many ways you can go about mitigating these fees. For example, you can earn additional interest through an interest-bearing position. A user can deposit their ETH and get rewarded with tradeable ibETH tokens, which will continually earn interest. What Makes Alpha Homora Unique? The way that Alpha Homora's platform is designed allows users to leverage their liquidity mining exposure. This has never been seen before in the DeFi space (especially in yield farming), as crypto farmers never had the chance to improve their positions. For this reason, Alpha Homora is the first product of its kind. However, this is not the only thing that Alpha Homora offers. The platform also supports ETH lending and has various unique features that are worth checking out. The fact that Alpha Homora allows its users to earn according to their preferences is what makes it so appealing. Liquidators and Bounty Hunters At Alpha Homora, there are special users called liquidators and bounty hunters with unique features over the regular user. When the position of a user falls below the liquidation ratio of the platform they are using, liquidators can liquidate their position and get 5% of it as commission. Bounty Hunters can sell all of the tokens they farmed at Alpha Homora for ETH and then reinvest the collected ETH in the pool, earning 3% of the total reward in the process. If these numbers and reward rates sound appealing, you might want to check Alpha Homora out. Yield Farming Options of Alpha Homora Crypto farmers can start yield farming at Alpha Homora immediately after linking their wallets with the platform. There are many pools at Alpha Homora, but the most popular ones include: WETH / WBTC (Uniswap) WETH / USDT (Uniswap) WETH / USDC (Uniswap) WETH / DAI (Uniswap) WETH / DPI (IndexCoop) One thing that is important to note about the yield farming on Alpha Homora is the way that the farmed ALPHA token is reinvested. The people behind the platform explain that reinvesting the token every day will passively yield a higher potential for profits. Also, keep in mind that the list of pools mentioned above might change, so a new pool might be added when you register on the platform. Why You Should Invest in Alpha Homora The introduction of Alpha Homora to the DeFi industry is a revolutionary and game-changing move. This does not only apply to yield farmers; the ability to leverage liquidity positions will impact the entire DeFi ecosystem. While leverage yield farming is the main reason Alpha Homora has risen in popularity, it offers a few other interesting options for advanced users to explore, like its interest-bearing Ethereum accounts. When you add its special users (i.e., bounty hunters and liquidators) and their unique features to the mix, there are plenty of reasons you should consider investing in Alpha Homora.
Aragon DAO—Ease of Use, Fees, Tokens, and More
Aragon is a unique Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) project with a mission of championing community governance models. The beauty of blockchain technology is that it facilitates the development of multi-layered worlds. Though the name seems like a misspelling of Aragorn, the famous Lord of the Rings character, Aragon DAO draws its name from an autonomous district in Spain that once experienced a stateless form of governance for almost six years in the 1930s. The DAO aims to reintroduce this organized and functional community governance via blockchain. Aragon considers itself the mother of all DAOs—like what Bitcoin is to cryptocurrency. Although it's a DAO, it provides comprehensive templates and support for entrepreneurs to create DAO projects. In this regard, Aave and Decentraland DAO are built on Aragon. This review aims to address some of the commonly asked questions about Aragon, such as: What is Aragon?Is Aragon DAO free?How can you create your DAO with Aragon?How does Aragon make money? Read on to learn more. ProsAragon smart contracts are easy to read and understandThe Aragon protocol prevents impermanent lossAnonymityUser-friendly development tools, like templates and appsConsNot a common household name Aragon Fees and Pricing The growth of DAO communities has overwhelmed Ethereum capacity, making DAO functioning and voting ridiculously costly. Aragon DAO is not a free DAO creation tool. It will cost you 0.2 ETH, approximately $360 at the current market prices, and an average transaction cost of 30gwei to create a DAO on Aragon through the Ethereum blockchain. However, Aragon partnered with the Polygon network in 2021 to enable almost zero gas fees for DAO development, functioning, and voting on its protocol. Additionally, the partnership aims to provide faster transactions and a frictionless user experience. Aragon developers will also enjoy the composability of Polygon's growing ecosystem, which consists of popular DeFi projects like Sushi and Slingshot. Aragon's integration with Polygon offers almost a 5,000x discount on the cost of creating a DAO—from more than $500 on Ethereum to nearly $0.1 on Polygon. This is undeniably a game-changing partnership for DAO creators and users. Polygon and Aragon share a mutual vision of a freely accessible, borderless, and decentralized world. The Polygon network is trusted by many blockchain projects and boasts a vast amount of traction, particularly in the DeFi landscape. For instance, Polygon has three times more SushiSwap users than Ethereum. Create Your Own DAO With Aragon Follow these simple steps to create a DAO with Aragon: On the Aragon dApp, choose a QuickNode Rinkeby Node in your Web3 wallet, assuming you own at least 0.2 ETH in your wallet.Press the "Connect Account" tab, select your preferred wallet, and confirm the connection request sent to your wallet. Choose "Ethereum Testnet" Rinkeby.Press the "Create Organization" button.Choose a template for your entity, press the "Use this Template" tab, and insert your company name.Set your preferred support percentage, minimum approval percentage, and vote duration. Enter your token name and symbol. Specify your token holders and issue them with tokens—ensure the information you have entered is correct before clicking the "Launch your Organization" button. A window will show up on your Web3 wallet for transaction confirmation—approve the two transactions to create your DAO. After confirming the transactions, press the "Get Started" tab to create your first proposal query and initiate the voting process. Press "Voting" on the left side of the window, then "New Vote" to generate a new proposal query and open it for voting. When the proposal is live, community members can agree or disagree with it during the period you set earlier. That's it! ANT Tokens and How Aragon Works Aragon works by combing multiple techniques and features to achieve its goals. Every DAO comes pre-loaded with the primary organization components. Developers can create business systems like finance, token sales, and voting mechanisms. Aragon DAO has three tokens: ANTANJARA ANT is an Ethereum-based currency that acts as the native currency of Aragon. Aragon users need it for governance voting. ANT tokens entered the crypto market with a bang. Aragon DAO's Initial Coin Offering (ICO) fundraised $24 million within 15 minutes of launch. The ICO took place in May 2017, and the funds raised helped steer the company to stardom. You can buy ANT tokens on popular exchanges like Binance, KuCoin, WazirX, etc. ANJ is also an Ethereum-based token used for rewarding juries of the Aragon Court. In addition, you can stake the ANJ tokens and generate yield in the Aragon protocol. DeFi staking protocols are becoming more and more popular as they offer steadier returns than crypto trading. These protocols also do not require users to surrender asset ownership. The ARA token is used in the Aragon Chain, a side chain that acts as a foundation in the Aragon DAO. The prices of Aragon tokens are subject to regular changes caused by the volatility of the crypto market. The market values of Aragon tokens are influenced by multiple elements such as the total supply, technical upgrades and updates (like the Aragon V2 launch in 2020), developments, integrations (like the Aragon-Polygon Integration of 2021), and network users. Aragon token prices are also influenced by the broader economy, collective trends, regulations, and Bitcoin's momentum. ANT's intrinsic value is driven by its applications, technology, and technical capacity. Is Aragon a Realistically Viable System for the Future? Aragon DAO offers developers and entrepreneurs a frictionless and easy way to start DAOs. It works as a website creator by relying on pre-defined modules, which can be tailored to align with a business's specific needs. This way, Aragon offers valuable templates and dApps that allow users to exploit the power of blockchain without necessarily assembling an internal team. As the native currency for Aragon DAO, ANT will continue to rise in value with Aragon's network development. So far, we can confidently say Aragon is a realistically viable project for the future since its approach to decentralized governance adoption continues to be highly effective. Aragon strives to further integrate blockchain adoption through its modular tactic to standard business applications. Notably, the platform has experienced significant success since its inception. It has over $900 million in value held across 15,000 DAOs. The organization is wholly decentralized through a governance system, enabling community management of its core functions and code.
1inch Exchange Review—Ease of Use, Fees, Wallets, and More
DexGuru Review—Ease of Use, Fees, Wallets, and More
DexGuru is a decentralized cryptocurrency trading and analysis platform designed for modern traders. At its core, DexGuru combines on-chain blockchain analytics and trading capacities under one roof. In other words, you can trade and monitor various digital assets on one platform. You can also analyze and compare the price movements of various digital currencies using multiple indicators. In essence, everything thought of a modern decentralized stock exchange can be found on DexGuru. A number of DexGuru users may agree that the developers behind this project did a fantastic job. The platform is exceedingly intuitive with a user-friendly interface. Read on to learn more ProsIntuitive and beginner-friendly interfacePlenty of on-chain trading informationIt supports many blockchains and walletsNo trading fees—users only pay for network gas feesConsOnly market orders are available It offers only spot trading Is DexGuru Easy to Use? Although DexGuru offers a plethora of essential trading information that appears jumbled on its front-end view, if you keenly compare it with most of its competitors, you will discover that DexGuru’s interface is as intuitive as its mission. Unfortunately, further intuitiveness enhancements are impossible because they throat the information down, and users encounter poorer experiences. However, even though it’s your first time trading digital assets, DexGuru has multiple documents to guide you through the website and its features. DexGuru Fees and Pricing Here are two easy steps on how you can trade crypto on DexGuru: You will need to link your Web3 wallet to DexGuru.You will have to ensure that you set your wallet to the appropriate blockchain. You will also be able to see the blockchain you are using on the upper right-hand side, near your wallet icon. With that said, you are now ready to trade! DexGuru has simplified the process of identifying coins from various blockchains by applying colored circles around a coin’s icon. For instance, they wrap the BNB token in orange circles. Furthermore, connected wallets are shown in similar colors as the circles of specific blockchains. Note You cannot trade tokens from two blockchains for each other. This simply means you can’t swap MANA (an ERC20 token built on Ethereum) for BUSD (a BEP20 token built on Binance Smart Chain). Nonetheless, most ERC20 tokens have pegged versions on Binance Smart Chain. To trade a particular asset, you need to choose it from DexGuru’s Market Selector section. You will only enter the amount of funds to be deducted from your Web3 wallet. Once you're done with this, the system will automatically calculate the amount of coins you will receive after a successful transaction. If this is your first time executing a transaction with a particular coin, you must complete a coin approval transaction first by clicking the "Approve/Sell" tab. After approving the token spending limit in your Web3 wallet, you will see a Swap Confirmation pop-up window. If the asset doesn’t require approval, you will see the Swap Confirmation just after clicking the "Buy/Sell" tab. You can modify the price slippage and validator tip and select the gas price within the Swap Confirmation window. After setting the above parameters accordingly, press the Confirm button to complete the transaction. Apart from network gas fees—which are mandatory in any exchange—DexGuru doesn’t charge any fee. The company depends entirely on donations and sponsorships to run its activities. Regardless, you won’t pay any fees as a DexGuru trader. What Wallets Are Supported by DexGuru? Most DEXs don’t support a broad basket of Web3 wallets because of security reasons. DexGuru supports most if, not all the popular DeFi wallets, including: MetaMaskTrust WalletWalletConnect Ledger (through MetaMask)Trezor (through MetaMask) Now that you are aware of the wallets supported by DexGuru, let’s discuss how you can connect your wallet to DexGuru. Before we do that, let’s first briefly discuss the benefits of linking your wallet to DexGuru. Benefits of Connecting Your Wallet to DexGuru Add assets to your preferred listSynchronize your preferred list across all your gadgetsTrade crypto directly on the DexGuru platformCreate price alerts via Push NotificationsAccess multiple chartsCreate trader and asset profiles How to Connect Your Wallet to DexGuru It’s important to note that DexGuru is a non-custodial crypto exchange. Therefore, the funds in your DeFi wallet are always under your full control. On Desktop Connecting MetaMask with DexGuru Search for the MetaMask wallet on your browserPress the wallet icon on the upper right-hand side Select MetaMaskDexGuru employs signature requests to authenticate users—you will need to confirm that you possess the private keys to the address by signing in Connecting with WalletConnect Press the wallet icon on the upper right-hand sideSelect WalletConnectScan the QR code from your WalletConnect wallet, and approve the Signature Request It’s worth noting that to connect WalletConnect to DexGuru, you must disable or delete the MetaMask browser extension as it conflicts with other wallets. Alternatively, you can switch to Incognito mode. That is it. On Mobile Connecting MetaMask or Trust Wallet to DexGuru Download and install a MetaMask wallet on your phoneProceed to your wallet app and search for Dex.guruPress the wallet icon on the upper right-hand sideSelect MetaMask or Trust Wallet Congratulations, you are done! However, for Trust Wallet, you need to change the network by: Pressing the wallet icon on the upper right-hand side of the browserSelecting Wallet ConnectScanning the code on display using the Trust Wallet appChoosing your wallet within the appChoosing your preferred network within the appConfirming the signature request within the appPressing “Save and Leave” within the app You're done. Information on DexGuru Tokens DexGuru uses Token Lists to offer its users more token information. Remember, verified status isn’t investment advice, final approval, or any recommendation. It’s a sign that a particular asset is trustworthy enough to be acknowledged by a listing creator like UniSwap. Besides, assets that aren’t fully verified and classified under the Full Degen Mode are not necessarily scams. Degen Mode basically contains assets that have not been inspected and certified by creators. As always, Do Your Own Research (DYOR) on any token before trading, especially those missing on Token Lists. Is DexGuru a Legit DEX Platform? DexGuru is a legit and modern trading platform for beginners and experienced traders alike. DexGuru stands out from other DEXs by allowing users to compare and monitor various digital currencies in real-time and use its rich historical data to make informed decisions. Above all, DexGuru imposes no transaction charges on trades.