Are emerging markets losing out on DeFi because of high gas prices?

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The traffic rankings for the highest DeFi protocols by TVL was dominated by developed economies, with the United States and the United Kingdom leading the tables.

Despite grandiose plans to provide farmers in Vietnam with access to the world of global finance through Decentralized Finance, emerging markets may account for as little as 10% of visitors engaging with the top DeFi DApps.

Proponents have long anticipated that crypto and DeFi will provide a way for people all over the world to bypass the obstacles raised by economic underdevelopment; nevertheless, statistics show that consumers from the world’s largest economies control the DeFi rankings by web traffic.

A recent study from The Defiant looks at the top five regional sources of traffic for the top ten DeFi networks in terms of Total Value. Locked in February, according to data from online traffic aggregator SimilarWeb.

According to the study, US traffic controls eight of the ten largest DApps by TVL, accounting for between 10% and 27% of traffic on MakerDAO, Compound, Aave, SushiSwap, Uniswap, Synthetic, Bancor, and BadgerDAO, respectively.

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The United States is also ranked second in terms of traffic to Curve, behind only China, and fourth in terms of traffic to Balancer, following Russia, Ukraine, and China. For five DApps, the United Kingdom is the second-largest source of traffic.

Despite the World Bank reporting that 1.7 billion people lack a bank account and the SME Finance Forum estimating a $5 trillion funding deficit for small to medium-sized firms in emerging economies, evidence suggests that people are not turning to DeFi to solve these problems for the time being.

The skyrocketing fees associated with using the Ethereum mainnet after the Q3 2020 DeFi bubble may be one explanation for the apparent disparity between DeFi adoption in emerging and developed markets.

Just 39 countries have people earning more than $33.33 a day, according to the demographics database World Data. With gas fees associated with common DeFi DApps routinely reaching $50, and complicated protocols recently citing gas fees exceeding $1,000, the possibility of spending more than an entire day’s pay on only the fees associated with attempting a DeFi protocol is likely to prevent many people living in developing markets from exploring the field.

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Emerging markets dominate traffic to Venus, the top DeFi protocol based on Binance Smart Chain, which has considerably lower fees than Ethereum. Argentina is Venus’s top source of traffic, accounting for 9 percent, led by China, Turkey, Thailand, and Peru.

Although DeFi adoption continues to be sluggish in emerging markets, data from UsefulTulips reveals that, with the exception of the United States, emerging markets dominate peer-to-peer Bitcoin trading sizes, implying that crypto is being used for payments in countries with poor financial institutions.

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