5 crypto unicorns that charged onto the blockchain scene in 2020


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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 corresponding 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 outlets. DeFi is already dwell 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 change for loans. Aave was one DeFi challenge to succeed in $1 billion in market capitalization in 2020, however its worth has dipped underneath crypto unicorn standing a couple 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 can reportedly make enhancements on flash loans and using 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 via good contracts and provides curiosity to liquidity suppliers.


Synthetix is a decentralized change constructed on the Ethereum blockchain via a sequence of good contracts. Nonetheless, Synthetix doesn’t provide buying and selling between crypto belongings like tokens and stablecoins, however quite 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 yr, having hit its all-time excessive of $7.74 on Sept. 11, rallying greater than 400% from its value at first of 2020.

Harvest Finance

Harvest Finance could have had one of many briefest stints as a crypto unicorn this yr. The DeFi protocol collected as a lot as $1 billion in whole 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 triggered the whole 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.


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

Particular mentions

There have been different crypto unicorns that popped up in 2020, as properly. 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 yr has been quite bullish for main digital belongings and new DeFi initiatives.

Filecoin was one of many quickest blockchains to achieve and lose crypto unicorn standing this yr. After the community launched its mainnet on Oct. 15, Filecoin’s FIL token surged 118% to succeed in 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 stage till a month later and at the moment stands at $1.three billion.

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