DeFi has been the leading narrative in the crypto space in 2020 with its pulsating innovation and stellar growth. Not only has the entire concept of financial services been turned on its head but we've also witnessed some of the speediest development in tech of all time. In the savage unforgiving decentralized landscape, competition is fierce and protocols are required to iterate almost daily to survive.
All this growth and amplification of choices for investors has brought with it many gains beyond the 1,000%+ weekly ones. We've had the privilege of seeing how developers are pushing the edge of this fascinating technology and bringing real-world solutions to life.
Of course, as with all areas in any nascent space, some teething trouble has also arisen. Investors attracted by overnight wealth myths clashed with unscrupulous actors just waiting to scam them. Then we've had technical issues with smart contracts, oracles, and a lack of auditing.
Yet despite the early days of DeFi and the ups and downs, the fundamentals are growing stronger, the ecosystem broadening, and the value locked in its protocols continuing to climb, currently standing at over $11 billion. But while DeFi has been the most deserving focus of our attention this year, it's not the only area where innovations are happening.
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) otherwise known as crypto-collectibles have also seen tremendous growth this year. Made famous by the unforgettable CryptoKitties back in 2017 when the popular collectible cat platform clogged the Ethereum network--and went on to sell its most sought-after collectible for $170,000--NFTs had slipped off many people's radars. Yet, their use cases are expanding at a rapid pace, with more than $8 million traded volume in the last month.
That might be small fry compared to the money changing hands in other areas of blockchain, but we're talking about digital collectibles like in-game items, limited-edition player cards, and online pets. And we're even beginning to see NFTs merge with DeFi to offer liquidity mining and incentivize users with provably rare or digitally unique items, such as the winners of the OKEx User Voting event, MEME, and GHST.
Beyond entertainment, such as creative memes and sport player cards, the technology behind NFTs has explosive potential. The creation of rare and unique items that can’t be destroyed, replicated, or forged, and that come with an immutable history can be used in the tokenization of fine art, precious jewelry, and even real estate as a way of authenticating ownership and facilitating the transfer of ownership.
Great developments have been made that will make navigating the web and storing data a safer and more secure experience for all while enabling us to access faster speeds and tap into idle computational power across decentralized networks.
In fact, the area of decentralized data storage has already seen some really impressive players and promising projects like STORJ, GOLEM, and MAIDSAFE. And, with the Filecoin mainnet launching this week, it will be interesting to see how far--and how fast--we move into the decentralized web.
Why is it so important? Because it will allow us to work in ways that we were previously unable with greater speed and decreased cost. It also creates a fair decentralized ecosystem in which people connected to it are paid for providing their free computer space. Golem as a "supercomputer" can allow network participants to make faster and greater advancements in the fields of AI, machine learning, and so much more.
Decentralized cloud storage made possible by projects like Storj Network and Filecoin will allow us to circumvent central actors such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) for a faster, safer, and more affordable storage alternative that cannot be closed down or censored.
At OKEx, we're proud to be pioneers in such early-stage technology and its continued expansion. Not only do we provide support for key projects in the areas of DeFi, NFT, and decentralized data storage, but we also iterate and create, BUIDL, and experiment with the technology through high-quality cutting edge products like our decentralized public blockchain OKEx Chain and our accelerator program that allows for liquidity mining, OKEx Jumpstart.
As DeFi continues to build an alternative financial system and we begin to see the real possibilities of a world in which the tokenization of just about everything is possible, so, too, will the internet evolve in new and exciting ways--through the power of decentralization and the continued push of innovation.