One of the most important developments in crypto has undeniably been the rise of Decentralised Finance (DeFi) applications offering alternatives to various traditional financial services through a permissionless, open protocol.

Billions have poured into decentralised protocols over the past year as investors chase the generous returns afforded by lending and borrowing protocols, decentralised asset management fund platforms, and liquidity pools.

The sector is frequently described as an ‘uncomplicated story of growth’ - with market observers citing Total Value Locked (TVL) as evidence that all of DeFi is growing.

Popularised by DeFi Pulse during the 2019 bear market, TVL is to DeFi what market cap is to altcoins or GDP is to a national economy. It's a helpful indicator to gauge the overall health of the market, though TVL in isolation can be a skewed metric while evaluating any given project.

This is because a project that has the same number of Ether from a year ago will show value growth in USD terms as the price has skyrocketed – instead of actual user growth.

With interest in DeFi mounting at an astonishing rate, assessing the actual growth, adoption, and traction of the various projects inhabiting this exciting space becomes ever more important. In this latest In-Depth report, Copper delves deeper to try and candidly assess project growth, competition, market share and token valuations across competing DeFI protocols: MakerDao vs MStable,  Compound vs Aave, and Enzyme Finance vs dHedge.

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