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Growing Demand for Decentralized Finance by South Africans Sparks Increased Token Listings by Local Exchanges

LUNO, VALR, and OVEX are just some of the exchanges that have seen a surge in DeFi activity in South Africa. VALR, for example, has already listed over 30 DeFi tokens so far in 2024 and Luno has added 3 in February 2024 alone due to demand.

South African cryptocurrency exchanges are increasingly introducing decentralized finance (DeFi) coins on their platforms.

This trend comes as these exchanges observe a heightened appetite from the local market to adopt DeFi coins, which are experiencing growing popularity worldwide.

According to local reports, last week, LUNO added three new cryptocurrencies for investment that are prominent in DeFi. The company states that DeFi brings several use cases, with the most significant to date being decentralized lending and borrowing.

In a statement, LUNO, considered South Africa’s largest cryptocurrency app, announced the addition of AAVE ($AAVE), the native token for a platform that facilitates direct connections between lenders and borrowers without the need for intermediaries. AAVE is one of the largest cryptocurrency lending platforms, currently securing over $6 billion across supported blockchains.

LUNO also introduced the Curve token, which enables investors to trade stablecoins and other cryptocurrencies with lower fees. The company highlights that Curve has gained popularity as a liquidity provider for stablecoins such as USD Coin ($USDC) and USDT ($USDT).

Lastly, LUNO introduced MakerDAO, which allows investors to temporarily lock up their crypto in return for Maker’s stablecoin called DAI ($DAI).

“DeFi is an innovative, automated system that enables financial services like loans, savings, insurance, or trading on public blockchains. By adding these new coins, which are prominent in the emerging world of DeFi, customers can learn more about DeFi, which has the potential to change finance,” noted Christo de Wit, LUNO country manager for South Africa.

“As cryptocurrencies are more than just monetary coins and form the building blocks of a new decentralized digital economy, our customers are keen for opportunities to diversify their crypto portfolios in this innovative space.”

In total, LUNO has added 3 new DeFi tokens in February 2024 alone, and counting.

VALR, another of the big exchanges in South Africa that recently launched BTC and USDC Futures Trading, offers over 75 tokens on its platform, including the most popular DeFi projects, such as Uniswap ($UNI), Ondo ($ONDO), and AAVE ($AAVE), as well as the native tokens of the protocols or chains on which these DeFi applications are built such as Ethereum, Solana, Avalanche, and Sui.

According to the Co-Founder and CEO, Farzam Ehsani, VALR has plans to offer services such as a DeFi wallet, which users can utilize when interacting directly with DeFi protocols.

“We have seen significant uptake of trade in DeFi-related projects on our platform. As a result, we have been listing many of the up-and-coming and topical DeFi projects. We’ve listed more than 30 new projects in 2024 already. VALR regularly facilitates trades worth more than R500 million each day, which shows the level of activity in the local market and this is only growing.”

Another South African exchange, OVEX, also offers a variety of DeFi tokens but COO, Luc Varejes, notes that there is still an education gap toward the proper adoption of DeFi by South Africans.

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