Global payment network Ripple expects compliance in decentralized finance (DeFi) to be the industry’s “biggest breakthrough” of 2024, according to its president Monica Long.
In an interview with Cointelegraph, Long noted that previous hype cycles fueled by initial coin offerings (ICOs) and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) will be replaced by real-world utility at scale, which requires compliance, usability, and integration with existing systems.
“In 2024, crypto will break the speculative hype cycles that have defined the booms and busts for the industry since Bitcoin’s invention […] The biggest breakthrough in 2024 will be pioneering compliance for decentralized finance.”
DeFi represents a shift from traditional, centralized financial systems to peer-to-peer finance enabled by blockchain technology. The sector’s market capitalization stands at $79.5 billion at the time of writing, according to data from CoinGecko. It is not by chance that DeFi has drawn attention from regulators worldwide due to potential compliance implications with existing financial laws.
The U.S. is taking steps to expand oversight of cryptocurrencies and DeFi. New rules adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) redefining the terms “dealer” and “government securities dealer” demand more market participants to register with the regulator.
“As an industry, our mindset must be that compliance is non-negotiable,” argues Long. She said applying existing rules to DeFi use cases, such as decentralized exchange trading, is still a challenge. “It’s an area ripe for innovation this year.”
Statista projects that the average revenue per user in the DeFi market will reach $1,378 in 2024. Most of this revenue will come from decentralized exchanges (DEXs), platforms allowing users to trade cryptocurrencies without a central authority. Uniswap, one of the most popular DEXs, generated nearly $10 million in fee income for its liquidity providers over the past seven days.
Long predicts that compliance will foster real utility and mass adoption, which requires integration with existing infrastructure and systems. “The way forward is a happy marriage and that’s what we’ve always believed,” she argued.
“You cannot transform how society moves, manages, tokenizes and stores value if you don’t understand the foundations and history of the problem,” she said.