Parallel Finance Launches DeFi ‘Super App’ for Polkadot Crypto Ecosystem

The lending protocol, with $500 million in TVL, is making a play for market dominance.

AccessTimeIconMar 18, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:40 p.m. UTC

Polkadot-based lending protocol Parallel Finance is trying to become a one-stop shop for all corners of decentralized finance (DeFi).

That effort accelerated Friday with the initial launch of six products spanning the DeFi spectrum: from wallets to staking, from crowdloans to cross-chain bridges, an automated market maker and yield farming to boot.

“Overall, we’re building a ’super app,’ an end-to-end DeFi platform for Polkadot to start,” founder Yubo Ruan told CoinDesk in an interview. He said an Ethereum offering is also in the cards.

The “super app” strategy is an uncommon one in crypto, he said. Most DeFi teams opt to specialize on one flagship product, be it a bridge or a wallet. Ruan said Parallel’s uncommonly large team (60-70 people) means it can cover more ground.

Polkadot DeFi

Parallel is one of the larger DeFi projects in the Polkadot world, with over $500 million in total value locked (TVL) and a 21% market share, according to its website statistics. It's also one of the better-funded projects and is backed by Sequoia and Founders Fund, among others.

Building and hosting multiple DeFi products is a competitive advantage, according to Ruan. For one, they’re complementary to each other: The farming function generates yield just as Parallel's crowdloans product might. The assets generated on one can easily transfer over to others.

Ruan also said the DeFi super app makes the road to mass adoption a little smoother. It’s easier for newcomers to play around with market making and staking when their wallet lives right down the street.

For now, the tools are limited to the “Heiko” parachain on Kusama, the Polkadot ecosystem’s real-money staging ground. The six products could migrate to Parallel’s hard-won mainchain slot in one to three months, he said.


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Danny Nelson

Danny is CoinDesk's Managing Editor for Data & Tokens. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.