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Binance, Huobi, OKEx Have FOMO for DeFi

Decentralized finance (DeFi) has been grabbing the headlines and capturing the imagination of traders in recent weeks and some of the biggest centralized cryptocurrency exchanges seem to be afraid they’re missing out.

That’s why they are now trying to reposition themselves as integral parts of this exploding sector, particularly as traders in China grow more interested in DeFi. 

Huobi announced Tuesday it was adding 10 more members to its DeFi initiative, described as “a consortium of centralized and decentralized financial services providers.”

Archrival OKEx, which launched its OKExChain blockchain earlier this year, boasted Monday that with its latest upgrade the network is the most decentralized public chain powered by exchanges. 

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, last week announced a new integration of its centralized platform,, and its decentralized public blockchain, Binance Smart Chain (BSC). There’s a $100 million fund to encourage developers to build DeFi projects on BSC after the company’s last take on DeFi, Binance Dex – a decentralized exchange launched a year and a half ago – generated little traction.

Centralized exchanges’ aggressive moves into the rapidly growing DeFi space suggest decentralization may be their inevitable path for survival in a crypto trading landscape where decentralized exchanges (DEX) are stealing greater market share.

Centralized exchanges (CEX) are connected to blockchain networks but use their own computers to match cryptocurrency traders’ buy or sell orders. When one buys and holds a cryptocurrency on a CEX, the coin is often in a centralized address by the exchange. All that happens is a ledger balance change at the exchange itself. “Not your keys, not your coins” is a refrain often used to warn that anyone buying from an exchange isn’t in control so long as he or she doesn’t also have the private keys. Those who traded on Mt. Gox...

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