DeFi and Web3 Gaming Take the Lead in Q1 Report Shows

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DeFi and Web3 Gaming Take the Lead in Q1 Report Shows

A recent report by QuickNode paints a fascinating picture of the cryptocurrency industry in Q1 2024. It reveals a surge in Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and Web3 gaming, with both sectors outperforming the previously dominant stablecoin market in key metrics. This shift suggests a change in investor preferences and overall market sentiment.

Related: Why Blockchain Is The New Norm In Gaming

DeFi Heats Up with Hopes of a Second Summer

The report highlights a significant resurgence in DeFi during Q1. This growth is attributed to a surge in developer and user activity, particularly on blockchains like Solana (SOL) and Base. The embrace of new concepts like staking, liquid staking, restaking, and liquid restaking has further fueled this rise, leading some to anticipate a “second DeFi Summer.” Staking, in particular, now represents a substantial portion of DeFi’s Total Value Locked (TVL).

While stablecoins still hold the top spot for user activity by address count, DeFi surpassed them in a crucial metric: transaction volume. DeFi emerged as the leader in daily transactions for Q1, averaging nearly 7 million. Furthermore, despite comprising only 4% of the total crypto market cap, DeFi led in fees spent, gas usage, and the overall number of projects.

The report also points to a steady rise in the TVL for DeFi’s yield-generating protocols, climbing from $26.5 billion in Q3 2023 to $59.7 billion in Q1 2024. QuickNode attributes this growth to a return of investor confidence and liquidity flowing back into DeFi markets as they seek opportunities for yield generation.

Web3 Gaming Takes Center Stage with Player Empowerment

Web3 gaming, powered by blockchain technology, has emerged as a major force challenging traditional gaming platforms. By leveraging cryptocurrencies and NFTs (non-fungible tokens), Web3 games offer players a new level of participation and ownership within the game itself. Players can now actively contribute to the game and earn rewards, shifting control away from centralized entities.

The report emphasizes Web3 gaming’s impressive growth, surpassing stablecoins in transaction volume and achieving the highest year-over-year (YoY) active address growth across all categories, with a staggering 155% increase in Q1. This surge in player engagement is further evidenced by the exponential growth of transactions within Web3 gaming, which experienced a remarkable 370% increase YoY.

Related: Web3 Gaming: The Future of Online Gaming

The Allure of Stablecoins Remains

While DeFi and Web3 gaming are stealing the show, stablecoins haven’t faded entirely. They continue to hold the top spot for daily active users, representing over 41% of all Web3 user activity. Although other categories are catching up with significant quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) growth, stablecoins still maintain a strong user base.

Tether’s USDT remains the dominant stablecoin, controlling roughly 75% of the market cap. However, Circle’s USDC has taken the lead in terms of transaction volume and average transaction size. This can be partly attributed to Coinbase’s efforts to integrate USDC on its platform and promote its use on its Layer 2 network, Base.

The report also highlights the enduring appeal of stablecoins for both new and experienced users. Stablecoins offer stability and predictable value, especially during periods of high market volatility. QuickNode identifies several factors contributing to the surge in stablecoin user activity in Q1, including the approval and listing of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the US, the anticipation of the next Bitcoin Halving event, the devaluation of traditional fiat currencies, the popularity of low-volatility assets, and the overall strength of the US dollar, to which over 90% of stablecoin transactions are pegged.


The Q1 2024 report by QuickNode reveals a dynamic shift in the crypto landscape. DeFi and Web3 gaming are experiencing explosive growth, while stablecoins, though still relevant, may be facing increased competition. This trend suggests a future where users have more options and greater control within the ever-evolving world of cryptocurrency.

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