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8 Top DeFi Platforms on Bitcoin via Stacks in 2024
March 2, 2024

It's 2024 and more and more TVL is now flowing from EVM chains to the Bitcoin ecosystems.

In this article, we will showcase some of the top DeFi platforms built on Bitcoin via Stacks.

What are DeFi Platforms?

DeFi platforms are decentralized finance applications built on blockchain networks that enable financial services without 3rd parties in between.

DeFi platforms enable peer-to-peer financial transactions, like lending, borrowing, trading derivatives, insurance, etc., without banks/brokers. Unlike centralized exchanges, DeFi platforms can run 24/7 autonomously via smart contracts while allowing users to control their funds at all times.

Take note: The biggest difference between Decentralized and Centralized exchanges is who holds the private key of your address.

Even though they run 24/7, some of the risks of such platforms are smart contract risks, exploits, or mishandling of your private key.

Read More: ALEX Anti-Phishing Awareness

Some of the most popular DeFi platforms are Uniswap, Sushi, or Pancakeswap, but those are Ethereum-based DeFi platforms; they are not the same as DeFi platforms built on top of Bitcoin blockchain technology!

How does DeFi Platforms on Bitcoin work?

DeFi on Bitcoin works through L2 protocols and sidechains that enable smart contract functionality, scalability, and interoperability with other blockchains. Here are some key ways DeFi is enabled on Bitcoin:

  • Stacks: A layer 1 blockchain connected to Bitcoin that enables smart contracts and apps. Stacks support DeFi activities and bridges back to the Bitcoin blockchain.
  • Lightning Network: This layer 2 network built on top of Bitcoin allows for fast, low-cost payments and micropayments.
  • Liquid Network: A federated sidechain to Bitcoin that supports issuing digital assets and running smart contracts. This expands Bitcoin's capabilities for financial activities.
  • RSK: An open-source smart contract platform and sidechain to Bitcoin that supports decentralized apps and DeFi activities like decentralized exchanges, lending/borrowing, derivatives, etc.
  • Rootstock: Another smart contract platform sidechain to Bitcoin that enables DeFi dApps. It supports tokenized Bitcoin that can be used for lending/borrowing, decentralized exchanges, prediction markets, and more.
  • Fedimint: Fedimint is a modular, open-source protocol to custody and transact Bitcoin and more in a community context, built on a strong foundation of privacy.

This article will focus on DeFi Platforms that are available on Stacks because Stacks is the most widely used Bitcoin smart contract layer with the highest market cap.

8 Best DeFi Platforms on Bitcoin via Stacks in 2023

These are the top DeFi Platforms on Bitcoin via Stacks:

  • ALEX: Bitcoin DeFi
  • Zest Protocol
  • Liquidium
  • Velar
  • UWU Cash
  • Stackswap
  • Bitflow
  • Arkadiko

#1: ALEX: Bitcoin DeFi

ALEX is a Bitcoin DeFi platform built on Stacks, which uses the security and finality of the Bitcoin blockchain. Stacks uses a consensus mechanism called proof of transfer (PoX), which settles every transaction directly on the security of Bitcoin L1.

ALEX is an open-source protocol modeled on the world’s financial markets, built by veteran Wall St. Quants. Their mission is to enable universally inclusive finance by giving users the tools to become the masters of their permissionless financial destiny.

You can swap, earn yield, participate in IDOs, and trade Bitcoin L1 assets such as BRC20 tokens, with L2 programmability and scalability.

Features: Swap, Liquidity Pool, Liquidity Farming, Staking, Launchpad, BRC-20 Orderbook, Lottery, Cross-chain Bridge

Status: Live

Token Ticker: $ALEX

Total Valued Locked: $135,660,444 (As of February 23, 2024)

X(Twitter) Number of Followers: 102.8K


Coingecko Stats: 

#2: Zest Protocol


Zest Protocol is the first Bitcoin native lending protocol built on top of Bitcoin via Stacks. However, as of October 2023, they are not live yet.

Zest Protocol would allow anyone to become liquidity providers to generate Bitcoin yield through professionally managed lending pools that lend to blue-chip institutions in the crypto sector.

Each lending pool funds loans to numerous borrowers, offering its BTC liquidity providers access to diversified exposure

Status: Beta

Features: Swap, Liquidity Pool, Liquidity Farming, Staking

Token Ticker: -

Total Valued Locked: -

X(Twitter) Number of Followers: 5,613

Website: (nofollow)

Coingecko Stats: -

#3: Liquidium

Liquidium is a peer-to-peer lending protocol that enables users to borrow and lend native Bitcoin against native Ordinals as collateral.

Ordinal Inscriptions are a new form of digital asset created by inscribing data on satoshis, the smallest unit of Bitcoin. Liquidium allows Ordinal owners to lock their inscriptions as collateral to borrow Bitcoin, while retaining ownership and exposure to their Ordinal.

Liquidium operates solely on the Bitcoin blockchain in a trust-minimized and custodian-free solution. The lending process is facilitated through Partially Signed Bitcoin Transactions (PSBTs), and the loan outcomes are validated by DeepLake oracles. Liquidium is the biggest Bitcoin NFT lending protocol by volume on the Stacks blockchain.

Status: Live

Features: Borrow, Lend

Token Ticker: -

Total Valued Locked: $3,852,885

X(Twitter) Number of Followers: 6,190

Website: (nofollow)

Coingecko Stats: -

#4: Velar


Velar is a DeFi liquidity protocol built on Bitcoin via the Stacks smart contract layer solution. They called themselves the all-in-one DeFi protocol on Bitcoin.

Velar has DeFi-native features, from token swaps to launchpad infrastructure, to drive the Bitcoin DeFi ecosystem.

Velar will have a native token, $VELAR, to power its ecosystem and make governance possible. Users, liquidity providers, and developers will participate in governance and help shape the protocol’s future.

Status: Beta

Features: Swap, Liquidity Pool, Liquidity Farming, Staking, Launchpad

Token Ticker: $VELAR

Total Valued Locked: -

X(Twitter) Number of Followers: 23.2K


Coingecko Stats: -

#5: UWU Cash


UWU Protocol is a stablecoin protocol built on Stacks that offers zero-interest loans with no repayment date. Users can deposit STX as collateral and borrow up to 66% of the dollar value of their deposit in the form of UWU Cash (UWU), the fully-backed and unstoppable stablecoin of UWU Protocol.

UWU is the fully-backed and unstoppable stablecoin of UWU Protocol. It's over-collateralized with STX, the native cryptocurrency of the Stacks blockchain, and is designed to be highly decentralized and resistant to censorship.

UWU serves as a payment method store of value and can be transferred globally without the need for intermediaries. Given its programmability, UWU can be integrated into decentralized exchanges, used for buying NFTs on marketplaces, and applied in many other blockchain-based services.

Status: Beta

Features: Borrow, Earn, Stablecoin Minting

Token Ticker: $UWU

Total Valued Locked: -

X(Twitter) Number of Followers: 376

Website: (nofollow)

Coingecko Stats: -

#6: Stackswap

Stackswap is a decentralized crypto-based exchange and marketplace for crypto investors of all skill levels, adhering to the ideals of crypto and offering financial investment products for the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector.

Stackswap issues and exchanges tokens on the Bitcoin Network through the Stacks blockchain. It aims to create a next-generation decentralized exchange (DEX) to support the future growth of DeFi projects on Bitcoin.

Stackswap was created for any user seeking an ecosystem to connect with entrepreneurs with interesting ideas. Entrepreneurs can also come to Stackswap for a quick and code-free way to start their projects, with access to potential investors already on Stackswap's platform.

Status: Live

Features: Cross-chain Swap, Launchpad, NFT Marketplace, Swap, Liquidity Provision, Liquidity Farming, Staking

Token Ticker: $STSW

Total Valued Locked: ~$296,000

X(Twitter) Number of Followers: 15.5K

Website: (nofollow) 

Coingecko Stats: 

#7: Bitflow

Bitflow is a decentralized exchange (DEX) that empowers users to trade and earn with Bitcoin without relying on central points of failure, replacing malicious middlemen with PSBTs, Atomic Swaps, Layer-2 smart contracts, sBTC, and decentralized liquidity pools — unlocking the full potential of Bitcoin.

Status: Beta

Features: Bitcoin Swaps, Trade Stablecoins, Single-Sided Liquidity Provision, Open Source.

Token Ticker: -

Total Valued Locked: $30,000,000

X(Twitter) Number of Followers: 9,590

Website: (nofollow)

#8: Arkadiko

Arkadiko Protocol is a stablecoin (USDA) built on Stacks to bring DeFi to Bitcoin. Arkadiko primarily focuses on enabling your STX & bitcoin to be used as collateral to mint stablecoins, USDA.

Status: Live

Features: Swap, Liquidity Pool, Liquidity Farming, Staking, Stablecoin Minting, Smart Contract Automation

Token Ticker: $DIKO , $USDA

Total Valued Locked: $18,425,931

X(Twitter) Number of Followers: 10.9K

Website: (nofollow)

Coingecko Stats: