Somewhat controversial, DeFi degens are people who try to push the boundaries of DeFi protocols. By pushing the limits of their tokens, they assume a lot of risk, gaining the reputation of (degenerate) gamblers.

Standing for degenerates, DeFi degens describes builders and traders who engage in high-risk activities. Specifically, in the aftermath of summer 2020, degens were dubbed as yield-farming chasers across the first wave of DeFi protocols — lending and decentralized exchanges.

By being first to stake their tokens into liquidity pools — Uniswap, Compound, etc — they drove the prices of their native tokens upward, only to leave with massive profit gains of up to 6-digit percentage yields. This would apply to every new DeFi project that popped up. Sometimes, they would create/copypaste their own DeFi protocols to take even more risks and build more composable products...

With that said, the “degens” birthed DeFi as we know it. In the end, degens provided much value to all market participants.


Compound (COMP) price moves. Charts dominated by huge price spikes were common in the second half of 2020 thanks to DeFi degens who built new protocols and hunted for yield.

One of the more notable crypto degens is Andre Cronje, the developer behind Yearn.Finance.