Just today, MakerDAO teamed up with prominent exchange, OKEx, to offer the Dai Savings Rate (DSR) to its customers via its platform.

From December 23, OKEx users will be able to stake their Dai in the DSR via their OKEx account, for a reliable return on Dai holdings. The DSR annualized return is currently about 4%.

For many DeFi lovers, however, this seems like a totally counterintuitive idea.  After all, MakerDAO and Dai were designed to remove the need for centralization. OKEx, on the other hand, is a completely centralized exchange, lying in the control of a few trusted hands.

Why is MakerDAO suddenly embracing centralized platforms?

The idea is not to embrace centralization.

Rather, MakerDAO are leveraging user-friendly, centralized platforms with established user bases – like OKEx – to provide the perfect “gateway” into DeFi.

OKEx in particular is one of the largest exchanges in the world by trading volume, with millions of users around the globe. Each one of these users already has a vested interest in cryptocurrency, providing us with the perfect “target audience” for DeFi products.

By integrating services such as the DSR into a popular centralized platform, crypto traders can familiarize themselves with the DeFi world, without the hurdle of navigating through unfamiliar infrastructure.

Access to the DSR via established platforms and exchanges is, quite simply, the perfect “advertising” opportunity for the Dai ecosystem.

MakerDAO aren’t the only ones doing it

While this is an excellent strategy by MakerDAO for boosting exposure and adoption, they aren’t the only ones targeting partnerships with existing platforms.

Very recently, Compound Finance announced that they would be using their new $25 million funding round to push mainstream adoption.

More explicitly, this involved “partnering with existing cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets, and custodians”, to provide lending markets through these platforms.

DeFi is a rapidly growing sector

2019 has been a hell of a year for DeFi, especially in lending markets.

Total value locked in DeFi protocols grew three-fold this year, with over $600m worth of crypto locked in DeFi contracts.

A snapshot of DeFi growth in 2019, from defipulse.com

These platforms overwhelmingly prefer the well-established stablecoin, Dai, showing a lot of confidence in decentralized protocols like MakerDAO.

With efforts for wider adoption and exposure only kicking into action now, DeFi is just getting started!