<p><img src="https://static6.businessinsider.com/image/60f09b36016a320018836834-512/92695-Haohan Xu_CEO June 2020.png" border="0" alt="Haohan Xu" data-mce-source="Apifiny" data-mce-caption="Haohan Xu"></p><p></p><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><p><a href="https://markets.businessinsider.com/currencies/eth-usd">Ethereum</a> is about to get its time in the spotlight, says Haohan Xu.</p><p>Xu, the founder and CEO of crypto trading platform Apifiniy, told Insider on Thursday that he believes it's the best opportunity in crypto at the moment, and it will "easily" return to its previous highs around $4,000.</p><p>This is because <a href="https://markets.businessinsider.com/currencies/btc-usd">bitcoin</a> has been the darling of the crypto world up until now, sucking in new institutional money. </p><p>And while he thinks bitcoin will see further price appreciation going forward, Xu believes more attention will be paid to ethereum and the decentralized finance (<a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/category/defi">DeFi</a>) ecosystem that's built on it when investor sentiment again turns bullish on crypto more broadly.</p><p>"Most people have been focused on bitcoin, like some of the mainstream institutions that have been getting in. But they kind of ignore some of the other assets. Ethereum is definitely one of them," Xu said. "They don't really understand or mention ethereum as muchMost institutions don't even understand what an automated market maker is in DeFi.</p><p>"I think it will reach $4,000 easily once you see a little bit of interest back in the crypto space," he continued. "Any interest that's coming back to the crypto space right now will mean a lot of driving force for DeFi."</p><p>Cryptocurrencies have seen a broader sell-off in recent months. Ether currently sits just above $1,900 compared to its high of $4,132 in May. Bitcoin currently sits around $33,000 after falling from April highs above $63,000.</p><p><img src="https://static3.businessinsider.com/image/60f09e52bb790e0018207dd0-1668/Screen Shot 2021-07-15 at 44426 PM.png" border="0" alt="Ether price chart" data-mce-source="Markets Insider"></p><h2><strong>The takeoff of DeFi</strong></h2><p>Xu sees DeFi becoming a major part of the financial system going forward. DeFi is a code-based system that allows individuals to do things like lend or borrow digital currencies directly, effectively eliminating the role of traditional banks. DeFi has more efficient processes than some of those in traditional finance, and banks are already starting to look at incorporating it into their business models.</p><p>One thing that would fuel DeFi's growth in a massive way, Xu said, is the creation of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC). These would be digital currencies like bitcoin or ether, but would be backed by the government.</p><p>Xu said the creation of one or many of these would mean huge upside for Uniswap, the exchange platformor an on- and off-ramp to fiat currencyfor ethereum. He said Uniswap, which is a decentralized automated market maker, could grow up to 100 times if a CBDC is built on ethereum.</p><p>Central banks around the world, including the Federal Reserve, have gotten the ball rolling on <a href="https://markets.businessinsider.com/currencies/news/central-banks-digital-currencies-fuel-crypto-demand-study-shows-2021-5">starting a CBDC</a>. A <a href="https://markets.businessinsider.com/currencies/news/central-banks-digital-currencies-fuel-crypto-demand-study-shows-2021-5">study by the Economist Intelligence Unit</a> earlier this year found that demand for digital assets would grow if central banks started issuing CBDCs.</p><p>He also pointed to the fact that Uniswap has reached 2 million users since last year, and is growing at a much faster rate than Coinbase, another crypto exchange, did. </p><p>DeFi technology will also start seeping into equity markets on a broader scale sooner rather than later, Xu said. This will happen in the form of automated market makers, he said. These already exist to a minor degree in the form of alternative trading systems (ATS).</p><p>"In the next five years you will see someone doing the same thing in equities" as in DeFi, Xu said.</p><p>Many in the crypto space share Xu's views on DeFi and the enhanced role it will play in finance and society going forward, even if it becomes more regulated. </p><p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/crypto-investing-strategy-top-tokens-coins-cryptocurrencies-institutional-defi-yarlagadda-2021-7">Raghu Yarlagadda</a>, founder and CEO of crypto exchange FalconX, for example, recently said that DeFi's elasticity, 24/7 nature, and opportunity for more significant yield generation in a world of low interest rates bode well for future adoption.</p><p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/ethereum-price-prediction-why-rise-to-4000-defi-apifiny-xu-2021-7#comments">Join the conversation about this story »</a></p> <p>NOW WATCH: <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/how-long-human-survive-outer-space-without-spacesuit-2017-5">How long humans could survive in space without a spacesuit</a></p> Click here to read full news..