What is DeFi? Uncovering the secrets of decentralized finance


Cryptocurrency enthusiasts widely believe that DeFi, or decentralized finance, is the biggest potential use case for blockchain technology. it takes Satoshi Nakamoto The original idea of ​​a revolutionary new financial system and taking it to the next level Ethereum (ETH) and other blockchain networks.

Decentralized finance is a blockchain-based movement that aims to bring banking services to the unbanked and give individuals greater control over their digital assets. DeFi products offer a new world of opportunity for those who may have been denied access to financial services in the past, putting everyone on a level playing field.

What is DeFi exactly? Can DeFi protocols and smart contracts replace traditional financial institutions and services, or is it all a speculative bubble waiting to burst?

What is DeFi?

DeFi is a term used to define financial products and services built on the blockchain. These protocols aim to eliminate unnecessary middlemen and central authorities to provide everyone with a crypto wallet Equitable access to financial services.

Through decentralized applications or dApps, users can get the most out of their crypto assets in a trustless and permissionless environment. But what exactly does that mean?

Why do we need DeFi?

In traditional financial transactions, everything is supervised by centralized bodies that govern who can and cannot access financial instruments. This leaves room for biased decision making and gives brokers a platform to charge high fees for simple services.

DeFi aims to democratize and simplify these services and bring renewed efficiency to the financial world. Anyone with an internet connection and a crypto wallet can access these apps.

For example, imagine you want to get a loan from your bank, using your home as collateral. This is a time consuming process and the final decision ultimately rests with the banker who may be affected by personal bias.

As we saw with a slew of bank failures in 2023, insolvency is rife in the industry. There is no guarantee that the money in your bank account is really safe.

Moreover, the bank will charge you additional fees and high interest rates. In decentralized finance, all of these steps are handled almost instantly by open source Smart contracts that offer simple and transparent fees.

This is especially important in developing nations around the world, where people may not have access to common financial services, such as borrowing, that might help them in the long run.

The blockchain provides an immutable and eternal record of history and financial transactions, so data is incorruptible and cannot be forged.

Principles of decentralized finance

Perhaps the most important thing to remember about Defi apps is that they must be permissionless and untrusted. This means that we do not need to ask anyone for permission to use these services, nor do we need to place our trust and money in a central authority.

Another fundamental principle at the heart of decentralized finance is self-incubation. This means that you always have complete control of your money. Smart contracts facilitate these financial transactions without the need to control the funds for the intermediaries.

Traditional Finance vs. Decentralized Finance

With these basic principles in mind, let’s see how DeFi stacks Against traditional finance:

  • In DeFi, you are the master of your money. You and only you have complete control over how it is used. On Tradfi, you entrust your funds to centralized bodies that are vulnerable to mismanagement or commingling.
  • Blockchain transactions are executed in seconds, and the markets are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Comparatively speaking, traditional markets are only open at specific hours. Furthermore, transferring money can be costly and take days to complete.
  • Decentralized finance is completely pseudonymous and open to anyone with an internet connection. Meanwhile, traditional financing is strictly regulated and only available to authorized users.
  • DeFi is based on open source contracts and absolute transparency, allowing users to explore the token base of their favorite applications. On the other hand, centralized financial institutions keep their records and transaction history securely under lock and key.

DeFi applications

The world of decentralized finance is vast, with new projects and creative use cases being discovered daily. The Ethereum blockchain is undoubtedly the home of decentralized finance, hosting hundreds of unique dApps within its ecosystem.

Decentralized Exchanges (DEX)

decentralized exchangesUniswap, like Uniswap, is the most widely used dApp in the industry. On DEX, traders can exchange any cryptocurrency instantly through liquidity pools. While centralized exchanges like Coinbase have strict vetting processes for listing tokens, anyone can create a token and take action liquidity pool on DEX.

This is great to show up Start encryption Who want to market their tokens but can’t afford the exorbitant listing fees of major centralized exchanges.

With time, decentralized exchanges are only getting better. Through DeFi projects such as GMX or dydx, users can trade futures and perpetual derivatives on-chain. This means that they are always in complete control of their digital currency and do not need to go through potentially invasive KYC (Know Your Customer) procedures.

Another variety of decentralized exchanges is something called an aggregator. DeFi platforms search the blockchain to find the best prices for specific assets. They automatically route token swaps through liquidity pools, giving users the best possible value on their trades.

Digital asset lending

Lending protocols such as AAVE and Compound allow cryptocurrency holders to either borrow cryptocurrency against their collateral or earn passive income by lending their digital assets. Anyone with ether in their crypto wallet can instantly get a loan against their holdings, which can be useful for traders who need immediate liquidity but don’t necessarily want to sell their investment at the time.

Digital asset lending is not limited to cryptocurrencies alone. As the NFT market evolves, apps like BendDAO or JPEGfi allow cryptocurrency collectors to borrow cryptocurrency for their digital holdings, such as Yoga Labs Monkey Yacht Club Boredom.


Due to the volatility of the cryptocurrency market, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) And Ethereum is not reliable enough to be used as an exchange. This is where stablecoins like DAI and Tether (USDT) get into play.

These digital currencies are pegged to the value of the US dollar, making them the ideal way to trade cryptocurrencies for goods and services on the public blockchain. While stablecoins pegged to the US dollar are the standard, there are plenty of stablecoins out there for other fiat currencies such as the Euro and the Canadian dollar.

prediction markets

DeFi projects like PolyMarket give traders an unlimited scope of real-world markets. Future events such as political elections and sports results can be traded in real time, providing an interesting new angle to trading with cryptocurrencies.


Cryptocurrency storage It is a popular way for DeFi enthusiasts to earn passive income and grow their holdings organically. By contributing their coins to the validator nodes, the sponsors help secure the blockchain and verify new transactions.

Crypto staking is often compared to a savings account at a traditional bank because it generally requires “lock-up periods”.

DeFi pros and cons

Decentralized finance opens up a world of opportunities for countless users around the world, however, there are still many wrinkles that need to be smoothed out.


  • Unreliable and unauthorized Decentralized finance is open to everyone, regardless of background.
  • Fast processing times – DeFi transactions complete within seconds within an always open international marketplace.
  • Self-guarding In DeFi, you always have full control of your money. No one is able to control your access to your digital assets, and there is no risk of losing your funds if a central authority is revealed to be insolvent.
  • innovative applications The decentralized apps ecosystem is expanding, with innovative apps being developed every day.


  • Low liquidity Financial institutions that trade large amounts of cryptocurrency still prefer to use centralized exchanges. Why? Because there is not enough liquidity in the decentralized markets to meet the demand. Trading large amounts of cryptocurrency in DEX generally results in high slippage rates, which means that the big players cannot get the maximum value out of their trades.
  • Hacks and cheat Unfortunately, the freedom and anonymity of decentralized finance is also a solid foundation for scammers and online scammers. In 2022 alone, it was more than $3 billion stolen in hacks.
  • Scary and poor user experience Just because self-incubation offers a wealth of benefits to users doesn’t mean it’s suitable for everyone. Simple errors like setting a Seed phrase Means you may lose access to your wallet.
  • Gas fees On the Ethereum blockchain, in particular, gas fees can be very expensive. During high traffic periods, a simple token swap can cost upwards of $100. These high fees alienate users and greatly limit access to DeFi.

on the flip side

  • Decentralized finance is still in its infancy, and despite its impressive growth, it still has a long way to go before it is ready for massive mass adoption.

Why should you bother

All great technological innovations have had to overcome speed bumps in their rise to prominence. There was a time when people said the internet would never take off because we already had phone service.

Decentralized finance is certainly a work in progress, but you can’t deny its potential to reinvent how we interact with markets and financial services. Keeping abreast of emerging trends and use cases in the DeFi space will help you better understand the growth and direction of the blockchain industry.


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