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What Is Decentralized Finance?

What Is Decentralized Finance (DeFi)?



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Decentralized finance (DeFi) is an emerging financial technology based on secure distributed ledgers similar to those used by cryptocurrencies. The system removes the control banks and institutions have on money, financial products, and financial services.

Centralized Finance: 

In centralized finance, your money is held by banks, corporations whose overarching goal is to make money. The financial system is full of third parties who facilitate money movement between parties, with each one charging fees for using their services

Decentralized Finance: 

Decentralized finance eliminates intermediaries by allowing people, merchants, and businesses to conduct financial transactions through emerging technology. This is accomplished through peer-to-peer financial networks that use security protocols, connectivity, software, and hardware advancements.

From anywhere you have an internet connection, you can lend, trade, and borrow using software that records and verifies financial actions in distributed financial databases. A distributed database is accessible across various locations; it collects and aggregates data from all users and uses a consensus mechanism to verify it.1

Decentralized finance uses this technology to eliminate centralized finance models by enabling anyone to use financial services anywhere regardless of who or where they are.

DeFi applications give users more control over their money through personal wallets and trading services that cater to individuals.

How Does DeFi Work?

Decentralized finance uses the blockchain technology that cryptocurrencies use. A blockchain is a distributed and secured database or ledger. Applications called dApps are used to handle transactions and run the blockchain.3

In the blockchain, transactions are recorded in blocks and then verified by other users. If these verifiers agree on a transaction, the block is closed and encrypted; another block is created that has information about the previous block within it.

DeFi Financial Products:

Peer-to-peer (P2P) financial transactions are one of the core premises behind DeFi. A P2P DeFi transaction is where two parties agree to exchange cryptocurrency for goods or services with a third party involved.

To fully understand this, consider how you get a loan in centralized finance. You'd need to go to your bank or another lender and apply for one. If you were approved, you'd pay interest and service fees for the privilege of using that lender's services.

In DeFi, you'd use your decentralized finance application (dApp) to enter your loan needs, and an algorithm would match you up with peers that meet your needs. You'd then need to agree to one of the lender's terms and receive your loan.

The transaction is recorded in the blockchain; you receive your loan after the consensus mechanism verifies it. Then, the lender can begin collecting payments from you at the agreed-upon intervals. When you make a payment via your dApp, it follows the same process in the blockchain; then, the funds are transferred to the lender.

DeFi Currency: 

DeFi is designed to use cryptocurrency for transactions. The technology is still developing, so it is difficult to determine precisely how existing cryptocurrencies will be implemented, if at all. Much of the concept revolves around stable coin, a cryptocurrency backed by an entity or pegged to fiat currency like the dollar

The Future of DeFi:

Decentralized finance is still in the beginning stages of its evolution. For starters, it is unregulated, which means the ecosystem is still riddled with infrastructural mishaps, hacks, and scams.

Current laws were crafted based on the idea of separate financial jurisdictions, each with its own set of laws and rules. DeFi’s borderless transaction ability presents essential questions for this type of regulation. For example, who is responsible for investigating a financial crime that occurs across borders, protocols, and DeFi apps? Who would enforce the regulations, and how would they enforce them?

Other concerns are system stability, energy requirements, carbon footprint, system upgrades, system maintenance, and hardware failures.

Many questions must be answered and advancements made before DeFi becomes safe to use. Financial institutions are not going to let go of one of their primary means of making money—if DeFi succeeds, it's more than likely that banks and corporations will find ways to get into the system; if not to control how you access your money, then at least to make money from the system.

What Does Decentralized Finance Do?

The goal of DeFi is to get rid of the third parties that are involved in all financial transactions.

Is Bitcoin a Decentralized Finance?

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency. DeFi is being designed to use cryptocurrency in its ecosystem, so Bitcoin isn't DeFi as much as it is a part of it.

What Is Total Value Locked in DeFi?

Total value locked (TVL) is the sum of all cryptocurrencies staked, loaned, deposited in a pool, or used for other financial actions across all of DeFi. It can also represent the sum of specific cryptocurrencies used for financial activities, such as ether or bitcoin.

                       

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