The Investor’s Guide to DeFi

The Top DeFi articles, videos and podcasts curated by our co-founder.



The Best Articles to Learn DeFi

Decentralized Finance: What It Is, Why It Matters

Future, June 2021

With DeFi, anyone in the world can lend, borrow, send, or trade blockchain-based assets using easily downloadable wallets without having to use a bank or broker. If they wish, they can explore even more advanced financial activities —  leveraged trading, structured products, synthetic assets, insurance underwriting, market making —  while always retaining complete control over their assets. 

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Blockchain for Decentralized Finance (DeFi)


Decentralized finance—often called DeFi—refers to the shift from traditional, centralized financial systems to peer-to-peer finance enabled by decentralized technologies built on the Ethereum blockchain. From lending and borrowing platforms to stablecoins and tokenized BTC, the DeFi ecosystem has launched an expansive network of integrated protocols and financial instruments. Now with over $13 billion worth of value locked in Ethereum smart contracts, decentralized finance has emerged as the most active sector in the blockchain space, with a wide range of use cases for individuals, developers, and institutions. …

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Decentralized Finance: On Blockchain- and Smart Contract-Based Financial Markets

Fabian Schär, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, February, 5, 2021

The term decentralized finance (DeFi) refers to an alternative financial infrastructure built on top of the Ethereum blockchain. DeFi uses smart contracts to create protocols that replicate existing financial services in a more open, interoperable, and transparent way.

This article highlights opportunities and potential risks of the DeFi ecosystem. I propose a multi-layered framework to analyze the implicit architecture and the various DeFi building blocks, including token standards, decentralized exchanges, decentralized debt markets, blockchain derivatives, and on-chain asset management protocols. I conclude that DeFi still is a niche market with certain risks but that it also has interesting properties in terms of efficiency, transparency, accessibility, and composability. As such, DeFi may potentially contribute to a more robust and transparent financial infrastructure. …

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A Beginner’s Guide to Decentralized Finance (DeFi)

Sid Coelho-Prabhu, Coinbase, January 6, 2021

Cryptocurrency’s promise is to make money and payments universally accessible– to anyone, no matter where they are in the world.

The Decentralized Finance (DeFi) or Open Finance movement takes that promise a step further. Imagine a global, open alternative to every financial service you use today — savings, loans, trading, insurance and more — accessible to anyone in the world with a smartphone and internet connection. …

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Decentralized Finance (DeFi) in 2020 and its future trajectory

Matthew Leybold, November 27, 2020

This post, intended to explore some of the aspects of Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and Ethereum, the platform these applications reside on, was inspired by the landmark events that occurred on November 23, 2020. The threshold to launch the eth2 mainnet has officially been reached, and on December 1 the Ethereum 2.0 will be launched (1, Coindesk). You can even see a record of the transaction here on Etherscan.

That being said, I’ve conducted a decent amount of research to start with the basics and the foundational building blocks of Ethereum & DeFI, as well as some specific applications and how the next phase of Ethereum will benefit the entire ecosystem. Let’s dive in. …

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How DeFi is Eating Traditional Finance

Anthony Pompliano, The Pomp Letter, September 2, 2020

When Ethereum launched, it aspired to be a world computer capable of powering an arbitrary number of applications through smart contracts. The ICO mania of 2017 reflected this vision, but Ethereum as a platform ultimately left much to be desired for most applications. Amidst all the noise, it became increasingly obvious that Ethereum was fertile ground for financial application experimentation. Ethereum drastically dropped the costs associated with a variety of financial transactions including capital formation, asset issuance (hence the ICO bubble), asset exchange, loan administration, collateral management, and much more. After the rubble of 2017 cleared, the Ethereum community was left with a burgeoning movement dubbed, “DeFi” (short for decentralized finance). …

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Decentralized Lending: An Overview

Antonio Juliano (dYdX Founder), May 21, 2019

To date, the biggest sector by far for decentralized applications has been lending & borrowing crypto assets. Several high quality products have been built that allow users to borrow and lend directly on the Ethereum blockchain with no intermediaries. Decentralized lending products are available to anyone, anywhere, and require only an Ethereum wallet to use. These products are already seeing real usage today with total USD volumes in the hundreds of millions.

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The Best Podcasts to Learn DeFi

“I Try to Tell People About DeFi; It Will Come Here and Completely Flatten You:” Jim Bianco

The Defiant, March 26, 2021

Mark Cuban on Why DeFi and NFTs are the Future

Bankless Podcast, February 23, 2021

What is Decentralized Finance (DeFi)?

DeFi Dad, July 16, 2020


  1. DeFi Prime
  2. DeFi Pulse
  3. Book: How to DeFi
  4. Finematics YouTube

Want to keep learning? Check out The Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin and The Investor’s Guide to NFTs.

The content of this webpage is not investment advice and does not constitute any offer or solicitation to offer or recommendation of any company, product, or idea. It is for general educational purposes only and does not take into account your individual needs, investment objectives or specific financial circumstances.


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