DeFi and the Future of Finance
92 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2020 Last revised: 5 Apr 2021
Date Written: April 5, 2021
Our legacy financial infrastructure has both limited growth opportunities and contributed to the inequality of opportunities. Around the world, 1.7 billion are unbanked. Small businesses, even those with a banking relationship, often must rely on high-cost financing, such as credit cards, because traditional banking excludes them from loan financing. High costs also impact retailers who lose 3% on every credit card sales transaction. These total costs for small businesses are enormous by any metric. The result is less investment and decreased economic growth. Decentralized finance, or DeFi, poses a challenge to the current system and offers a number of potential solutions to the problems inherent in the traditional financial infrastructure. While there are many fintech initiatives, we argue that the ones that embrace the current banking infrastructure are likely to be fleeting. We argue those initiatives that use decentralized methods - in particular blockchain technology - have the best chance to define the future of finance.
Comments: There is a live version of our paper. We welcome your comments and suggestions. It is available here.
Keywords: Decentralized finance, DeFi; Fintech, Flash loans, Flash swaps, Automatic Market Maker, Cryptocurrency, Uniswap, MakerDAO, Compound, Ethereum, Aave, Yield protocol, ERC-20, Initial DeFi Offering, dYdX, Synthetix, Keeper, Set protocol
JEL Classification: A10, B10, D40, E44, F30, F60, G10, G21, G23, G51, I10, K10, L14, M10, O16, O33, O40, P10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation