What is DeFi?: A New Era Of Digital Finance

The rule that evolution is the answer to everything applies to finance as well. DeFi is an open, global financial system built for the internet age that provides an alternative to a system that is opaque, heavily controlled, and dependent on decades-old infrastructure and processes. 

It provides you with financial management and transparency. Additionally, it provides you with access to worldwide markets and currency and banking alternatives that are not available in your local nation. But the question is "how?".   

So, this tutorial on DeFi will help you understand what DeFi is, and its functioning. It will help you explore its importance and how it will evolve the existing financial system.

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What is DeFi?

  • DeFi or Decentralized Finance is a new financial system based on distributed ledgers similar to those used in cryptocurrencies.
  • The system takes away banks' and institutions' ability to regulate money, financial products, and financial services.
  • Stablecoins, software, and hardware enable the development of applications, and these are the components of DeFi.

Why is DeFi Important?

  • DeFi expands on Bitcoin's basic principle - digital money — to provide a fully digital alternative to Wall Street without the associated costs.
  • This could result in more open, free, and fair financial markets for anyone with an internet connection.

Tools of DeFi: Smart Contracts and Dapps

  • 'Smart contracts' are blockchain-based programs that can be activated automatically when certain criteria are fulfilled.
  • Smart contracts enable developers to create significantly more complex functionality than just sending and receiving bitcoin.
  • Decentralized programs, or dapps, are created using smart contacts. Dapps are identical to regular apps in that they serve the same purpose.
  • The primary difference is that they function on a peer-to-peer network, such as a blockchain, implying that no single institution controls the network.

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How Does DeFi Work?

DeFi is primarily accessed through dapps, software applications that run on the Ethereum blockchain. Unlike a traditional bank, there is no need to fill out an application or open an account.

Here are some of the current ways that people are connecting with DeFi:

    • Lending: Earn money and benefits every minute by lending out your cryptocurrency, not just once a month.
    • Getting a Loan: Get a loan without having to fill out documentation right away, even for short-term "flash loans" that traditional financial institutions won't provide you.
    • Trading: Perform peer-to-peer crypto asset trades, much the same as you would if you were buying and selling stocks without going through a broker.
    • Saving for the future: Put a part of your cryptos into alternative savings accounts to receive better interest rates than a bank would offer.
    • Buying Derivatives: Place long or short bets on different assets. Consider them the crypto equivalents of stock options or futures contracts.

DeFi vs Traditional Finance


Traditional Finance

You hold on to your cash.

Companies are the custodians of your funds.

You have complete control over your money's updates and use.

You must trust businesses with your funds by lending to high-risk customers.

The funds are transferred in a couple of minutes.

Because of laborious processes, payments can take days.

Anyone can participate in DeFi.

You must apply to use financial services.

The markets are 24/7 open.

Because workers require rest, markets close.

It's based on openness, with everyone able to examine a product's data and see how the system works.

You can't ask to examine their loan history or a list of their managed assets because financial institutions are like closed books.

Pseudonymous transactions are made.

Your identity and your financial conduct are inextricably linked.

Advantages and Disadvantages of DeFi


  • There's no need of filling out an application or create an account. To acquire access, you must first create a wallet.
  • You can shift your assets wherever you want, whenever you want, without having to get permission, wait for long transfers, or pay exorbitant fees.
  • Interest rates and rewards are frequently updated (as often as every 15 seconds), and they might be much greater than those on typical Wall Street.
  • Everyone involved can see the whole set of transactions (private corporations rarely grant that kind of transparency).


  • Due to fluctuating transaction rates, active trading on the Ethereum blockchain might become costly.
  • Because this is a new technology, your investment may see significant volatility depending on which dapps you use and how you use them.
  • You must keep your own documentation and records for tax purposes. Regulations vary depending on where you are.

Ethereum and DeFi

For numerous reasons, Ethereum is the ideal foundation for DeFi:

  • Everyone can use DeFi since no one owns Ethereum or the smart contracts that run on it. This also implies that no one can force you to follow the rules.
  • Tokens and cryptocurrency are integrated into Ethereum, a shared ledger. It's Ethereum's job to keep track of transactions and ownership.
  • The majority of products will never take possession of your money, leaving you in total control.

The Future of DeFi

The evolution of decentralized finance is still in its early phases. For starters, it is unregulated, implying that infrastructural failures still plague the ecosystem.

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In this tutorial, you explored what DeFi is, its concepts, how DAO works, how it differs from the traditional financial systems, and what future it holds for itself. You also came across DeFi's importance as a crucial part of the crypto market and for the future of finance. Whether you're an aspiring enthusiast to break into this exciting industry, an experienced Blockchain developer, or just to know more about Blockchain and its underlying concepts like DAO, Defi, or smart Contracts, enrolling in Simplilearn's Blockchain Certification Training program will help you with all levels of experience to explore, understand and learn more about, Blockchain, cryptocurrency, and its technology.

Do you have any questions for us? Please feel free to drop them in the comments section of this tutorial; our experts will get back to you as soon as possible.

About the Author

Shyamli JhaShyamli Jha

Shyamli is a Senior Research Analyst at Simplilearn. She is proficient in Blockchain and Cryptocurrency, Cloud Computing, Android Development and other coding languages like C, C++ and Java.

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