Decentralized Finance (DeFI) Infrastructure

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  • The History of Decentralized Finance
    • This module provides a historical perspective of exchange beginning with early barter, specie currency (backed by, e.g., gold), fiat currency and electronic transfers. The module introduces some of the key problems that have arisen with the current system. It closes with the introduction to Satoshi Nakamoto’s famous 2008 paper which introduced cryptocurrency.
  • DeFi Foundations
    • This module introduces the key foundations for DeFi, starting with the mechanics of blockchain including cryptographic hashing. The module then explores the innovation of smart contracting - a key ingredient for DeFi. There is also a discussion of the differences between the first cryptos and stablecoins.
  • Problems DeFi Solves
    • This module explores the key problems with today’s legacy financial system which include: inefficiency (costly, slow, and insecure transactions); limited access (many cannot access banks and many that have bank accounts find it difficult to get loans); opacity (it is unclear how healthy our commercial financial institutions are); centralized control (current system is dominated by oligopolies that push prices higher than competitive prices) and interoperability (difficulty in moving funds across different legacy financial institutions).
  • DeFi Myths and Facts
    • The final module explores various different myths including: all cryptocurrencies are anonymous; blockchains are routinely hacked; quantum computing will destroy all blockchain based currencies; and the crypto ecosystem is so small that it is unlikely to compete with legacy financial institutions.