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What is DeFi? How Decentralized Finance Works? DEFI Apps and Coins

Decentralized finance or DeFi represents a concept that encompasses a variety of financial applications and services operating on blockchain technology without depending on intermediaries like banks, brokers or exchanges. DeFi aims to establish a more accessible, transparent and open financial system accessible to anyone with an internet connection.

In this blog post we will elucidate the nature of DeFi, its functioning and the benefits and challenges associated with utilizing DeFi applications. We will also provide examples of DeFi products and platforms that novices can explore and utilize.

What Is DeFi?

DeFi serves as an umbrella term for numerous financial applications and services constructed upon blockchain technology, particularly Ethereum. Blockchain act as distributed ledger that record transactions securely and transparently eliminating the need for a central authority or intermediary.

What is DeFi How Decentralized Finance Works DEFI Apps and Coins edited

DeFi applications employ smart contracts, which function as self executing agreements executing transaction rules and logic on the blockchain. Smart contracts fulfill various roles including lending, borrowing, trading, investing and saving.

DeFi applications often exhibit interoperability, enabling seamless communication and interaction among different services. This fosters a network effect and grants users access to a diverse range of financial services provided by various entities.

Some primary components of DeFi include –

Stablecoins – These cryptocurrencies maintain their value by being pegged to stable assets like the US dollar or gold, reducing volatility and facilitating transactions. Examples encompass DAI, USDC, USDT and BUSD.

Platforms for lending and borrowing – These platforms enable users to lend and borrow cryptocurrencies at variable interest rates without intermediaries or credit assessments. Examples consist of Aave, Compound, MakerDAO and Cream Finance.

Decentralized exchanges (DEX) – These platforms facilitate direct cryptocurrency trading between users, eliminating intermediaries and custodial requirements. Prominent DEXs encompass Uniswap, SushiSwap, Curve Finance and Balancer.

Asset management platforms – These platforms allow users to invest in various assets and strategies, such as index funds, yield farming, liquidity pools, and more. Notable examples encompass Yearn Finance, Synthetix, Zapper and Enzyme Finance.

Insurance platforms – These platforms offer coverage against diverse risks and events in the DeFi realm such as smart contract bugs, hacks, or market crashes. Examples include Nexus Mutual, Cover Protocol, Opyn and Armor Finance.

How Does Decentralized Finance (DeFi) Work?

DeFi operates by leveraging blockchain technology and smart contracts to create decentralized and permissionless financial services. Users can access DeFi applications through web browsers or mobile apps that connect to their digital wallets.

Digital wallets serve as software applications that store users private keys (passwords), enabling them to send and receive cryptocurrencies. Well-known digital wallets encompass MetaMask, Trust Wallet, Coinbase Wallet and Argent.

DeFi Decentralized finance edited

To utilize DeFi applications, users must possess some cryptocurrencies in their wallets. These cryptocurrencies can be obtained from centralized exchanges such as Coinbase, Binance or decentralized exchanges such as Uniswap or SushiSwap. Users can also earn cryptocurrencies by providing liquidity to pools or lending platforms.

Once users possess cryptocurrencies in their wallets, they can engage with various DeFi applications based on their requirements and preferences. For instance –

To lend their cryptocurrencies and earn interest, users can deposit them into lending platforms like Aave or Compound.
To borrow cryptocurrencies for leveraging or other purposes, users can collateralize their existing assets and acquire loans from platforms like MakerDAO or Cream Finance.
To trade cryptocurrencies with low fees and high liquidity, users can conduct swaps on decentralized exchanges like Uniswap or SushiSwap.
To invest in diversified portfolios or strategies, users can purchase tokens or shares from asset management platforms such as Yearn Finance or Synthetix.
To protect themselves from potential risks or losses, users can acquire insurance policies from insurance platforms such as Nexus Mutual or Cover Protocol.

What Are the Benefits of DeFi?

DeFi offers several advantages over traditional finance –

  • Openness – DeFi applications are accessible to anyone with an internet connection, without restrictions or discrimination.
  • Transparency – All blockchain transactions are publicly verifiable by anyone.
  • Security – Cryptographic techniques and consensus mechanisms secure blockchain transactions, preventing fraud and tampering.
  • Efficiency – Blockchain transactions are fast and cost-effective compared to traditional intermediaries.
  • Innovation – DeFi enables the creation of novel financial products and services previously unattainable.

What Are the Challenges of DeFi?

DeFi also faces various challenges and risks –

  • Volatility – Cryptocurrencies experience significant price fluctuations due to supply and demand dynamics and market sentiment.
  • Complexity – DeFi applications can be challenging for beginners and non-technical users to comprehend and utilize.
  • Scalability – Blockchain networks may encounter congestion and high fees during periods of high transaction demand.
  • Regulation – DeFi operates within a mostly unregulated space, leading to legal uncertainties and potential challenges from authorities.
  • Hacks – DeFi applications may be susceptible to exploits and attacks arising from bugs or flaws in smart contracts or protocols.

Examples of DeFi Applications and Coins

Here are several examples of popular DeFi applications that you can explore and utilize –



Aave represents a decentralized lending protocol enabling users to lend and borrow various cryptocurrencies at fluctuating interest rates. Users can also earn rewards by staking AAVE tokens or participating in liquidity mining programs.


Compound serves as another decentralized lending protocol, allowing users to lend and borrow diverse cryptocurrencies at variable interest rates. Users can additionally earn COMP tokens by supplying or borrowing assets on the platform.


MakerDAO stands as a decentralized credit platform empowering users to borrow DAI stablecoins by collateralizing their ETH or other assets. Users can also participate in platform governance through MKR tokens.


Uniswap serves as a decentralized exchange protocol facilitating direct ERC20 token swaps without intermediaries or order books. Users can also provide liquidity to pools and earn fees from trades.


SushiSwap represents a Uniswap fork that offers additional features, including governance via SUSHI tokens, liquidity mining programs, and integration with other DeFi protocols.

Yearn Finance

Yearn Finance operates as a decentralized asset management platform, allowing users to invest in various yield-generating strategies like lending, farming, or vaults. Users can also participate in platform governance through YFI tokens.

Utkarsh - CoinFTA
Utkarsh - CoinFTA
Meet Utkarsh, your trusted crypto analyst with over 6 years of experience in the dynamic world of cryptocurrency. Since entering the crypto space in 2017, Utkarsh has honed his technical analysis skills and become a seasoned expert in fundamental and technical analysis. With a passion for uncovering market trends and identifying lucrative investment opportunities, Utkarsh delivers insightful analysis to empower traders and investors. From evaluating crypto projects to exploring the possibilities of the DeFi, Metaverse, NFTs, Web3, AI and blockchain gaming, Utkarsh covers the full spectrum of the crypto ecosystem. Join COINFTA and let Utkarsh guide you through the exciting world of crypto with expertise and precision.


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