Decentralized Finance (DeFi) has been the breakout trend of 2020. With prices of standout DeFi tokens surging and terms like “Yield Farming” getting mainstream attention, the DEFi field has taken off. This next step in the evolution of finance uses public blockchain technology and has a wide range of sub- divisions that make up the growing field. The most notable and popular of these DeFi services are decentralized exchanges, decentralized stablecoins, decentralized money markets, decentralized synthetics and decentralized insurance. To understand this emerging field, first a definition on what decentralized means must be had.
  • The DeFi boom has led to an increase in so-called miner extractable value, or MEV, which can be captured via ‘front-running.’
  • If it becomes uncompetitive for miners not to target MEV, that could threaten the stability of Ethereum’s blockchain.
Decentralized is a term you will have definitely heard thrown around even if you are relatively new to the cryptocurrency scene. Be it on Twitter, with the various profiles espousing the benefits of decentralization and calling out centralized cryptocurrency projects, or in articles online. To give a little context, the decentralized v centralized argument is akin to economic arguments on political systems between capitalists and communists.

Part of the reasoning for many supporters of decentralization is that blockchain technology at its core was made to be decentralized. Blockchain is reliant on open source networks and has no central entity controlling it. Rather, the computer power and the overall network is split up, which is why it is decentralized. The benefits of this system are that it doesn’t have a single point of failure, making cyber attacks and poor leadership somewhat irrelevant.

As such blockchain has been earmarked as the breakout technology of the 21st century. Companies, governments and financial institutions are all clambering to bring developers on board as blockchain continues to be viewed in an increasingly glowing light. Yet, how does blockchain’s decentralized foundation play into the emerging DeFi field?

The DeFi market is a field that has grown massively in recent months as billions of dollars are handled every hour in the sub industry. Part of DeFi’s popularity is down to its transformative effect on almost all aspects of finance. From loans to remittance markets and even insurance, the DeFi field could give financial access to people around the world as all they need is an internet connection. The technology could have an impact on the third world, where many of the population is unbanked or even in more developed financial societies as governments and financial institutions continue to lose credibility as they go from recession to recession. Sold on DeFi now? Well if so, read on for a closer look at the different blockchain applications in the field and the top companies within each subcategory.