What is Decentralised Finance (DeFi): Complete Guide

Definition of Decentralised Finance (DeFi)

Decentralised finance (DeFi) uses blockchain for finance. The use of blockchain introduces inherent attributes like a trustless economic system, peer-to-peer transactions, immutability etc. The masses commonly use financial features like loans, insurance, banking etc.. DeFi enhances anonymity, decreases involved fees and increases inclusion compared to traditional methods.

How DeFi Can Address The Limitations of The Current Financial Systems

By leveraging peer-to-peer financial networks, DeFi employs security protocols, connectivity, and advancements in software and hardware to create a system that avoids intermediaries such as banks and financial service providers. Traditionally, these entities charge fees for their services, which are essential in the current system. DeFi, however, harnesses blockchain technology to minimize the reliance on intermediaries, thereby streamlining financial transactions and potentially reducing costs for users.

Benefits of Decentralised Finance

Defi provides the following benefits:

  1. Accessibility: With just an internet connection, users can access DeFi platforms without geographical limitations.
  2. Affordable and High-Interest Transactions: DeFi facilitates direct negotiation of interest rates between parties, allowing for low-cost crypto or fiat money lending via DeFi networks, with attractive interest rates.
  3. Security and Transparency: DeFi platforms leverage blockchain technology, offering smart contract transparency and immutable records of transactions. This ensures security and accountability without revealing user identities.
  4. Autonomy: DeFi networks operate independently of centralised financial institutions, reducing administration costs and enhancing financial service efficiency.

Read more: How to Invest in DeFi

Use Cases of DeFi

Users typically interact with DeFi through decentralised applications (dapps), many of which are currently operational on the Ethereum blockchain. 

Here are some common ways individuals engage with DeFi today:

  • Lending: Earn interest and rewards continuously by lending out your crypto.
  • Borrowing: Access instant loans without extensive paperwork, including short-term “flash loans” not typically offered by traditional financial institutions.
  • Trading: Engage in peer-to-peer trading of specific crypto assets, similar to buying and selling stocks without requiring a brokerage.
  • Saving: Deposit crypto into alternative savings accounts to earn higher interest rates than those offered by banks.
  • Derivatives Trading: Speculate on asset prices with long or short positions, akin to stock options or futures contracts in the traditional financial markets.

Decentralised Lending and Borrowing Platforms

Following are some examples of Lending and Borrowing DeFi platforms-


Aave, operating on the Ethereum blockchain, is a DeFi protocol providing diverse decentralized lending services. Users can engage in lending, borrowing, and earning interest on various digital assets or crypto assets. Similar to traditional financial lending, Aave requires borrowers to provide collateral or have collateral delegated to access cryptocurrency loans.

Read more: What is Aave (AAVE)


Compound Finance, like Aave, enables users to quickly lend or borrow crypto assets within minutes. The platform’s smart contracts, which form the algorithmic money market protocol, streamline the process for users, automatically determining collateral requirements and interest rates without the need for direct negotiation between borrowers and lenders.

Read more: How Does DeFi Lending Work

Stablecoins and Their Use in DeFi Applications

Stablecoins are crypto assets pegged to match a financial asset or currency like the US Dollar or gold. True to their name, the values of these tokens are relatively stable. These are very popular among crypto traders who want a non-volatile store of value.


Dai, a widely recognised USD-pegged stablecoin, is overseen by Maker and its decentralised governance community, MakerDAO. Dai maintains its value in line with the US dollar through collateral deposits from users, which in turn generates Dai’s supply. For instance, when a user deposits Ether as collateral into a Maker Vault to generate Dai, they can utilise it in other DeFi protocols or decentralised applications.

Read more: What Is DAI

Future of DeFi

The possibilities are endless. The future of crypto is poised for significant growth and evolution, with projections indicating a tripling of the market value by 2030. As governments and regulators adapt to the rise of digital assets, increased adoption, regulatory frameworks, and technological advancements are expected to shape the landscape, driving further innovation and mainstream integration.

Read more: What Is The Future Of Decentralised Finance


Decentralised Finance (DeFi) revolutionises traditional financial systems by leveraging blockchain technology to offer accessibility, affordability, security, autonomy, and innovative financial services. Through DeFi platforms like Aave and Compound, users can engage in lending, borrowing, and trading with ease, while stablecoins like Dai provide stability and utility within the DeFi ecosystem.

The future of DeFi looks promising and the community is actively building more innovative products. New support from the community as well as governments and regulators are expected. This can potentially transform the way we interact with financial services.

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Disclaimer: Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions. Each investor must do his/her own research or seek independent advice if necessary before initiating any transactions in crypto products and NFTs. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article belong solely to the author, and not to ZebPay or the author’s employer or other groups or individuals. ZebPay shall not be held liable for any acts or omissions, or losses incurred by the investors. ZebPay has not received any compensation in cash or kind for the above article and the article is provided “as is”, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information.

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