In the past couple of years, decentralized finance (DeFi) has become a major sector within the blockchain space. Furthermore, its importance is steadily growing. This is especially evident when considering the amount of funds locked in DeFi applications increased from around $320 million at the beginning of 2019 to greater than $650 million by year’s end.
The technologies that make DeFi possible are evolving at a fast pace. If you want to truly understand the ecosystem, you will have to do some research. Thankfully, we have compiled a list of the best free educational resources available to help anyone who wants to learn more DeFi.
What Is DeFi?
Decentralized finance, also known as open finance, enables public blockchains to provide many of the products and services that have traditionally only been available through centralized institutions such as banks or brokerage firms. End-users of DeFi applications can complete peer-to-peer transactions at minimal costs using cryptocurrencies. Categories of DeFi applications include lending and borrowing, asset exchanges, savings, insurance, stablecoins and more.
Learning The Basics With YouTube Videos
YouTube is a great place to start learning about how DeFi works. While there are many YouTubers who cover topics related to DeFi, most of them also have channels that feature general topics related to blockchain and crypto. Here are a few popular DeFi explainer videos for beginners to watch.
Additionally, you can search YouTube for full tutorials and reviews of popular DeFi applications like Lightning Network, Bancor, and more.
Discovering Applications With DeFi Prime
Now that you have a better understanding of how crypto DeFi works, it’s good to learn what categories of DeFi platforms are available and specific examples of each. One website that serves this specific purpose is defiprime.com. Here you can discover popular DeFi crypto applications as well as new, up-and-coming ones to consider trying out. On the homepage, you can find links to in-person conferences, meetups, and hackathons around the globe specifically for DeFi.
The DeFiprime blog features in-depth articles about specific DeFi projects within the space. One ongoing article gives monthly updates of the author’s results using popular DeFi crypto lending products, starting in September 2019 and eventually ending in September 2020. This and other so-called “experiments” allow you to quickly learn about the advantages and disadvantages of each application without having to put in the time and funds that would otherwise be a requirement. The analytics section of the website is another great resource. Here you can discover a curated list of popular tools, explorers, dashboards, and calculators for a variety of DeFi applications.
Tracking DeFi Adoption With DeFi Pulse
Several websites for DeFi data analytics exist. DeFi Pulse is one of the best options available. Just like the name suggests, you can get a pulse on the biggest trends of what’s happening in the space in real-time. This site tracks the amount of funds locked in DeFi applications by intervals of 7 days, 30 days, 90 days, 1 year, and all-time. The homepage features a leaderboard that ranks the top applications across the entire sector as well as specific categories, including lending, DEXs, derivatives, payments, and assets. The interface presents detailed data in a manner that can be understood easily at a glance. DeFi crypto projects can even fill out a form to be added to “The Defi List”, which features short descriptions and links to several popular DeFi applications.
Crypto DeFi Pulse: analytics and ranking of DeFi protocols
Catching Up On DeFi News With Equilibrium
Keeping up with the latest news and data is sometimes challenging, especially in the crypto DeFi sector. There are so many updates to follow from various people and companies that it’s possible to overlook the most noteworthy events. Blog post summaries are usually the best way to stay up-to-date with the latest headlines. Equilibrium, the company behind the EOSDT Stablecoin, publishes a biweekly blog series titled, “What’s New in DeFi?” Here’s one edition of the series that covers notable events that occurred from January 14 to 24, 2020. This biweekly roundup is filled with links to top stories, both news and opinion pieces, regarding a range of DeFi applications built on all blockchains. Resources such as this allow you to get a high-level overview of the challenges, accomplishments, and ongoing work involved in this sector.
Exploring Crypto Podcasts
One example of a DeFi-focused podcast is The DeFi Podcast, which features short, 15-minute segments to educate you on various topics. You can learn about everything, from stablecoins to smart contracts by listening to conversations with founders and investors in the space. Only 6 episodes are currently available, but each is jam-packed with insightful information.
Besides The DeFi Podcast, you likely won’t find too many podcasts that exclusively focus on DeFi. Still, plenty of blockchain and crypto podcasts have a few episodes dedicated to DeFi. One example is Camila Russo and David Hoffman’s 2020 DeFi outlook episode (available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify). This is just one of several interesting discussions that can be found on the Late Confirmation by CoinDesk podcast. Unchained is another high-quality podcast that covers DeFi crypto topics. “How DeFi Liquidators Make Money With Just Bots” is one episode you should consider listening to.
Hopefully this list of educational resources makes it easier for you to filter out the noise and gain a better understanding of what DeFi is really all about. The examples in this article show that there are content formats available to suit just about anyone’s preferences, no matter whether you are just learning about DeFi fundamentals or an experienced user wanting to understand the details of complex concepts. Podcasts, videos, blogs, and more can certainly help you demystify this growing sector of the blockchain space.