The emergence of Decentralized Finance (DeFi) has been a disruptive force in the financial industry. By leveraging blockchain technology, DeFi enables users to access traditional financial services without relying on centralized intermediaries such as banks or brokers.
This allows for greater autonomy and control over one’s finances, access to new opportunities and assets, and improved cost efficiency. Eventually, DeFi could help provide financial services to those previously excluded from traditional banking.
One of the areas where DeFi is creating an impact is in crypto lending. Popularly known as yield farming, it offers users a way to generate returns from DeFi protocols. These returns typically come from providing liquidity to decentralized exchanges or from the interest from lending crypto to other users. Moreover, they can come from staking rewards from proof-of-stake tokens.
Currently, yield farming is typically a high-risk, high-reward investment strategy. While users can get over 100% annual percentage yield, there is also a risk of total loss. Users are exposed to impermanent losses, meaning their tokens could go down in price while locked up. Moreover, there’s currently a high risk of scams among DeFi and yield farming.
DeFi Will Become Less Risky As Adoption Picks Up
DeFi doesn’t have to be like that, says Dr. Karl-Michael Henneking, CMO at Spool DAO. He believes that users should be able to achieve yields without taking on unreasonable amounts of risk.
"There is nothing about this technology that inherently makes it high-risk," Henneking said. "as DeFi becomes mainstream, we will see offerings for all risk profiles," he added.
That is what Spool DAO is working on. Spool is a DeFi platform that lets users set up their own unique DeFi protocols without technical knowledge. Users can choose their terms, and Spool automatically deploys a unique smart contract for their platform. By reducing the barrier to entry for creating DeFi offerings, Spool hopes to bring DeFi mainstream.
"So far, the number-one issue for DeFi adoption was the technical skills required to use it," said Dr. Henneking.
DeFi platforms tend to create complex products that only hardcore DeFi enthusiasts can navigate, Dr. Henneking explained.
DeFi Could Take Over TradFi
Despite the technical complexity, DeFi has many advantages over traditional finance (TradFi). These advantages include greater transparency and improved cost efficiency, but they go beyond that.
Spool recently integrated with several lending protocols to offer a more customizable experience for its customers. One is Idle Finance, a company offering a range of DeFi products.
Idle Finance CEO Matteo Pandolfi highlighted one of DeFi’s advantages over TradFi.
“One of the most disruptive features of DeFi is definitely its composability,” Pandolfi said.
Integrating solutions with other DeFi protocols is a “win-win solution” both for the projects and the users.
Dr. Henneking agrees with that assessment, highlighting that Spool is not concerned with competition.
"We designed Spool with the moto - compete with no one, synergize with everyone," he said. "There is still so much to build in the space," Dr. Henneking said. "We welcome anyone to come to this industry and build with us."
On the Flipside
- There are still some real barriers to mass institutional adoption of DeFi. Because of the decentralized nature of DeFi protocols and lack of regulation, users don’t have the same legal protections as in traditional finance. There’s also the aforementioned risk of hacking and exploits.
Why You Should Care
DeFi has the potential to revolutionize finance as we know it. If DeFi becomes mainstream, it could bring about a new era of financial inclusion and access to yield for the average investor. As more projects emerge in the space, investors have more opportunities to diversify their portfolios and earn better returns.