By Ruaridh O’Donnell, Director of Information Systems and Co-Founder at Kava
In straddling the peripheries of emerging technology and legacy finance, decentralized finance has fast-emerged as one of blockchain’s more palatable offerings. As an open ecosystem that anyone from anywhere in the world can access to both utilize and build new products and services, DeFi is envisaged to accelerate the pace of innovation. With the potential to completely transform existing financial products, the movement has naturally come to the attention of mainstream enterprise players who look to capitalise upon its emphasis on operational efficiencies, cost-savings, and disintermediation.
From decentralized prediction markets to Facebook’s foray into digital currencies as a means of achieving financial inclusion for the underbanked and unbanked, the applications for DeFi are widening their reach and investments are steadily pouring in for new decentralized financial solutions. The ecosystem as a whole achieved a milestone in June 2019 when the value locked into DeFi projects reached a peak equivalent to nearly USD $700 million. With 2020 on the horizon, we can hope to see even greater recognition of DeFi’s potential, highlighting the technology’s ongoing journey toward maturity as we see more and more applications with real-world value.
A Trustless Ecosystem
Traditionally centralized by design, power within the global banking system has largely been held by legacy institutions, be it central banks, law firms, or regulatory bodies. Unsurprisingly, financial services are viewed as the least trusted of all the major industries, after the global recession of 2008 and ...