Decentralized Finance

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Full Title or Meme

Decentralized Finance or DeFI is a complete misnomer since world-wide finance is already decentralized as there is not a single central authority. What most people mean by DeFI is Blockchain currency or Anarchy in the financial sector of the economy.

Context

  • New York Times article[1]
    The idea that "code is law," observed in a 1999 book by Harvard University's Lawrence Lessig, has been embraced by the cryptocurrency industry, with some firms contending code can be a better arbitrator than traditional regulators. However, issues have emerged in the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector, with hackers this summer overriding smart contract instructions to steal $600 million from the Poly Network, which lets users transfer cryptocurrencies across blockchain networks. DeFi platforms typically are established as Decentralized Autonomous Organizations governed democratically by a community of users who vote with crypto tokens. Said Lessig, "We need a more sophisticated approach, with technologists and lawyers sitting next to behavioral psychologists and economists," to define parameters to code social values into programs.

References

  1. Ephrat Livni, For Rules in Technology, the Challenge is to Balance Code and Law (2021-11-23) https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/23/business/dealbook/cryptocurrency-code-law-technology.html