DeFi, short for decentralized finance, is a new paradigm that enjoys increasing popularity in the financial world. DeFi posits that financial services should not rely on centralized intermediaries but should be provided by users for users. This is done by deploying software components to a decentralized peer-to-peer system which is grounded on blockchain technology. This introductory text discusses the origins of DeFi and delineates DeFi characteristics from those of traditional finance. Several examples of DeFi applications are given, the disadvantages resulting from this paradigm are discussed, and an outlook is provided.
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