How to Educate Yourself on DeFi

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about Bitcoin. But Ethereum is a different form of cryptocurrency nipping at Bitcoin’s heels. It’s based on a decentralized finance model, or DeFi, which has implications far broader than just crypto. Here’s a primer on DeFi, and a bevy of sources for in-depth learning.

A thoughtful-looking young woman adjusts her glasses.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Decentralized finance, more commonly known as DeFi, presents a fundamental shift in the way we’ve built our financial system. It’s the building block of the world’s No. 2 cryptocurrency, Ethereum. If you don’t have a solid understanding of it yet, it’s time to get started.

At its most basic, DeFi is a different use of blockchain, the underlying technology of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. It has the potential to remove banks from the equation, creating a more transparent, traceable system that makes finance accessible to a broader range of people. From crowdsourcing student loans to expanding investment options, DeFi can give you more financial choices.

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Barbara Petitt, Ph.D., CFA®
Managing Director of Professional Learning, CFA Institute

Barbara Petitt, Ph.D., CFA®, is managing director of professional learning at CFA Institute, responsible for offering high-quality, practitioner-relevant educational content to help members and industry professionals strengthen their knowledge, skills and competencies. 
She holds the CFA charter and a Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Grenoble Alpes and a master's in Management from EDHEC Business School.