Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is a catchall term for all technologies, platforms, and processes that enable a non-centralised distribution of financial products and services. You are essentially using all the same products – like payments, borrowing, trading, insurance – but rather than a using a centralised service provider like a bank you are relying on a decentralised network that is usually enabled using blockchain or crypto technologies.
As you can probably infer from that definition, there is tremendous potential for a lot of innovation using DeFi. Its essentially a clean slate – you are being given the opportunity to rebuild an entire industry using a new technology! It’s not just start-ups that are diving in, traditional players with the big wallets have also taken notice as no one can afford to fall behind in the tech race. For people interested in DeFi, its applications, its potential or even creating DeFi services, these are the best online courses to help you get started.
This course is ideal for beginners who want a primer on what DeFi is, its scope, purpose, applications, potential and other nuances. The best part is that the topic is approached from an enterprise perspective which means practical business applications in the real world are given primacy.
This exploration of Decentralized finance is highly recommended for bankers and FinTech enthusiasts as it is very likely to have an impact on how you do business or go about your daily responsibilities. The fact is that many large organizations have a great paucity of talent when it comes to techies who are at the bleeding edge of what FinTech can offer and that makes expertise in an up-and-coming platform like DeFi rather useful.
A lot of time is spent explain the what, why and how of DeFi. Since DeFi is still a nascent concept, such foundation building is important and help create a mind map to approach the subject. A lot of time is spend exploring the DeFi Ecosystems, risks and use cases. These last three modules are probably the juiciest parts of the course and worth the time investment.
The course provider, 101Blockchians, has significant expertise on the topic covering dozens of topics related to the blockchain technology. Many of their other courses also come highly recommend.
If you are looking for a high-quality, university quality course on DeFi, this course is your best bet. You get to learn directly from the Professor of Decentralized Finance at Duke University’s highly rated Fuqua School of Business. This means unmatched accuracy and quality material in addition to an excellent personal branding opportunity.
The first half of the course focuses on the history of decentralized finance and some core foundational concepts like the tangible value of money, the problems with centralised finance, the origins of crypto, the evolution of DeFi, an introduction to the blockchain, the technological advantages of DeFi, stablecoins, dApps, smart contracts, hashing etc. There is a lot to unpack but its presented in easy to understand format.
The second half of the course moves on to more exploratory topics like the need and potential scope of DeFi. You will learn about the problems with the current systems like inefficiency, limited access, opacity, centralised control etc. and as you learn these concepts you will automatically begin to appreciate just what it is that DeFi is helping to solve.
The final module focuses on myths and facts. Considering DeFi is still a mystery to most, it is not unsurprising that people misunderstand it a lot and some still believe myths like blockchains being hacked on a daily basis. They do a good job clearing up the myths and establishing a factual baseline from a position of authority.
This course is recommended for absolute beginners who want to start from the very beginning. It’s also geared towards people looking to invest in DeFi cryptocurrencies. You spend a lot of time on topics that explain how to identify opportunities and trade in the DeFi world.
The strong point of this course is quality delivery in a way that keeps it interesting and simple. You are taught practical everyday skills that are needed to engage with the DeFi world rather than focusing on the broader applications that may not be of relevance to you. Depending on your personal goals, you might find this approach to be more useful.
The instructor is well regarded in the field with hundreds of thousands of students and a high rating. Detailed video guides explaining how to find the right opportunities in DeFi and how to benefit from them.
Gaurav started his career as a Corporate and Investment Banking intern at Citi in 2009 and eventually ended up as an Associate Director at Standard Chartered Bank’s Wholesale Banking division a few years later. By 2016, Gaurav was consulting FinTech start-ups in London with product development in the institutional banking space. He also advises mid-market Private Equity/ Asset Management firms and Banks in North America and Europe with investments in the financial services and FinTech sector. Gaurav writes on topics ranging from European Union banking regulations and FinTech to Blockchain startups and the inevitable rise of our AI overlords! He has an Engineering degree in Computer Science and an MBA with a double major in Finance and Marketing. He is also a Certified Financial Risk Manager.
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