Decentralised finance (DeFi) accelerates the existing trend of providing “finance as a service”, bypassing mainstream centralised financial (CeFi) intermediaries to offer an alternative to existing banks, fintechs, and other financial institutions. Its user base appears to be concentrated within India, China, the US, Vietnam, Thailand, Brazil, the UK and Russia.

The inherent flexibility, interoperability, and openness of DeFi applications (dapps), allied to a lack of regulatory oversight, facilitates product innovation. Users can execute complex multi-legged and leveraged transactions which settle simultaneously. The technology underpinning DeFi can theoretically help with other technology to reduce CeFi’s operational, credit and settlement risks – but carry risks of their own, some unique to DeFi.