DeFi Lending – What is it and how does it work?
Let’s deep dive into the concept of DeFi lending and understand how it works.
You might have heard the term “DeFi”,which stands for decentralized finance. Well, blockchain technology has allowed for the development of decentralized, executable smart contracts which power DeFi and make it possible to operate over a peer-to-peer network. It is, therefore, a decentralized technology that is based on secured distributed ledgers similar to the ones found in cryptocurrencies. In this regard, when we talk about DeFi lending, what we basically mean is that it is a decentralized finance function operating on a peer-to-peer network that acts as a bridge between borrowers and lenders. Now let’s deep dive into the concept of DeFi lending and understand how it works.
DeFi lending refers to an arrangement between a borrower and a lender where peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions are facilitated. Typically, this involves a platform that operates in a decentralized manner where the users list their cryptocurrencies on the platform for lending. The borrower, on the other hand, directly places a request for borrowing specific amounts of cryptocurrency from the lender.
However, the mechanism of lending under DeFi works without intermediaries or third-party mediators. Blockchain technology allows you to transact with your peers directly. This is an emerging form of decentralized finance that is gaining traction in the space of blockchain technology. In order to better understand the concept of DeFi lending, let’s briefly look at DeFi or decentralized finance as a whole.
Decentralized finance (DeFi) an ecosystem of financial technology protocols that are based on blockchain technology. It was initially envisioned as a way to create more transparency and traceability in the finance industry by eliminating third parties. DeFi also aims to improve the current system by creating a more accessible payment concept for all users of financial services.
Working on P2P networks, DeFi allows users to increase the efficiency and security of financial transactions. The popularity of DeFi has grown significantly over the last couple of years due to the high potential it offers, especially in areas such as payments, lending and investments.
What is DeFi Lending?
In the traditional banking system, intermediaries like banks play a major role in facilitating financing transactions. However, in a decentralized network, there is no need for intermediaries. Using blockchain technology, the process of lending and borrowing can take place seamlessly within peer-to-peer networks. One of the most interesting parts of DeFi lending is that it offers an open platform that enables users to enhance their efficiency and transparency while accessing services directly. Basically, DeFi is a blockchain-based finance ecosystem that has the potential to revolutionize the traditional lending system.
Why do you need DeFi loans?
In this advanced era of technology, why do you still have to borrow from banks or financial institutes that require a lot of paperwork? Isn’t it better if you can access finances directly and easily on peer-to-peer networks? Well, that is exactly what DeFi offers. Essentially, DeFi loans allow users to lend crypto directly to each other without any intervention from intermediaries.
This is a peer-to-peer mechanism that makes transactions more secure and efficient. In this regard, lenders can earn significant interest on their loans, while borrowers can take loans without physical collateral. However, collateral under DeFi lending is in the form of smart contracts. This means that borrowers and lenders can transact directly, taking care of both collateral and repayment.
Typically, lending pools are formed in blockchain platforms that work on a P2P network. These lending pools consist of lenders and borrowers who offer their crypto assets to fund a loan using a smart contract. Therefore, the platform ensures that both the loan and crypto assets are safe and secure.
How does DeFi Lending work?
Now that you are familiar with the entire concept of DeFi lending let’s look at how does DeFi lending work. Well, it is similar to traditional lending systems of banks, except that the fact that it is based on P2P decentralized applications (DApps). In the DeFi lending ecosystem, there is a trustless mechanism for the exchange of assets between lenders and borrowers. This means users can lock crypto assets without the interruption of intermediaries.
Borrowers can simply register an account with the DeFi platform, create a crypto wallet, open and smart contract, and you are ready to go. While the borrower puts out the collateral under a smart contract, and no physical collateral is required for lending. As a matter of fact, anyone can become a lender and earn interest on their loans. The overall process, therefore, mainly relies on lending pools which enable lenders to add assets and borrowers to request loans.
DeFi Lending vs Traditional Lending – what’s the difference?
DeFi lending allows for direct peer-to-peer loans that take place without any hassle. The DeFi lending process is a trustless mechanism, allowing users to borrow loans without third-party intervention. This is different from traditional lending systems, which involve much paperwork and documentation. In DeFi lending, it is all blockchain technology that keeps track of transactions, agreements, and collateral.
This means users can easily borrow crypto assets without a physical counterpart. In addition to this, the traditional lending process is time-consuming and complex, while in DeFi lending, the process is simple and quick. The entire procedure of DeFi lending is set in a few clicks, making it easier than traditional lending. Hence, this makes DeFi lending ideal for both lenders and borrowers.
Benefits of DeFi Lending
Although the concept of DeFi lending may seem new and different from traditional lending systems, it certainly has some clear benefits. Some of the major benefits of DeFi lending include:
- Analytics – The analytics of DeFi lending can be used to optimize the funds available. By using data analysis, DeFi lending offers better solutions in the sense that it allows gaining insights into loan sources, risks, and trends. This helps to improve the overall performance of loans by properly assessing and monitoring them.
- Accountability – Another major advantage of DeFi lending is that it provides full accountability between borrowers and lenders. Since the entire procedure of DeFi lending happens on a blockchain-based platform that is a public ledger, it is possible to look into all the details of an agreement making it easy to trace all the transactions and agreements.
- Quick process – Using technology, DeFi lending brings together borrowers and lenders on a single network. This improves the speed of transactions and, consequently, allows users to complete the transaction quickly. This is critical as this facilitates quick lending and borrowing, which makes it a perfect solution for anyone who needs to make instant payments.
- Transparency and immutability – DeFi lending brings transparency and immutability into the process by being on a public blockchain platform. Every user on a public chain has access to the entire transaction history. This provides a high level of transparency, which is critical for both borrowers and lenders as it removes any risks of fraud.
- Open access – Anyone with a DeFi crypto loan wallet has access to the loan pool regardless of geographical location. This creates an open marketplace where borrowers and lenders can interact with each other. Hence, DeFi lending allows every individual to participate in the loan pool.
- Programmability – The major advantage of DeFi is that it allows users to create smart contracts and transparently manage them. This means that borrowers can apply for different types of loans on the platform, making it easy for lenders to approve or reject their requests.
- Saving management – This innovative feature allows users to monitor the savings of their DeFi loan through a dashboard. As a result, users can track their savings, maximize their earnings, and minimize the risks associated with loans.
- Asset management – DeFi lending platforms like Metamask, Gnosis Safe, and Argent um Safe allow users to manage their loans using a single dashboard. This means that buying, selling, managing, and even exchanging loans can be done on a single platform, making it easier to manage assets.
Risks involved in DeFi Lending
Although DeFi lending has enormous benefits, it also comes with a few risks that must be considered before jumping onto the platform. The risks of DeFi lending include:
- Liquidity – Liquidity is an important aspect to consider when looking into DeFi lending. As a matter of fact, liquidity is typically high in the case of cryptocurrencies. This makes it difficult to trust DeFi lending when the liquidity factor is concerned.
- Impairment losses – Basically, when the price of an asset that is locked under the liquidity pool changes after being deposited, this creates an unrealized loss. The risk here is that the value of the collateral could continuously change.
- Rug pulls – This is a type of fake exit scam where the DeFi developers create new tokens that are paired with the leading cryptocurrencies. In the case of a rug pull scam, the developers will present an attractive exit scam offer to users.
- Flash loan attacks – These refer to instances when users borrow huge sums of money in order to manipulate the market or exploit DeFi systems by depriving lenders. Typically, this is done by borrowers for personal gain.
- Uncertainty – Since the entire process of DeFi lending depends on network consensus, it is possible that there is uncertainty. This concern is exceptionally high in the case of instability when hosting a blockchain in a DeFi lending platform.
- Share responsibility – The major problem with DeFi lending is that it is not linked to any responsibility. This means that in the event of a default by the user, the DeFi project does not bear any responsibility for the losses incurred.
DeFi Lending rates
When it comes to DeFi lending, the DeFi Lending rates tend to be high. As per reports, one of the leading lending platforms, Compound, was offering interest rates up to 68%, which is quite a lot. But is it a good idea to pay high interest for DeFi lending platforms? Well, no, it is not. DeFi lending platforms are not able to sustain their offers, which means that they are often exposed to risks of default. However, the interest varies on various factors associated with the loan.
What causes unsustainability in DeFi Lending rates?
The DeFi lending rates, which are high, are mostly not sustainable, even for short-term loans. This is because when the demand for borrowing is high, subsequently, the interest rate will also be high. On the other hand, when the demand for borrowing is low, interest rates will drop. This means that DeFi lending platforms are exposed to massive risks.
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