DeFi Decoded

By with Alex Tapscott & Andrew Young

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Alex Tapscott, Andrew Young and guests break down the fundamentals of Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and how this cutting edge technology enables individuals and institutions to transact, and create value, without the need for traditional financial intermediaries.

Episode Date
DeFi Decoded - Abra CEO, Bill Barhydt, shares his vision for how we onboard the next billion people to crypto

On this DeFi Decoded episode, Andrew and Alex sit down with Bill Barhydt, CEO of Abra, one of the leading wealth management platforms for cryptoassets. Abra’s mission is to create a simple and honest platform to help the next billion crypto holders maximize the potential of their crypto assets. 

Jan 18, 2022
DeFi Decoded - Top Narratives that Will Drive Investment Returns in Cryptoassets in 2022

On this episode, Andrew and Alex break down their top narratives, trends, and predictions for 2022. Listen in to hear all the predictions and understand why we've made them.

As we say, the future is not something to be predicted, it's something to be achieved. Ninepoint and Prophecy DeFi are working to achieve that better future.

Jan 12, 2022
DeFi Decoded - Ryan Selkis shares his top crypto predictions for 2022 - DOUBLE EPISODE!

On this very special final (DOUBLE) episode of 2021, Alex and Andrew sit down with Ryan Selkis (@twobitidiot), co-founder, and CEO of Messari, the leading crypto asset data and research company, to talk about the big trends that emerged in 2021 and share some eye-opening predictions for 2022 - from DeFi to stablecoins, NFTs, regulations, and more.

Dec 21, 2021
DeFi Decoded - Why DeFi needs a truly Decentralized Internet to succeed, with Greg Osuri, CEO of Akash

On this episode of DeFi Decoded, Andrew and Alex ask Greg some important questions, including: What problems does a decentralized cloud solve? Who are the biggest users? Can decentralized clouds scale? How long until Fortune 50 companies are migrating to decentralized cloud? What are the implementation challenges? And much more.

Dec 15, 2021
DeFi Decoded - Peng Zhong on democratising DeFi and being a multi-chain maximalist

On Today's episode of DeFi Decoded, Alex and Andrew sit down with Peng Zhong, CEO of Tendermint. Peng leads a world-class team that builds applications to improve the usability, accessibility, and safety of blockchain for developers and end-users. Tendermint is a core contributor to the Cosmos ecosystem, which houses more than 250 blockchain projects and secures over $100B in digital assets. Projects on the Cosmos ecosystem include Binance Chain, Terra,, ThorChain, Osmosis, Kava,, Injective Protocol, Persistence, Akash, Regen, and many more. Peng shares his vision for a more accesible and open version of DeFi, how airdrops drive value creation to Cosmos and why Interchain security is the next big thing for ATOM.

Dec 07, 2021
DeFi Decoded - Jake Hannah of SX Network on Scaling DeFi with Polygon, Prediction Markets and more

On today's podcast, Alex and Andrew are joined by Jake Hannah, the COO and co-founder of SX Network, to discuss Polygon and the SX Network project. SX Network is the first project to build a blockchain using the Polygon SDK. Like how Polygon inherits its security from Ethereum, SX Network inherits its security from Polygon making SX the first unofficial "layer 3" blockchain. In today's episode, we'll be talking about the future of blockchain scalability, focusing on Polygon and SX Network. We also cover the blockchain prediction market space, and a variety of topics across the DeFi and broader crypto space!

Up and coming blockchain 'Layer 2' platform Polygon, with its unique blend of scalability solutions, has been gaining in popularity as a solution to Ethereum's scalability problems. In about a year, Polygon has built the largest and most dominant Ethereum layer 2 network in the world, but it faces competition from insurgent Layer 1 projects like Avalanche and Solana for developer mindshare. To combat this, Polygon is attracting talent with their Polygon SDK (software developer kit), which enables projects to build their own Ethereum compatible blockchains with Polygon serving as the base security layer.

Dec 01, 2021
DeFi Decoded - Charlie Morris of CMCC Global on why Solana will continue to be a leader in the blockchain race

DeFi Fan Favorite Charlie Morris, GP of CMCC Global, is back! This time he joins to discuss his views on the Layer 1 wars which have been lighting up crypto twitter recently.

Charlie and the guys talk about the concept of so-called "Ethereum killers," new protocols like Solana, Terra and Avalanche which are capturing DeFi market share from Ethereum.

They debate whether 'Ethereum killer' is the correct framing, whether one chain will rule them all and how many of these new protocols will stand the test of time.

Charlie also shares some thoughts on his recent trip to Lisbon to attend the Solana Breakpoint event. One big take-away was the rise of gaming, social media and other Web3 applications taking greater prominence. I guess crypto really is eating the world.

Nov 24, 2021
DeFi Decoded - Ethan Buchman on how Cosmos is creating an “Internet of Blockchains” and his vision for Regenerative Finance (ReFi)

On today’s episode of DeFi Decoded, Alex sits down with Ethan Buchman, co-founder of Cosmos and inventor of Tendermint, the consensus algorithm which powers a huge chunk of the blockchain economy. Ethan is a true polymath, versed in biology, philosophy, and political economy, which informs his view on how blockchain can bring about a more sustainable and just world and a new kind of financial system called Regenerative Finance (ReFi).

Ethan is also an enormously successful entrepreneur: In less than three years, Cosmos has grown into a nearly $10 billion protocol that supports hundreds of different blockchains and over $100 billion in value. Investors in the original token offering for Cosmos ($ATOM) are up approximately 300x their money. As the “internet of blockchains” Cosmos is knitting together different platforms into one interoperable network. In addition, the DeFi ecosystem on Cosmos is growing fast, with Osmosis nearing in on $1 billion in TVL since launch.

Nov 17, 2021
DeFi Decoded - How Avalanche (AVAX) scaled to $10 Billion in DeFi TVL in 3 Months, with Luigi DeMeo, Director of DeFi at Ava Labs
On today's DeFi Decoded, Andrew and Alex speak to Luigi DeMeo, reformed Wall Street trader turned DeFi entrepreneur, evangelist, and community builder. Luigi currently oversees DeFi for Ava Labs, the software development company that supports the Avalanche ecosystem. Luigi tells the guys about his personal journey, which started on the Citigroup trading floor and how he fell down the Ethereum rabbit hole and ended up going full-crypto. He explains what makes Avalanche different, what problems it solves, who is building on the protocol, how it could be adopted by traditional financial players, and where DeFi on Avalanche is headed next. This is a must-listen for newbies and veteran DeFi traders.
Nov 09, 2021
DeFi Decoded: Why DeFi matters; with the inventor of the Automated Market Maker (AMM), Galia Benartzi

In this episode, Andrew and Alex sit down with DeFi pioneer Galia Benartzi, co-founder of Bancor and inventor of the Automated Market Maker, now a building block of Decentralized Finance (DeFi). Galia is also a member of the advisory council of Prophecy DeFi (PDFI-CSE).

Galia has appeared on BloombergTV and CNBC, and has spoken at the United Nations. Previously, she was a Venture Partner at Peter Thiel's Founder's Fund, a founding member of Summit Powder Mountain, and the organizer of Bretton Woods 75, a commemoration event evaluating the historic monetary accords.

Galia provides her perspective on the origins of DeFi, why DeFi matters, the most exciting areas of growth and more.

Nov 02, 2021
DeFi Decoded - with Sunny Aggarwal, Co-Founder of Osmosis, on Building a Better Decentralized Exchange and the Future of DeFi

On today's episode, Andrew and Alex are joined by Sunny Aggarwal, Co-founder of Osmosis ($OSMO), a Decentralized Exchange (DEX) on the Cosmos blockchain network which, in only nine months, has soared to US$600 million in Total Value Locked. Osmosis is attracting capital from across the industry including from some of the most influential investors: On the day we recorded the podcast, Paradigm, the multi-billion crypto VC firm, announced a major investment of $21 million to help Osmosis accelerate its growth. It was the first DEX investment Paradigm made outside of the Ethereum ecosystem, evidence of Osmosis' growing important to the future of DeFi. Sunny tells us about the origin of Osmosis, his vision for blockchain interoperability and composability, the innovative feature set of Osmosis, the importance of privacy in blockchain transactions, why traditional finance people should be paying attention to DeFi and much more.

Oct 28, 2021
DeFi Decoded - Emerging trends in stablecoins

On Today's episode of DeFi Decoded, Andrew is joined by Kevin Zhang. Kevin is the co-Founder of PayTrie and DFX Finance. PayTrie is one of Canada's largest fiat on-boarding ramps, helping Canadians buy crypto stablecoins with their bank account. DFX Finance is the leading decentralized foreign exchange protocol that is optimized for stablecoins. DFX is the category leader in the rapidly emerging DeFi FX sub-sector, garnering over $15m in assets to the protocol and attracting millions of dollars in trading volume.

In this episode, Andrew and Kevin do a deep-dive into both PayTrie and DFX and how they are complementary to each other. They discuss emerging trends in stablecoins, looking into market flows and where investor demand is. Finally, we get Kevin's views on where DeFi is today, and how he views the space evolving over time.

Oct 20, 2021
DeFi Decoded - Where the smart money is going in DeFi with Jon Lister, CEO of SatStreet

On Today's episode of DeFi Decoded, Andrew and Alex are joined by Jon Lister, co-Founder and President of Satstreet, one of Canada's fastest growing digital asset brokerages. Jon has executed over $500 million in digital currency trades for institutions and high net worth clients. He previously co-founded BlockEQ, a leading platform for the Stellar Network, which was acquired by Coinsquare for $12 million in December 2018. Jon also gained experience at BMO Capital Markets, Blackhawk Network and earned an HBA from Ivey Business School.

On this episode, Andrew and Alex get Jon's outlook on the macro-environment and what it means for cryptoassets and defi. They also discuss some DeFi trends he's watching, and learn more about how SatStreet works and how it's helping broaden access to DeFi opportunities for institutional investors. They discuss which projects are being picked up by the market, and point out some exciting ones that are flying under the radar. They also get Jon's take on the recent regulatory news out of both China and the US and what it means for crypto and defi.

Oct 14, 2021
DeFi Decoded - Facebook Crashed, Exposing Why We Need a New Model for the Internet

On this epside of DeFi Decoded, in light of the Facebook outage, Alex and Andrew dig into the promise and peril of Web3 - Can it actually solve these problems, or does it threaten to create a system that's just as fragile but more fragmented and thus harder to control.

For ten perilous (or blissful, depending on who you ask) hours on Monday October 4th, Facebook and all the Facebook branded apps went offline, exposing the centralized and surprisingly fragile nature of the Web.

Despite the broadly positive innovations of the internet, we still rely on middlemen to perform many essential functions, such as maintaining internet infrastructure, moving, and storing value and data, verifying identities, and performing basic business logic like databasing, contracting and so forth. 

This is problematic for several reasons. Intermediaries are vulnerable to hacking or failure (as we saw with Facebook). Banks, social media companies and other intermediaries are gatekeepers that exclude many people. They also capture all the data and much of the value created online. That’s bad because it could violate our privacy but also because we don’t get to fully participate in what we create online. 

Blockchain promises a new era of the internet, dubbed Web3, which could solve many of these problems by giving us a way to move and store assets digitally and peer to peer. Blockchain gives us the tools, incentives and mechanisms to create value and organize capability though DAOs or decentralized autonomous organizations, rather than centralized companies.

Web3 promises a fairer, more resilient, more transparent, more private, and more decentralized internet, financial services industry, and economy.

Oct 06, 2021
DeFi Decoded - A conversation with Crypto VC Charlie Morris on the top DeFi trends right now
On Today's episode of DeFi Decoded, Andrew and Alex are joined by our first special guest, Charlie Morris, Managing Partner of CMCC Global, a US $300 million asset management company focused exclusively on digital assets and blockchain technology.
Charlie is also an independent board member of Prophecy Defi (PDFI-CSE). CMCC Global was founded in 2016, making Charlie one of the longest tenured VC investors in this entire industry. CMCC research on DeFi and other emerging areas of blockchain innovation are required reading for anyone trying to understand the future of this industry. With offices in Asia and North America, CMCC has a truly global footprint.

On this episode, Andrew and Alex ask about Charlie's main crypto theses, and discuss some of the emerging DeFi trends he is keeping an eye out for. They dig into what makes a good project- from the core team to the tech to the target market. And get Charlie's take on some emerging protocols or L1s that are starting to chip away at Ethereum's market share. We also get Charlie's take on the recent news that China is cracking down on crypto and what that means for the industry.

Sep 29, 2021
DeFi Decoded -9 Things you need to know about DeFi and the Future of Financial Services

On today's episode we review the key transformations and ask what's next? As Robert Leshner co-founder of Compound Labs says, DeFi is not going to be called DeFi in the next 5 years. It's just going to be called finance. And all finance is going to run on blockchains; most assets will make their way onto a blockchain."

Financial services is more than an industry—it is the cardiovascular system of the global economy, the lifeline of all other industries. DeFi is reimagining its anatomy and physiology from banking and trading to risk management and more. 

Through the first few weeks of DeFi decoded, we have covered all the key functions of the financial service industry and how it's being disrupted. They are:

  1. Storing value: DAO treasuries for institutions, cryptoasset/token wallets for individuals. These are the new crypto-native bank accounts
  2. Moving value:  Stablecoins such as USDC and MakerDAO’s DAI route around banks
  3. Lending value:  Pooled lending such as Compound and AAVE augment savings accounts at banks and other financial intermediaries and have better yields to boot. 
  4. Funding and investing: Investment aggregators such as YFI and Rari could ultimately disintermediate investment advisors, mutual funds, exchange traded funds, and robo-advisors.  
  5. Exchanging value: Decentralized exchanges such as Uniswap, Sushiswap, and QuickSwap could replace or enhance stock exchanges and centralized cryptoasset exchanges 
  6. Insuring value and managing risk (i.e., derivatives): On-chain insurance such as NexusMutual and derivatives platforms such as SX, Perpetual protocol, and dYdX could supplement or replace insurance policies and over-the-counter derivatives. 
  7. Analyzing value: Contract auditors such as Zeppelin and DeFi Score could augment or perhaps even perform the work of the Big Five accounting firms. 
  8. Accounting for value: Block explorers such as Etherscan and PolygonScan track asset movements in real time; perhaps eventually eliminating periodic audits by accounting firms. 
  9. Authenticating identity: Formal verification is no longer required to access open-source DeFi protocols. Pseudonymous or anonymous identities are common.
Sep 22, 2021
DeFi Decoded: Are DAOs ushering in a world without companies? (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations)

DAOs are increasingly governing larger and larger DeFi protocols and their respective treasuries. On this episode of DeFi Decoded, Andrew and Alex dig into the rapidly emerging DAO boom and discuss how they've helped accelerate DeFi ecosystem growth. 

While Decentralized Finance has the potential to revolutionize the financial system, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) threaten to disrupt the very way humans organize, socialize, and coordinate. DAOs are on-chain entities that facilitate the governance and economic coordination of decentralized protocols. The typical DeFi protocol often collects a fee, which is then diverted to an on-chain treasury. Rather than having the core founders control this treasury, DAOs enable DeFi protocols to put tokens in control of them. Token holders vote on how to disburse funds, allocate budgets, and how to hire/fire contributors.

Sep 15, 2021
DeFi Decoded: Will Main Street Buy DeFi Index Funds?

On this episode of DeFi Decoded, Andrew and Alex dig into the rapidly emerging DeFi Index fund movement and discuss how they're different from traditional ETF providers.

Many of the largest asset managers in the traditional financial world are passive ETFs and Index funds; the decentralized financial system is no different! Smart contract-based index funds have been one of the fastest growing areas within the DeFi ecosystem. Like traditional ETFs, they create value for investors by packaging multiple different crypto assets into a basket or index, enabling investors to get passive exposure to an entire sector with one click of a button. They come with a twist though; these index funds are entirely blockchain-based and rather than having a centralized asset manager in charge, there is simply an open-source software protocol and decentralized governance system.


Sep 08, 2021
DeFi Decoded: The Top Reasons why DeFi will become more popular than NFTs
Pumpkin Spice Lattes may be back in stock at Starbucks, portending fall's arrival, but it's still very much NFT SUMMER in crypto land. 
August smashed all records for transaction value in this new breed of digital assets. There are no signs things are slowing down in September. OpenSea, a leading NFT platform, tallied volumes of more than $1 billion in a month, more than eBay's sales volume in the same period. Crypto art connoisseurs (or are they just speculators?) are now routinely spending thousands and sometimes millions of dollars on the rights to own the rights to certain rare images. 
The dam has broken and NFT culture is flooding into the mainstream. Tom Brady has an NFT platform called Autograph, and Steph Curry has changed his twitter avatar to an NFT he owns in his crypto wallet, and paid $180,000 for to boot. 
So what exactly are NFTs and why have they captured the zeitgeist? What does their stunning rise tell us about the viral power of crypto. Art is a big market- $67.4 billion in 2018- and growing, but that pales in comparison to the financial services industry, the prize DeFi is targeting. NFT's have taken the art world by storm. Even Damien Hirst is jumping on the band wagon. Will Wall Street be turned on its head when DeFi has its own "NFT Summer" moment? How do NFTs intersect with DeFi - art is an investible asset class and thanks to fractionalization, anyone can own a slice of an NFT or invest in an NFT fund. Could this democratize access to art as an investible asset class? Is this all positive, or is the speculative mania of NFTs going to cause a hangover across the asset class if (and perhaps inevitably when) the music stops?
On this episode of DeFi decoded, Andrew and Alex pull out their provervbial easel and palette to paint a clearer picture of just what the heck is going on. Tune in!
Sep 01, 2021
DeFi Decoded: Why Yield Aggregators are putting Robo-Advisors and other Fintechs on notice

Yield aggregators play a key role in the DeFi ecosystem by hooking into many different DeFi protocols for users in order to optimize yield. Yield aggregators work by having users stake tokens into their platform and allowing the platform to manage their assets for them. You can think of them as almost a robo advisor for DeFi.

These yield platforms have grown tremendously alongside the growth in DeFi, with over $20b in total value locked. On this episode of DeFi Decoded, Andrew and Alex dig into the yield aggregator boom and discuss how they've helped accelerate DeFi ecosystem growth.

Aug 25, 2021
DeFi Decoded: Special Episode- Could US Policymakers Kill DeFi with this one simple decision?

Insurance and risk management is a $6 trillion market worldwide, but so far is underrepresented in the DeFi space. Decentralized insurance platforms and prediction markets enable the trading of so-called 'event risk' between participants. These platforms upend the traditional model by allowing anyone to transact with each other through smart contracts, with no intermediaries, like insurance companies (for traditional insurance) or investment banks (for derivatives) sitting in the middle.

We have seen DeFi protocols like Uniswap and Aave tackle and disrupt markets like trading and lending. Will decentralized insurance see the same kind of growth? What impact will these emerging decentralized models for insurance have on legacy institutions and business models?

On this episode of DeFi Decoded, Andrew and Alex dig into the insurance and prediction market space and discuss how these platforms have the power to transform risk management. They compare the decentralized DeFi insurance platforms like NexusMutual and SX Protocol to their established centralized peers. 

Aug 18, 2021
DeFi Decoded - Regulating Non-Custodial, Decentralized and Autonomous Entities

Tucked away in the infrastructure bill before congress is a 'pay-for' provision that claims it will raise $28 billion in new revenue from the cryptocurrency industry by requiring brokers to provide information on their users. To be sure, traditional exchanges and brokers such as Gemini, Coinbase and others should be regulated and comply with any new tax laws approved by congress. However, as originally written, the provision would have potentially included virtually every kind of participant in the industry, from miners to software developers, lightning nodes (Bitcoin) and others. If passed in its original form, it would have a chilling effect on innovation in DeFi, and throw the whole industry into a state of confusion and uncertainty.

This is a pivotal moment in this trajectory of digital assets, DeFi and blockchain. At the time of recording, there is a compromise amendment that would clarify these rules and would exempt many of those non-broker entities, still no vote has been cast one way or the other and anything could happen.

Regardless of a positive outcome, this is no way to make policy and the whole event should serve as a cautionary tale in future debates on this issue. The fight itself reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of how DeFi works. Governments are used to traditional custodial financial intermediaries, but DeFi is non-custodial. Regulators are used to overseeing companies and individuals whereas DeFi is built on clever code and math. By failing to understand how the technology works, governments could inadvertently de-rail one of the fastest growing and most promising sectors in the economy today.

On this episode of DeFi decoded, Andrew and Alex will dig into this topic, discussing how we got here, what's at stake and what the future holds. You won't want to miss it!

Aug 11, 2021
DeFi Decoded: How to build a derivatives market without Wall Street

Derivatives are the single largest asset class in the world, with an estimated notional value estimated to be over a quadrillion dollars. However, decentralized derivative platforms haven't yet taken off in constrast to the other high flying sectors of DeFi - why is that? These decentralized derivative platforms enable users to create their own derivatives and transact them with others, in a completely permissionless and decentralized fashion. On this episode of DeFi Decoded, Andrew and Alex dig into the decentralized derivatives space and discuss why derivative platforms have yet to experience the rapid growth that many are projecting. They compare the decentralized crypto derivative platforms like dYdX and Perpetual Protocol to their established centralized peers like BitMex and FTX.

Aug 04, 2021
DeFi Decoded - Lending and borrowing without banks and credit checks

On this episode of DeFi Decoded, Andrew and Alex dig into the lending boom and discuss how lending platforms have become the dominant hub of DeFi. They compare the decentralized crypto lending platforms like AAVE to their established centralized peers like BlockFi.

Jul 28, 2021
DeFi Decoded: Learn how Stablecoins are Fueling DeFi's rise and upending traditional payments

On this episode of DeFi Decoded, Andrew and Alex dig into the stablecoin boom and discuss how stablecoins have helped fueled the rise of DeFi. They discuss the the two kinds of stablecoins, centralized and decentralized. Centralized stablecoins such as USDC are issued by companies and backed by reserves.

Jul 21, 2021
DeFi Decoded: How decentralized exchanges are cutting out the middleman

On this edition of DeFi Decoded, Alex and Andrew start with a simple question; "What's a Decentralized Exchange anyway?" and from there discuss Uniswap and its significant role in reimagining financial services.

Jul 14, 2021
Mastering DeFi without learning how to code: An introduction to the DeFi Decoded Podcast

Join Alex Tapscott and Andrew Young as they discuss the fundamentals of Decentralized Finance and how this bleeding edge technology enables individuals and institutions to transact, and create value, without the need for traditional financial intermediaries.

Jul 07, 2021