DeFi Loan: A Primer

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    By Amee Mehta
    Jun 21st, 2021
    DeFi, a transparent, global financial infrastructure especially designed for the new age of internet, offering an alternative to a system which is more transparent, closely regulated, and based on decades-old infrastructure and processes. It allows you to have complete control and accountability of your finances. It exposes you to foreign markets and provides you with alternatives to your local currency and banking choices. DeFi enables anybody with an internet connection to access financial services, and they are primarily owned and operated by their customers itself. DeFi programmes have now processed tens of billions of dollars in cryptocurrency, and the number is increasing day by day. One of the fastest-growing areas of the cryptocurrency industry is DeFi loans. They encourage cryptocurrency owners to gain interest through lending their investments to others. In DeFi, also called decentralised finance is a market that is always open for everyone and there is no authority who will stop you from using financial products, or no one can block your payments. Compared to traditional banking services, in DeFi, there is no risk of human error and everything is automatic and safe. Here everything is handled with code and it can be scrutinized anytime by anyone. Crypto-assets, like conventional banks, have the same services but in a decentralised format. Lending, investing, spot trading, and margin trading are some examples of it. DeFi loans allow someone to take out a loan immediately and conveniently without ever having to reveal their identity to a third party or go through the tests that conventional banks need. 

    How do DeFi loans work?

    Cryptocurrency reserves in a wallet do not earn interest. While the intrinsic value of the cryptocurrency will rise or fall, you will not profit from keeping it, and this is where DeFi loans will help you.  Consider the possibility of lending the cryptocurrency to someone else and earning returns on the loan. That is how banks actually operate, but it is a facility that only a few people have access to. Anyone may become a lender in the DeFi loan ecosystem. You will earn interest on your cryptocurrency investments through lending them to others. This can be accomplished in a multitude of ways, but the most common is through lending pools.

    How are DeFi crypto loans created?

    Users can pool their funds and distribute those assets to creditors through a smart contract, which can be used on platforms like ethereum giving out ethereum loans. The laws of the loan are written into the contract. Each of these loan pools has its own method of transferring interest to its investors, it's worth spending some time researching the type of pool you'd like to be a part of as an investor. The same advice applies to investors, as each pool will treat borrowing from their savings and the rules for borrowing differently. When a borrower applies for a loan at a bank, they may be required to have collateral. If you take out a car loan, the vehicle serves as collateral. If you default on your loan, the bank will seize your vehicle. Isn't that reasonable? However, since a decentralised system is A) anonymous and B) lacks tangible assets that can be used as collateral, another system is required in place. 

    How does a DeFi loan work?

    When a borrower wishes to take out a loan, they must have something of greater value than the loan sum. That means they must deposit an amount of currency through a smart contract that is at least equal to the amount they choose to withdraw. The collateral, on the other hand, may be of any currency. So, for say, if you want to borrow one bitcoin, you'd need to deposit the current bitcoin price in DAI. Alternatively, 11,296 DAI. After a few months, you've completed the loan and must repay your bitcoin plus 10%, after which you'll collect your 11,296 DAI. The creditor is pleased because they got their initial DAI without having to sell them, and the pool is pleased because the 10% of bitcoin will now be distributed among the pool of buyers. While it seems to be ideal, the method has flaws. When working with various crypto properties, prices will fluctuate dramatically. We've all seen the price of Bitcoin fluctuate over time. What happens if the collateral's value falls below the loan's value? MakerDAO, for example, allows borrowers to put up a minimum of 150 percent of the loan's worth as collateral. Let's pretend you need to borrow 100 Dai. That means you'd have to put up a minimum of $150 in Ether as security for your loan (ETH). Therefore, if your collateral drops below the $150 ETH value, your loan would then be subject to a liquidation penalty.  Also Read: DeFi is the future of Global Economics

    What are the Challenges?

    As we saw in our previous example with MakerDAO, borrowers are often forced to over-collateralize their loans. The majority of borrowers put down 200 percent of the amount they want to borrow. The pool's circuit breaker will be activated if the price of the leverage asset begins to fall. Since the pool's rules specify that they would not risk value until the price falls below 120% of the debt, the pool will begin liquidating the collateral to fund the loan. The creditor is left with a loss, but he or she will be able to hold their Bitcoin, for example. Borrowers are attracted to this because they can easily accumulate properties. As a creditor, you might make a profit and be able to repay the loan if you predict that Bitcoin prices will rise. Also Read: Blockchain in Defence Sector

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