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Tyler Cowen

Crypto Finally Has a Reason to Exist

The future of cryptocurrency may well depend on the future of decentralized finance, which is uncertain but growing. 

Now it finally has a use.

Now it finally has a use.

Photographer: Mark Case/Getty Images Europe

I have news from the world of cryptocurrency: After many years of doubt and uncertainty, a killer app has finally been found. That’s why crypto prices, in spite of numerous plunges, have remained much higher than many skeptics expected.

The core use case for crypto is called DeFi, a recently coined abbreviation for “decentralized finance.” DeFi doesn’t have a formal definition, but it typically includes the use of the blockchain to borrow and lend using auction markets; to trade in unconventional derivatives; to trade one set of crypto assets against another; and for unusual forms of insurance. The profit opportunities arise in part because the blockchain eliminates the need for traditional financial intermediaries, with their fees and associated regulations.