Man and the Machine: DeFi’s Regulation Dilemma

DeFi, as the world of decentralized finance is known, is growing up. 

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Venture money is being dedicated to the space, decentralized finance (DeFi) liquidity protocols are being upgraded to add flexibility, and so-called layer 2 solutions are being deployed to help scale this vibrant new, ever-evolving decentralized financial system while preserving decentralization. The community has also just successfully gone through a stress test in the form of a sharp decline in crypto prices, which produced none of the systemic risk fallout that some people had hypothesized would arise at such times for DiFi collateral contracts. 

So, where does this strange new world of finance go from here? In part, that question is about governance and regulation. How will the decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) that run the DeFi ecosystem’s various interoperable protocols connect the choices of its human investors with the decentralized, pseudonymity-dependent, on-chain consensus mechanisms on which these smart contracts depend? And what, if anything, should or could external government regulators and internal self-regulators do to protect people if the machines that run it all go bad?

For insights into how this fascinating new environment is shaping up, listen in while we chat to Rebecca Rettig, general counsel of Aave, and Marc Boiron, general counsel at decentralized exchange dydx, about all of the above. 

Image credit: Adam Borkowski/Unsplash modified by CoinDesk