Ever since the Global Financial Crisis, the financial system has seen an accelerated level of innovation. Bitcoin offered a decentralized alternative to money, with thousands of other cryptoassets quickly emerging. Most recently, Decentralized Finance (DeFi) promises to offer a new digital economy, with smart contracts replacing the need for financial intermediaries. This new market aims to reinvent traditional financial products in a more transparent and interoperable way. In this paper we aim to undertake an extensive literature review of the financial stability risks posed by the fast-growing DeFi market and assess these using the Financial Stability Board’s fintech framework. We find that DeFi could pose several challenges to traditional financial infrastructure, primarily by increasing interlinkages between cryptoassets and traditional financial markets. However, if DeFi evolves in a safe way, it could increase competition and financial inclusion with overall positive implications for financial stability.
DeFi, financial stability, fintech, cryptoasset, cryptocurrency
O30, C88, E44, G29