Policy education and advocacy to help DeFi flourish
The DeFi Education Fund (DEF) explains decentralized finance (DeFi) to policymakers around the world and advocates for policies welcoming of decentralized financial infrastructure.
The policy and regulatory environment that will affect DeFi is developing quickly. Help us shape the future of DeFi policy across the globe.
Latest Weekly Update
LEJILEX and the Crypto Freedom Alliance of Texas Sue the SEC; A New Nonprofit Aims to Shield White-Hat Hackers in Crypto Industry
2023: Year in Review
We remain committed to fight for DeFi, in the courts, across relevant federal and international regulatory bodies, and on Capitol Hill. Here’s a summary of our work in 2023:
On February 29, alongside our partners at the Blockchain Association, we submitted an amicus brief supporting Kraken’s motion to dismiss the SEC’s complaint accusing Kraken of being an unregistered securities exchange, broker dealer, and clearing agency.
Take a look at what the DeFi Education Fund (DEF) has been up to in January. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about a specific activity, please do not hesitate to reach out.
DEF Fights a Patent Troll
On January 5, 2024 the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted DEF's petition to review the patent owned by True Return Systems LLC (“TRS”) that falsely claims to invent oracle-like tech.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is DeFi?DeFi is an umbrella term for open-source software protocols that run on the internet that allow people to conduct financial activities in a new way. DeFi is about creating universally accessible financial infrastructure that anyone with an internet connection can access and use, and that’s something anyone can get on board with who values things like accessibility, independence, self-custody, or autonomy in their financial lives.
What are the benefits of DeFi?DeFi is software that can increase economic access for everyone by making the digital economy fairer, more transparent and more equitable. Increased Transparency: DeFi protocols increase operational transparency about the mechanics of market infrastructures and associated fees by using open-source software, which makes transactions more transparent and auditable by using blockchain-based records. Equitable Market Access: DeFi protocols are open and available to anyone in the world with an internet connection, giving them the potential to significantly expand access to financial services. That access empowers more people to use financial services without having to go through intermediaries that may prevent sectors of the market from participation, either through unavailability, absolute prohibitions, excessive pricing, or unfair or discriminatory treatment. 24/7/365 Liquidity: Users can access and use markets at all times of the day without the need for closing markets at the end of each day. Among other things, this eliminates the risk of capital dislocations due to illiquid aftermarket trading in traditional systems. Lower Costs and Faster Settlement: DeFi protocols reduce friction and transaction costs for the creation, distribution, trading, and settlement of financial assets with faster settlement times for users. Improved Security: Transactions using DeFi protocols are recorded on blockchains, the records of which cannot be manipulated or amended, offering greater security to users. Greater Control: The absence of intermediaries in DeFi protocols provides individuals with the ability to custody their own assets, giving them greater control and certainty. Additionally, in some instances, market participants can directly develop community-governance standards. Greater Uptime: Permissionless blockchains are operationally resilient (the Ethereum blockchain has never gone down), whereas traditional market infrastructures have had major technology failures, resulting in downtime for securities markets. Elimination of Broker Risk: DeFi protocols have no employees to supervise, no financial risk for users from broker activity or custody, and no interaction between a broker and customers that could result in unlawful sales practices or other unfair and discriminatory dealing. Elimination of Anti-Competitiveness: Users can easily move their self-custodied cryptocurrencies from one protocol to another at any time without significant friction, unlike the “siloed” experience in traditional financial services.
Why does DeFi challenge the traditional approach to financial regulation?To a large extent, the existing financial regulatory system applies centralized intermediaries. Before the development of cryptocurrencies and DeFi protocols, digital financial activities required the use of intermediating financial institutions. DeFi protocols allow people to engage in economic activities using software instead of financial institutions, similar to how people can use bitcoin’s software to conduct peer-to-peer payments. But “what they are” — open-source software programs that run on the internet — createst insuperable challenges for a regulatory framework predicted on the necessity of intermediating businesses in financial activities. DeFi developers and market participants share those objectives: to protect consumers, prevent illicit financial activity, and limit systemic risks. The problem is that it’s impossible to accomplish those goals using the old toolbox. “No regulation can be static in a dynamic society.” Our approach to accomplishing long-standing policy objectives has always needed to adapt to technological innovation. DeFi is no different. DeFi is something genuinely unprecedented, and we need to develop a new toolbox that can allow for societies to enjoy the benefits of DeFi while simultaneously equipped to accomplish core policy objectives.
What is DeFi not?DeFi is a truly decentralized alternative to Centralized Finance (CeFi). CeFi relies on trusted intermediaries to effectuate activities on behalf of customers, custody assets and control permissions or access. By contrast, DeFi runs on permissionless protocols that lack centralized intermediation entirely.
How does the DeFi Education Fund handle conflicts of interest?For any conflicts of interests that may arise over normal course of business, individual members of the DeFi Education Fund will recuse themself from said activity.
Does the DeFi Education Fund have members?As a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, we do not have any members.
How is the DeFi Education Fund funded?We were allocated an initial one million UNI back in August 2021. We also engage in fundraising activities to further support our mission.
I have questions, who should I contact?For general inquiries, please reach out to email@example.com For media-related inquiries, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org For grant-related inquiries, please reach out to email@example.com