We analyze the value proposition and limitations of decentralized finance (DeFi). Based on a distributed ledger and smart contracts, DeFi can guarantee the execution of financial contracts, potentially lowering the costs of intermediation and improving financial inclusion.
Staff working papers
Why do BigTech platforms introduce payment services? We explore this using a model in which a monopoly platform faces a trade-off between the costs associated with privacy concerns and the revenue from data services. We then analyze the feedback effects between data and payments.
We explore what drives transaction fees in the Bitcoin system and consider whether Bitcoin can remain tamper proof in the long run.
Since the creation of Bitcoin in 2009, over 2,000 cryptocurrencies have been issued. We evaluate how well a cryptocurrency functions as a payment system.
Can securities be settled on a blockchain and, if so, what are the gains relative to existing settlement systems? We consider a blockchain that ensures delivery versus payment by linking transfers of assets with payments and operates using a proof-of-work protocol. The main benefit of a blockchain is faster and more flexible settlement, whereas the challenge is to avoid settlement fails when participants fork the chain to get rid of trading losses.
A blockchain is a digital ledger that keeps track of a record of ownership without the need for a designated party to update and enforce changes to the record. The updating of the ledger is done directly by the users of the blockchain and is traditionally governed by a proof-of-work (PoW) protocol.
We study the trading dynamics in an asset market where the quality of assets is private information of the owner and finding a counterparty takes time. When trading of a financial asset ceases in equilibrium as a response to an adverse shock to asset quality, a large player can resurrect the market by buying up lemons which involves assuming financial losses.