Today, over 2.3 billion people are excluded from the traditional financial system and even more lack access to sophisticated services such as borrowing, lending, and asset management. Decentralized digital assets are revolutionizing the global transfer of value and require decentralized financial services (or DeFi) to support it. While DeFi is still nascent technology, it has the ability to revolutionize the global financial services market (estimated at $21 trillion) and pave the way for a more accessible, and efficient financial system.
As a way to participate in this nascent technology, Grayscale Investments has launched Grayscale DeFi Fund.
The 15th member in our family of investment products and our second diversified fund, Grayscale DeFi Fund provides accredited investors with secure access and exposure to DeFi assets in the form of a security — without the challenges of buying, storing, and safekeeping the assets directly. Shares are eligible to be held in certain IRA, Roth IRA, and other brokerage accounts.
The Fund provides investors with exposure to a selection of industry-leading DeFi protocols through a market-capitalization weighted portfolio designed to track the CoinDesk DeFi Index. The CoinDesk DeFi Index aims to provide a broad-based, benchmark representation of DeFi protocols. The Index methodology includes liquid DeFi assets on a market cap-weighted basis.
Additional information on the Index methodology can be found at https://tradeblock.com/markets/dfx. The Fund’s shares are among the first securities solely invested in, and deriving value from, a basket of DeFi assets.
What is DeFi?
Often described as “traditional finance meets decentralization”, DeFi is an umbrella term used to describe a variety of financial applications that use smart contracts to allow autonomous execution. This means that services typically provided by intermediaries — such as an exchange or clearing house — can instead be deployed as code running on an open blockchain network such as Ethereum, and are accessible by those who have an Internet connection and a digital asset wallet.
The DeFi market, as measured by Total Value Locked (“TVL”), has grown from $1 billion in June 2020 to over $50 billion today. TVL is the value of assets locked in DeFi smart contracts and is an indicator of a protocol’s usage and liquidity.
Defining Characteristics of DeFi
DeFi seeks to supplant traditional banking and financial services through decentralized applications (dApps), which are designed to be transparent and permissionless, eliminating intermediaries.
- Transparent: DeFi protocols are a set of open-source smart contracts that can be audited and reviewed by the community.
- Permissionless: Eligibility requirements prevent many people from accessing traditional financial services. DeFi allows any user with a crypto wallet and funds to participate in the protocol.
Instead of interacting with a centralized authority to borrow, lend, or trade, users interact directly with decentralized protocols from their wallet. Funds are custodied by users and controlled through smart contracts, where positions can be opened, closed, or rebalanced 24/7, 365 days per year, by anyone in the world.
The Internet was the last major innovation in the financial services industry and we believe DeFi is creating a new paradigm built on decentralized assets where value accrues to the users — token holders.
Want to learn more about DeFi use cases and protocols? Check out our DeFi Primer here.
To the extent you are an accredited investor interested in investing in DeFi, we invite you to consider the Grayscale DeFi Fund. Please reach out to [email protected] if you have any questions on DeFi or any of our 14 other Grayscale products. Qualified investors can view the products currently available at grayscale.com/startinvesting.
As is the case for its other products, Grayscale intends to attempt to have shares of this new product quoted on a secondary market. However there is no guarantee this will be successful. Although the shares of certain products have been approved for trading on a secondary market, investors in this new product should not assume that the shares will ever obtain such an approval due to a variety of factors, including questions regulators such as the SEC, FINRA or other regulatory bodies may have regarding the product. As a result, shareholders of this product should be prepared to bear the risk of investment in the shares indefinitely.
This content is not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any security in any jurisdiction where such an offer or solicitation would be illegal, nor shall there be any sale of any security in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of that jurisdiction.