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Banking without Banks: Decentralized Finance is Coming – Harvard Business Review

June 02, 2021

Could we have a financial industry without banks or brokers? That’s the vision of decentralized finance – or DeFi – in which financial products are built from tamper-proof digital smart contracts interacting with blockchains. Sergey Nazarov, co-founder of Chainlink, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the promise of this emerging sector to bring greater transparency, control, and yield for both customers and businesses.

They also discuss:

  • How blockchains and smart contracts work together to reconfigure the fundamentals of finance, as we currently experience it.
  • Why the outrage felt by Robinhood users (when trading in GameStop was paused) reveals an underlying weakness in traditional finance.
  • What blockchain oracles are, and how Chainlink is using them to build the decentralized infrastructure that will enable the widespread adoption of DeFi products and cryptocurrencies.


HBR Presents is a network of podcasts curated by HBR editors, bringing you the best business ideas from the leading minds in management. The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Harvard Business Review or its affiliates.