DOI: 10.1287/serv.2021.0048 ISSN:

Exploring the New Frontier: Decentralized Financial Services

Enric Junqué de Fortuny, Yifei Zhang
  • Marketing
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Business and International Management

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) marks a transformative shift in financial services, harnessing the power of distributed ledger and smart contract technologies. Despite only five years of development, DeFi has rapidly matured, pioneering state-of-the-art financial products, a stratified ecosystem, and a myriad of innovative vertical and horizontal protocol integrations. Its distinctive characteristics establish DeFi as a crucible for innovation, carrying potential to spur advancements across various service sectors. However, the research community has yet to fully explore this burgeoning field. In this manuscript, we navigate the complexities of this emerging service system, analyzing 362 notable Ethereum-based DeFi initiatives. Our study reveals a robust and dynamic growth trajectory, the advent of a multi-tiered ecosystem, and a sophisticated network of primary market investors. We conclude by highlighting promising avenues for future exploration in DeFi and service system research.

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