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Duke University

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) Deep Dive

Duke University via Coursera


DeFi and the Future of Finance is a set of four courses that focus on decentralized finance. The third course is called DeFi Deep Dive. It is essential that you do the first two courses I. DeFi Infrastructure and II. DeFi Primitives before doing this course. It is the longest of the four courses and focuses on some of the leading protocols in the DeFi space. We will look at Credit and Lending (and feature MakerDAO, Compound and Aave), Decentralized Exchange with an analysis of how protocols like Uniswap and Balancer works, Derivatives (featuring Yield Protocol, dYdX and Synthetix) and Tokenization with an analysis of Set Protocol as well as wrapped bitcoin. For many of these leading protocols, we include detailed examples of how the mechanics work. For example, we show how to use a dYdX flash swap to execute an arbitrage transaction (take advantage of different prices on different exchanges for the same asset).


  • Credit and Lending
    • We begin module one with the mechanics of MakerDAO stablecoin called DAI and introduce the idea of collateralized debt obligations. The module also includes a detailed examination of both Compound and Aave.
  • Decentralized Exchange
    • The second module explores the mechanics of Uniswap v2 and v3. A generalization of the two asset Automated Market Maker introduced by Balancer is also studied. The module ends with a discussion of rehypothecation as well as Total Locked Value.
  • Derivatives
    • The third model features leading derivatives protocols. The mechanics of fixed rate lending and borrowing is presented with the Yield Protocol. The mechanics of dYdX and Synthetix are also explored.
  • Tokenization
    • The final module focuses on tokenization and features the Set Protocol. Set provides a way to combine portfolios much like an ETF holds many traditional stocks. The Sets can be active or passive. The module ends with a discussion of the use in DeFi of both wrapped bitcoin and wrapped ethereum.

Taught by

Cam Harvey


5.0 rating, based on 1 Class Central review

4.9 rating at Coursera based on 163 ratings

Start your review of Decentralized Finance (DeFi) Deep Dive

  • Anonymous
    This course does an excellent job of introducing and explaining some of the most common DeFi protocols that exist today. Using simple to understand comparisons to centralized finance equivalents Prof Harvey shows how developers have used consensus-based algorithms to create transparent, permanent, and secure ways to complete complex financial transactions without the inefficiencies, expense, and risk of middlemen.

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