DeFi 101 For 2021

Introduction Josh

My crypto journey took off in 2017 and although I bought near the top, I stuck through it because I saw how crypto could directly solve one of the major issues I was dealing with while living in China. It’s through the education that came later that I stuck through the bear market and eventually started DeFi NOW. To me, education is everything and I hope this DeFi course gives you the fundamental tools to succeed.

Course Overview

Forum Task:

  1. Share your thoughts on what DeFi is in this topic.
  2. Write down your goals of what you want to get out of this course.

What is DeFi?

Forum Task – Look at the current DeFi TVL on DeFi Pulse and post what it is in the forum along with your prediction of where it will be at the end of this year.

DeFi Benefits

Forum Task – Come up with one more benefit and share it in the forum. Then respond to at least one other benefit from another community member.

DeFi Drawbacks

Forum Task – Come up with one more drawback and share it in the forum. Then respond to at least one other drawback from another community member.

DeFi vs CeFi vs Fintech

Some interesting reading material:

History of DeFi

  1. MakerDAO Explained –

  2. ETH Gas Explained –

  3. Finematics History of DeFi –

  4. Multicoin Capital on Black Thursday –

  5. Assignment – Where did the term DeFi originate? Be as detailed in your explanation as you’d like

  6. Forum Task – Find an important event or protocol that I didn’t mention, but you think is important to be recorded in the history of DeFi. Then explain why it should be included and check out what other community members have added. None of us are as smart as all of us so let’s work together on this.

DeFi Financial Stack

  • No tasks for this lesson, but feel free to check out the sites and protocols mentioned throughout it.
  1. DeFi Prime –
  2. DeFi Pulse –
  3. DeFi Financial Stack (A bit outdated, but still relevant) –
  4. Use-cases for synthetics –
  5. Is DeFi insurance good? –

Personal Security

  1. Crypto Security Guide –
  2. Hacking Challenge –
  3. Watch a hacker break into a company –
  4. What to do with your Google account when you pass away –
  5. Man’s digital live destroyed in under an hour –
  6. How he got his data back –
  7. Has your email been pwned?
  8. Hardware wallet best practices –
  9. How to avoid procedural hacks and phishing –
  10. Ledger Academy for Security –
  11. Bitdefender
  12. Malwarebytes
  13. Protonmail
  14. Dashlane
  15. Bitwarden
  16. 1Password
  17. LastPass
  18. Ledger HW Wallet
  19. Trezor HW Wallet
  20. Coldcard HW Wallet
  21. Google Titan
  22. Yubikey
  23. Mullvad VPN
  24. Proton VPN
  25. PIA VPN
  • Task – Get your security figured out and understood well before moving forward.

Share your suggestions here:

DeFi Risks Part 1

  1. DeFi Pulse Earned Income Rates –
  2. How Degen are you? –
  3. How much have you paid in ETH gas fees? –
  4. How much have your transactions been frontrun? –
  5. US Treasury yield curve rates –
  6. NASDAQ yearly returns –
  7. Ciphertrace 2020 Year End Crime Report –
  8. DeFi Lending Rates –

Forum task – Check out the DeFi Pulse link, look at the rates for different cryptos, compare them to the rates I mentioned in the video, and comment why you think they are different. Then comment on at least 2 other posts so we can all learn from each other.

DeFi Risks Part 2

  1. Finematics Flash Loans explained –
  2. Flash Loan attack Etherscan transaction –
  3. PeckShield bZx Hack details –
  4. Multicoin Capital on Black Thursday PT 2 –
  5. Tweet mentioned in video –
  6. DAI Stats –
  7. Moralis article on more DeFi attack vectors –

Task – dig into the links from this lesson and the previous one until you have a strong grasp of the risks in DeFi.

Token Utility & Distribution


Curve DAO

Decentralized Finance: On Blockchain- and Smart Contract-Based Financial Markets

The DeFi Stack

Token Economics Framework

Solana Inflation


Let’s read and understand the curve war article together.

What other projects out there have a similar strong game-theoretical model? Let’s share and explore the markets together.

Metamask Tutorial Part 1

  1. Task – Get your Metamask setup and check out these links below.
  2. Metamask site –
  3. Protect your Recovery Phrase –
  4. Using Metamask with Ledger –
  5. Andreas Antonopolous – What is a seed/recovery/mnemonic phrase? –

Metamask Tutorial Part 2

  1. Task – Get your Metamask setup and check out these links below.
  2. Chainlist for adding any network to Metamask –
  3. Get Kovan ETH from Chainlink –
  4. Ethdrop for getting Kovan ETH –

DEX Deep Dive

  1. Finematics Uniswap V3 –
  2. Finematics on Liquidity Pools –
  3. Moonbeam – what is Uniswap –
  4. Uniswap Docs –
  5. Bitcoin Proof of Keys –

Forum Task – Share your thoughts on the 4 DEXs I covered in the video. Which is your favorite? What kind of experiences have you had? Do you have questions on any of them? What do you think of the user experiences of them?

Uniswap Tutorial

  1. Task – Practice using Uniswap and/or other DEXs on TESTNET until you are comfortable using them and understand what the different settings do.

Uniswap –

Money Market Deep Dive

  1. check out this Publish0x article on various DeFi trackers and analytics. Use it for future reference.
  2. Aave –
  3. Compound –
  4. Alchemix –
  5. AMB Crypto on LTV to value money markets –
  6. Dune Analytics comparing LTVs of Aave, MakerDAO, and Compound –
  7. My TrueFi Explained Video –
  8. My interview with TrueFi’s CEO –
  9. My YieldApp Explained Video –
  10. My interview with YieldApp’s CEO –

Forum Task – Look at the LTVs of Aave, Compound, and MakerDAO and talk about the differences. Why does MakerDAO have a much higher LTV than the other two? What incentives are at play that encourages users to deposit more funds into Aave and Compound that are not at play in MakerDAO?

Aave Lending Tutorial

  1. Task – follow along with the tutorial, depositing funds in testnet Aave. Feel free to use any assets you’d like.
  2. Aave –
  3. Aave Docs –

Aave Borrowing Tutorial

  1. Aave –

  2. Compound –

  3. Task 1 – Follow along with the tutorial, borrowing funds on testnet Aave. Then do the same thing on Kovan Compound to get a feel for the differences between the two.

  4. Forum Task – After you’ve played around with Aave and Compound, let us know how it went for you in the forum. Which protocol did you like more? Were there any things I forgot to cover in the tutorial that I should have? Anything on the Aave site you have questions on? Send in your thoughts and questions and be sure to engage with the other posts as well.

Stablecoin Deep Dive

  1. CoinGecko Stablecoins by Market Cap –
  2. DAI Stats –
  3. Paxos BUSD –
  4. TrueUSD –
  5. Tether –
  6. USDC –
  7. How does Terra work? –
  8. Terraform Labs suing the SEC –
  9. My MakerDAO Explained Video –

Forum task – Look into the stablecoins I’ve mentioned and let’s share some opinions in the forum. What do you think about Tether’s reserves? Do you think USDT creates an existential risk to crypto? What is your favorite stablecoin? Looking at DAI Stats, we can see that a significant amount of the collateral backing DAI is USDC. Do you think this makes DAI more, or less secure than if it were backed by, something like ETH? Sound off in the forum and let’s talk about it.

Layer 2 Networks

An Introduction To Ethereum Layer 2 Scaling Solutions

Comparing Layer-2 Ethereum Scaling Solutions

L2 Beat


Try uniswap at zkSync

Try the wallet

A rollup-centric Ethereum roadmap

For the Nurds that want to dig deeper

A rollup-centric Ethereum roadmap

For the Nerds that want to dig deeper


As just discuss we looked at different L1s, L2s, and sidechains.
My view is that Etherum will be the main layer one with a scaled L1 positioned with good enough trade-offs on the scalability trilemma. The future will be Etherum (2.0) L1 with rollup-centric applications build on top of one security model. My Favorite roll-up design is zkSync let’s see how this will go down in history open to an healty debate.

Polygon Bridge Tutorial

  1. Polygon –
  2. Biconomy –
  3. ETH Gas Station –
  4. Quickswap –

Binance Bridge Tutorial

  1. Binance bridge –
  2. Pancakeswap –

DeFi Trackers Tutorial

  1. Zerion –
  2. Zapper –
  3. Rotki –

Josh & Amadeo Interview

Forum Task – share your thoughts on what you think the future of DeFi looks like and anything else you’d like to share related to our chat.


  1. I’ve listed a bunch of links below for you to have as resources as you continue on your DeFi journey. I wish you the best of luck and hope to see you in the forum, in my YouTube and Discord community, and in DeFi 201. Cheers.

  2. Here are links to my YouTube channel, Discord server, and socials





  7. The Origin of DeFi –

  8. Crypto Security Guide –

  9. DeFi Prime –

  10. DeFi Pulse –

  11. How Degen are you? –

  12. How much have you paid in ETH gas fees? –

  13. How much have your transactions been frontrun? –

  14. Messari crypto analytics –

  15. Dune Analytics –

  16. DEXTools for tracking DEX prices in real-time –

  17. DappRadar –

  18. DeFi Llama –

  19. Watch ETH burned in real-time –

  20. ETH Gas Station –

  21. Consensys article covering 100+ DeFi Projects (a bit dated) –

  22. Ledger Academy for Security –

  23. Bitdefender

  24. Malwarebytes

  25. Protonmail

  26. Dashlane

  27. Bitwarden

  28. 1Password

  29. LastPass

  30. Ledger HW Wallet

  31. Trezor HW Wallet

  32. Coldcard HW Wallet

  33. Google Titan

  34. Yubikey

  35. Mullvad VPN

  36. Proton VPN

  37. PIA VPN

  38. Zerion –

  39. Zapper –

  40. Rotki –