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1) Decentralized Finance (DeFi): Transformative Potential & Associated Risks
Francesca Carapella, Edward Dumas, Jacob Gerszten, Nathan Swem, Larry Wall

Abstract: Decentralized finance (DeFi) refers to a set of newly emerging financial products and services that operate on decentralized platforms using blockchains to record and share data. DeFi products and services are conducted without a trusted central intermediary such as a bank, and they include payments, lending and borrowing, trading and investments, capital raising (crowdfunding), and insurance. An important innovation that allowed for the development of DeFi was the growth of programming capability on blockchains. This innovation allows for the creation of computer code called smart contracts that can be invoked by users without going through a centralized intermediary. DeFi may pose financial stability risks, that are exacerbated by the fact that both are currently largely outside the prudential regulatory perimeter, which we discuss.


2) The Financial Stability Implications of Digital Assets
Pablo D. Azar, Garth Baughman, Francesca Carapella, Jacob Gerszten, Arazi Lubis, JP Perez-Sangimino, David E. Rappoport, Chiara Scotti, Nathan Swem, Alexandros Vardoulakis, Aurite Werman

Abstract: The value of assets in the digital ecosystem has grown rapidly, amid periods of high volatility. Does the digital financial system create new potential challenges to financial stability? This paper explores this question using the Federal Reserve’s framework for analyzing vulnerabilities in the traditional financial system. The digital asset ecosystem has recently proven itself highly fragile. However adverse digital asset markets shocks have had limited spillovers to the traditional financial system. Currently, the digital asset ecosystem does not provide significant financial services outside the ecosystem, and it exhibits limited interconnections with the traditional financial system. The paper describes emerging vulnerabilities that could present risks to financial stability in the future if the digital asset ecosystem becomes more systemic, including: run risks among large stablecoins, valuation pressures in crypto-assets, fragilities of DeFi platforms, growing interconnectedness, and a general lack of regulation.


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