Leveling the Playing Field with Decentralized Finance

Published on
May 6th, 2020
25 minutes

Leveling the Playing Field with Decentralized Finance

The Expert View ·
Featuring Mona El Isa

Published on: May 6th, 2020 • Duration: 25 minutes

Mona El Isa, CEO and founder of Avantgarde Finance Ltd., explains how her experience starting her own hedge fund led her to building decentralized investment vehicles on the ethereum blockchain. She argues that decentralized finance (DeFi) will lower barriers to entry for those looking to get into the hedge fund space and also that DeFi investments can be viewed as an entirely new form of diversification – one that provides a hedge for investments living in the traditional centralized system. Filmed on April 29, 2020.



  • CH
    Crag H.
    6 May 2020 @ 19:24
    RV keep bringing on founders and evangelists in a space where 95% of the projects are scams and/or alpha versions of systems that won't be production ready in at least 10 years. The crypto content at RV need more deep dives in the tech that exposes the scams and brings out the gems. Less cool aid, more tough questions. Less founders, more neutral experts. Focus on tech, incentives and security.
    • LK
      Lance K.
      6 May 2020 @ 23:58
      It’s Kool Aid...😉
    • tc
      thomas c.
      7 May 2020 @ 00:08
      Thank you. Exactly how I feel. I'm eager to learn and don't mind hearing from innovators but there are too many cheerleaders just like many crypto podcasts. They should be interviewed by knowledgeable crypto people and challenged more. I would like to understand more of the technical alphabet soup and nitty gritty. Then I think I could judge better what these people are really saying and doing. Raoul is asking on twitter who would like a dedicated cyrpto tier, for more $. It sounds like many would but so much RV crypto content is available elsewhere for free so what would be exclusive about it.
    • CH
      Crag H.
      7 May 2020 @ 16:22
      @Lance: Haha, yes my bad! But there's a lot of cool aid going on nowadays as well ;) #corona
    • CH
      Crag H.
      7 May 2020 @ 16:24
      @Thomas: Agree 100%. RV brought affordable macro analysis to the people which was a great thing. However, there's no shortage of great, free crypto content out there.
    • SW
      Steven W.
      10 May 2020 @ 20:08
      Andreas (@aantonop), please.
  • CT
    Crispim T.
    6 May 2020 @ 21:05
    Ethereum is a Rube Goldberg Machine, a pipe dream of unnecessary vulnerable complexity. A pointless scam, ETH 2,0 is a joke even before it arrived. Why waste time with this? 3 RealVision is about money. Money is Bitcoin (BTC) - there is no merit in diversification if you diversify in junk. Focus on #1. This is the beginning of the Internet and you're wasting time debating the OSI model when everyone is already far ahead working on TCP/IP. Ethereum is just an interesting data point. In failure.
    • BS
      Bart S.
      6 May 2020 @ 21:34
      Now replace ETH with BTC, and BTC with Gold. I hope you get the point.
    • ML
      Mehdi L.
      6 May 2020 @ 22:46
      Haha. This take is a bit narrow. I only hold Bitcoin, but it's hard to argue that Ethereum is a failure when all successful Defi protocols (dXdY, Melon, Coumpound, ICOs, Stablecoins, etc.) are all based on Ethereum.
    • SW
      Steven W.
      10 May 2020 @ 20:04
      As a software engineer, I completely agree with you that ETH is probably not going to do well in the long term. It's a poor architecture that crams too much in the base protocol which leaves it vulnerable (as we've seen many times) and, in the long run, difficult to extend and interface with. Calling it a scam without explaining why is off putting to people. While I don't necessarily disagree with that, ETH provides a lot of value in the near term as a way to test out numerous different kinds of new financial products and systems. Things we couldn't imagine without actively building. Even if they go the way of Netscape, and they very likely will, we will have incredible learning and experimentation as to what works what doesn't. Then you can build adaptations on the more secure network as it evolves into providing the same functionality in a much more secure and extendable way.
  • XF
    Xavier F.
    8 May 2020 @ 02:20
    nice job ! I like your goals ...
  • JI
    Janne I.
    6 May 2020 @ 19:30
    I think you guys should make more videos about defi, eth, and other projects. It might be polarising but it's good to get competing views to bitcoin maximalists and educate some of the legacy dinosaurs. As someone who spends a lot of time in this space, my recommendations for who to interview are the following: @TrustlessState, @RyanSAdams and @IvanOnTech
    • CH
      Crag H.
      6 May 2020 @ 19:50
      The so-called 'maximalists' are simply people chosing the network that actually work. Sure, Ethereum shows a lot of promise. But that's just it. *Promises*. How big is the Ethereum blockchain again and how long did it take to grow to that size? How long until normal consumer hardware won't be enough to validate the chain? Sure, Eth 2.0 might work. Proof-of-stake might work. The problem is that these are fundamental issues that the second larges crypto project still haven't solved while at the same time billions of dollars are flowing into it's ecosystem. It's crazy.
    • CC
      Christopher C.
      7 May 2020 @ 03:20
      I second recommendation for @RyanSAdams and @TrustlessState. Their Bankless podcast does a great job breaking down the developments in Decentralized Finance.
    • CC
      Christopher C.
      7 May 2020 @ 03:29
      To Petter's comment above, Bitcoin and Ethereum will continue to co-exist. I hold both and do not engage in religious arguments, but as a software engineer, I can tell you that you need a Turing-complete blockchain in order to unlock the full potential of decentralized finance. Ethereum VM has that. Bitcoin doesn't. Bitcoin is the most secure blockchain, there's no taking that away. But you will never be able to decentralize banking, currency trading, commodities, stocks, bonds, loans, legal contracts, APIs, etc without a flexible VM like ETH offers. The way I see it, Bitcoin is digital gold, but Ethereum is digital cash. Ethereum currently has billions in tokenized dollars being traded on its platform and growing rapidly. ETH1 already scales to 2000+ transactions per second with Rollups. ETH2 will be another 100x improvement and it's already got a working testnet: https://prylabs.net/
    • CH
      Crag H.
      7 May 2020 @ 16:20
      @Christopher: Continue for how long? The Ethereum blockchain have grown to over 4TB in just 5 years while the Bitcoin blockchain have grown to about 275GB in 10 years. At this rate it's just a matter of time before you need industrial sized hardware to run a full archival node (which is the equivalent of a full BTC node).
    • CH
      Crag H.
      7 May 2020 @ 16:21
  • MZ
    Mark Z.
    6 May 2020 @ 07:37
    I work for Kyber network. We are a decentralized liquidity network. Its an exciting time with the explosive growth of defi. Check out: tokensets, decentralized investment strategies. Chainlink, decentralized oracles, brining off chain data onto the blockchain (think of the internet before real life things were represented on it, chainlink solves this for blockchain. Fulcrum, nuo, aave: lending and borrowing (and leverage) the decentralized way. Synthetix: represent any asset on the blockchain. All on the ethereum network. Decentralized and trustless = the smart contracts on ethereum enforce the contracts. Think banking, without the banks.
    • AM
      Adam M.
      6 May 2020 @ 17:33
      Love Kyber! Also, for those interested, check out PegNet. Unique is that the Oracles are decentralized. CPU mineable, no front running, decentralized non-custodial network of tokens that are pegged to different world currencies and assets, including gold, the euro, and the US dollar. There's no associated company or foundation that needs to make money behind it — the cost of an entry credit is $0.001, and that gets burned as an anti-spam mechanism.
    • sh
      steve h.
      7 May 2020 @ 07:55
      Chainlink. The tokenomics are as exciting as the tech. It seems to have become the standard for all decentralized oracles, and once staking and wider adoption take place, price can soar. Feels like early ETH days for LINK.
    • MG
      Manish G.
      7 May 2020 @ 14:57
      And since we are talking about Oracles, two more interesting projects that seem quite promising. And when we speak about data sources (Oracles) can never rely on a single source for a critical application such as DeFi so the ecosystem will surely have more players as backup / second source / redundancy plan. Do check out BAND and TRB.
  • RK
    Robert K.
    7 May 2020 @ 13:30
    No offence but all the guys/girlz selling shovels and jeans to crypto gold diggers makes me sad. Too many of them i guess.
  • TF
    Theo F.
    6 May 2020 @ 14:54
    Reading the comments = no need to watch. I am DeFi fan but pls invite someone from a project with product-market fit (eg MakerDao) or someone who's protocol got hacked/failed and so they can share what went wrong.
    • MZ
      Mark Z.
      7 May 2020 @ 01:22
      I agree. While Melonport was one of the first (2016-2017ish), I think there are a new projects that are leaps and bounds ahead, on the forefront of relevancy, with a product, and being used. Lets help them: Kyber network, Uniswap, Maker, Aave, Nuo, Fulcrum, synthetix, Follow the volume on Decentralized exchanges that provide liquidity to these products... and you will find the golden gooses. Its all very interesting.
  • AR
    Andrew R.
    6 May 2020 @ 23:47
    Awesome short interview.
  • ML
    Mehdi L.
    6 May 2020 @ 21:30
    Exciting Melonport story
  • JG
    John G.
    6 May 2020 @ 19:22
    Confused by some of these comments. This isn’t a video for DeFi experts looking for an in-depth breakdown of the space. It is however a great top-level overview from the perspective of someone from trad finance. It’s important real vision provides content that’s accessible to those new to the topics too. Personally, I found this interesting despite having followed DeFi and Ethereum since its inception and I echo those asking for more DeFi content 😊
    • CH
      Crag H.
      6 May 2020 @ 19:35
      If you're new to the space and want to know more then you shouldn't be listening to sales pitches. You should be trying to understand what a blockchain is and how it works. It's extremely easy to be misguided in this space. People new to this space should start off by reading the Bitcoin whitepaper: https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf It's 9 pages. There are no excuses.
  • DM
    Dominic M.
    6 May 2020 @ 17:01
    Good interview—thanks to Ms. El Isa. I'd love to see Richard Craib on here—his projects Numerai / Erasure would fascinate RV listeners. (Hedge fund that crowdsources models from data scientists + marketplace for predictions.)
  • DD
    Dmitry D.
    6 May 2020 @ 14:29
    Not RV's finest. Very little actual substance on the topic, more generic ideas and concepts, which are not particularly interesting without specific ideas and views on implementation. Tokenisation is an amazing concept and few would deny the obvious advantages and promise offered by it , but difficulties and barriers in bringing them to life are equally obvious. Discussing ideas on solving or working around them would be truly interesting.
  • CD
    Christopher D.
    6 May 2020 @ 11:46
    I can't quite see if she smiles or not.
  • TL
    Tom L.
    6 May 2020 @ 10:57
    Disappointing interview, sounded more like a sales pitch, needed far tougher questions.
  • RE
    Ryan E.
    6 May 2020 @ 08:52
    Link to the pitch book please