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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Decentralized Finance (DeFi) Primitives by Duke University

394 ratings

About the Course

DeFi and the Future of Finance is a set of four courses that focus on decentralized finance. The second course is called DeFi Primitives. It is recommended that you take the first course, DeFi Infrastructure, before this course. In this course, we talk about transaction mechanics and introduce both fungible and non-fungible tokens – or NFTs. The course explores the important issue of custody (holding private keys). The course then explores supply adjustment which includes the minting and burning of tokens. The mechanics of bonding curves are introduced. The course then explores the role of direct as well as indirect incentives in the DeFi system. We then analyze swaps or decentralized exchange. We begin by contrasting DEX with centralized exchange (e.g., Coinbase or Binance). The course details the mechanics of Automated Market Makers and provides a number of detailed examples. There is a discussion of impermanent loss as well as (legal) front-running. We end the course by exploring both collateralized and flash loans....

Top reviews


Jan 30, 2022

DeFi Primitives gives an excellent idea of the exciting new world we are heading to in decentralized finance. Also highlights the need to contain energy costs and carbon emissions as we go along.


Dec 25, 2022

Great class giving us a very clear concise overview of the Defi space. I am currently wokring my own project called Fate Finance - which has some very unique protocols.

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1 - 25 of 62 Reviews for Decentralized Finance (DeFi) Primitives

By Mike M

Dec 23, 2021

Excellent course! Highly recommended. I took this course as part of the four course specialization. Professor Harvey does an excellent job explaining many nuances to DeFi.

He uses a combination of powerpoint, visuals, analogies and case studies to make the content understandable. The professor teaches with clarity, and passion yet treats the subject fairly offering alternative points of view about the opportunities and risks of DeFi as compared to the current financial system.

I have been introduced to the cryptocurrency and DeFi space a little over 6 months ago. Since that time, I have "fallen down the rabbit hole" so to speak and cannot learn enough about it. These courses provide a strong foundation to explore further for personal investing, and or a career in the space.

Unlike the other courses I took on Coursera related to blockchain and cryptocurriencies (which were also pretty good), these courses felt much more up to date than the others. Being up to date in this space is essential because one year is like 10 years of another field in terms of innovation and how fast the landscape changes.

Specific to this course, it was helpful to learn the history and context of where the DeFi space had its origins and to understand where it is headed. I would recommend this course for those looking to get a better understanding of the key innovations that really caused DeFi to explode in 2020 and beyond.

By Sahir H

Jan 11, 2022

The course has good mix of technical and finance content which is actually what I was looking out for. The instructor has explained the concepts really well with appropriate examples. This made easier to grasp some of the tricky concepts in DeFi. Overall it was interesting and enjoyable course, kept me hooked throughout.

By tousina m

Dec 30, 2021

Course is very insightful. It broadens the scope of understanding the mechanisms involved from minute to complex transactions.

By Earl J L

Nov 21, 2021

Well taught!! I Suggest this to people who wants to start and know more about DeFi nd Crypto.

By Stephen

Nov 25, 2021

This is an in-depth course on the mechanics of DeFi and its underlying protocols. This is a fantastic course that helps one understand the changing dynamics of the financial system architecture. I highly recommend the course and this entire specialization to the changemakers of tomorrow.

By Murray S

Dec 19, 2021

Fantastic course. Professor Cam Harvey DeFi series on Coursera is essential learning for anyone wishing to know more about DeFi. Great range of topics and very useful examples. Best learning I have seen in this space.

By Keith M

Nov 29, 2021

Amazing Class! I have learned so much and still have a lot more to learn but I am convinced we are looking at the next revolution. in 30 years people will be talking about this time like the internet in the 90s.

By kieran k

Dec 20, 2021

Cam is fantastic communicator, he is a master of explaining conceptual elements, but he has a breadth of technical and financial acumen that means he will go deeper into topics and apply them to the real world.


Jan 31, 2022

DeFi Primitives gives an excellent idea of the exciting new world we are heading to in decentralized finance. Also highlights the need to contain energy costs and carbon emissions as we go along.

By Sai A

Jun 8, 2022

I highly recommend this course for beginners, who are starting their career in blockchain, web3.0, or Defi or entrepreneurs, consultants, and managers. This course opens up the doors to endless possibilities of solutions in the emerging world that Defi is going to solve. Prof. Cambell has explained all the important concepts in the most effective and intriguing way.

By Manuel E

Mar 17, 2022

me parecio bastante interesante y facil de asimilar como funcionan los DeX, Smart contracts, y las flash loan. tambien estuvo bastante comprensible la forma en que se explica como se ejecutan los algoritmos para crear el Hash tanto en Bitcoin como en ethereum

By Yusuf J

Mar 15, 2022

This was one of the best and most relevant courses I have taken so far. In-depth enough to esatblish a strong foundfation of essential knowledge and accessible enough to facilitate a working grasp of the basics and some advanced topics.

By Mr. A

Dec 26, 2022

Great class giving us a very clear concise overview of the Defi space. I am currently wokring my own project called Fate Finance - which has some very unique protocols.

By Parasnath S

Feb 19, 2023

Excellent for anybody who want to lean about Decentralized Finance. As I am an old Blockchain learner the 4th week of the course was way too easy.



By Teo L F

May 27, 2022

Great content and explanation by Prof. Harvey! Love how he explain the terms using simple and understandable analogies that is applicable.

By Scott P

Jul 13, 2022

I like the way the professor communicates in this course. He is very clear and I can understand him. Thank-you.

By Yasaman D

Apr 8, 2022

Amazing! Lots of very useful information. Every second of this course provided interesting and education content.

By Ishan S

Aug 31, 2023

It was actually quite great. I am excited to learn more about DeFi as well as the programming perspectives!

By Xavier V

Jul 20, 2022

Well designed and clear examples/analogies. Easy enough while some concepts are complex.

By Michael W

Nov 15, 2021

Excellent course in preparation for the Flare Finance platform to be released soon.

By David R

May 20, 2024

Very good information and the presentations and explanations were perfect.

By Vivian D

Jan 29, 2023

Exceptional teaching and very informative. This is 80% of the DEFI world.

By Hanz L

Dec 21, 2021

really good explanations now I'm ready to get involved with the third one.

By Fatemeh N

Nov 24, 2021

It was very useful for me who did not have basic information in this area

By Eric S

Nov 11, 2022

Great introduction to DeFi and a very motivated and engaging professor