A few weeks ago, I made a post detailing how you can earn rewards by simply logging into the CoinGeko website and claiming your daily "Candy." While that article detailed how YOU can snag some cool crypto-themed rewards, this article is dedicated to reviewing the "How To DeFi" Book that I received from CoinGeko. In this article, I'll briefly cover what I liked about the book, share some of my favorite parts, and try to grasp for something negative to say about the book (though it will be difficult).
Favorite Crypto Book?
To say the most important part upfront, "How To DeFi" is a comprehensive and authoritative book that will give beginners (and advanced users) the solid foundation that they need to understand and interact with the DeFi ecosystem. In total, the book is 212 pages (on PDF) and contains 14 chapters that cover the most important concept that readers need to understand so they don't get lost in DeFi. Some of the topics covered in the book include:
- Traditional Financial Institutions
- What is DeFi
- Decentralized Lending and Borrowing
- Decentralized Exchanges
- Token Sets
- Payments Systems
- DeFi Dashboard
- DeFi in Action
One of the things I liked most about the book is that the authors took the time to build up a foundation of why many crypto services are better than legacy financial systems. For example, many people who are new to crypto may not have a business or economics background, so saying that crypto/DeFi is better because it "lowers remittance fees" or "provides permissionless lending" might leave them confused. I appreciate that "How to DeFi" devotes a whole chapter to explaining legacy financial systems because it is hard to articulate the benefits of crypto if we don't have a default standard of what we are comparing it to. Including this chapter on traditional finance ensures that even crypto newbies with little econ/finance/accounting knowledge can pick up "How to DeFi" and understand why crypto offers so many benefits.
Unfortunately, a lot of personal finance books that I read are way too generalized and only offer broad general suggestions like "10X your income" or "work hard for your dreams". Going to deep into a certain topic is just as bad as not going deep enough. A book that provides an unnecessary amount of detail will be slow, boring to read, and risks losing the reader's attention while a book that is too broad is more of a pep-talk than an effective how to manual. In my opinion, "How to DeFi" struck a good balance between providing the general concepts and theory behind certain DeFi products while also citing several practical instances of how those concepts can be applied. For example, the book discusses how smart contracts and blockchain technology (in general) can allow trustless exchange of value and reduce uncertainty in transactions, then later describes how the Sablier payment mechanism (specific, real-world example) can be used to set up an "escrow-like" payment stream between two parties. "How To DeFi" also includes quite a few illustrations, pictures, and screenshots of DeFi products which keeps the reader's attention better than just staring at un-ending walls of text.
Weaknesses (If There Are Any)
As much as possible, I try to present un-biased reviews, but there simply aren't many negative things I can say about the book. If someone was being really picky, they could make the argument that it would be possible to find much of the info in the book on sites like Publish0x, Medium,etc. Although it would be possible to find all the info in the book from other sources, I still believe that there is inherent value in having all of this info condensed into one single source with an authoritative author. While it would be possible to track down all this info in other places, this would require a newbie not only to know what info they are looking for, but to vet and verify the sources for legitimacy. One other possible criticism that applies to any book is that it will never be as up to date as a web page. Since "How To DeFi" was published in March, there have been significant new advancements (COMP token and liquidity mining) that have changed the DeFi landscape. Again, I don't see this as a flaw of "How To DeFi." Rather, I see it as a simple acknowledgment of the fact that web pages (in general) are quicker to update and will generally have more cutting-edge, up to date info than books will.
In closing, I found CoinGeko's "How to DeFi" book to be a great primer, not just for DeFi, but for the whole crypto ecosystem. It strikes a good balance between providing easy explanations for beginners while also including products and services that more experienced DeFi users might not be that familiar with. Of course, the crypto landscape changes fast, and this book isn't a replacement for keeping up with the most up-to-date info on Publish0x, Hive, Uptrennd, Medium, etc, but "How To DeFi" is a great reference for beginners and seasoned crypto users alike, and I'd wholeheartedly recommend it for anyone looking for an easy to understand, comprehensive, authoritative guide to getting started in DeFi.