DeFi & Blockchain: An Academic Perspective | Summary and Q&A

March 25, 2022
Real Vision
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DeFi & Blockchain: An Academic Perspective


Fabian Schär, Professor of DLT and Fintech at the University of Basel, discusses his journey into the world of crypto, his research, and his concerns about the industry's centralized components.

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Key Insights

  • 💖 Fabian Schär's interest in crypto was sparked by a friend's introduction to Bitcoin, and he became increasingly fascinated by its protocol and math.
  • 🥺 His research on Bitcoin mining and subsequent book led him to pursue a Ph.D. in crypto assets and blockchain economics.
  • 💦 Schär is involved in various crypto-related activities, including working with regulators and serving on boards and working groups.
  • ⚠️ He is critical of the industry's focus on profit-making and warns about the centralized components of decentralized finance.
  • 🙈 Schär sees the benefits of a decentralized foundational layer to prevent abuse of power and contribute to a fairer financial system.
  • 💗 He is optimistic about the growing interest in public blockchains and believes progress towards decentralization will continue.
  • 🇨🇫 Schär acknowledges the challenges of privacy on public blockchains and the difficulty of circumventing sanctions using cryptocurrencies.

Questions & Answers

Q: How did Fabian Schär first become interested in crypto and Bitcoin?

Schär, a monetary economist, was introduced to Bitcoin by a friend and initially skeptical. However, after researching the math and protocol, he became increasingly excited about its potential.

Q: How has Schär's interest in crypto evolved over time?

Schär's interest evolved from being a student researching Bitcoin mining to writing a book and pursuing a Ph.D. in crypto assets and blockchain economics. He continued to engage with the crypto community through meet-ups and expanded his research focus.

Q: What are some aspects of the crypto industry that Schär dislikes?

Schär is critical of the greed-driven mentality in the industry and the claims of decentralization that often come with centralized components. He highlights that many individuals are primarily focused on making money rather than contributing to a more open financial system.

Q: What are Schär's core beliefs about decentralized finance and the benefits of blockchain technology?

Schär believes that having a decentralized foundational layer, such as the blockchain, offers transparency and neutrality, contributing to a better future. He sees concerns with increasing centralization in the world and believes blockchain technology can help prevent abuse of power.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Fabian Schär, a monetary economist, discovered Bitcoin through a friend and became intrigued by its math and protocol.

  • He researched Bitcoin mining for his master's thesis and later wrote a book on Bitcoin, leading to his Ph.D. in crypto assets and blockchain economics.

  • Schär attended crypto meet-ups in Switzerland, gaining insights from industry experts, and focused his research on the benefits of decentralization.

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