11 days ago - Economy and Finance

From TradFi to DeFi Analysis: The Evolution of Portfolio Management in a Decentralized World

By Rodrigo Coronel

From TradFi to DeFi Analysis: The Evolution of Portfolio Management in a Decentralized World

The financial landscape is undergoing a seismic shift. Traditional finance (TradFi), with its well-established principles and frameworks, is being challenged by decentralized finance (DeFi), an emerging ecosystem that promises to redefine how we think about finance, investment and economic value. This transformation is not just a technological shift, but a fundamental reconfiguration of economic paradigms. As portfolio management transitions from sector-based analysis in TradFi to narrative-driven analysis in DeFi, investors must adapt to a landscape characterized by a multiplicity of investment opportunities, an abundance of tools, infinite data and increased inherent risks.

DeFi is the acronym for Decentralized Finance or decentralized finance, as such platforms operate in a decentralized manner on blockchain networks, without human intervention.

Having completed a Master in Finance in Capital Markets in 2004 and developed various positions in capital markets and technology, I have had the opportunity to participate closely in projects based on blockchain and crypto tokens. The portfolio management I learned and developed before 2010 is a far cry from what I now see in crypto and DeFi markets, something I am getting used to but still with high skepticism I analyze the market forces that define the prices of these assets.

This year I have had to dabble more in the crypto markets while still analyzing the traditional markets, one thing is certain, the data that exists is like an ocean in which we must find valuable information for decision making. That is why I thought of writing about how today we look at the crypto market with a sector analysis that today they call it narratives.

The Basis of Traditional Finance: Sector Analysis

TradFi has long relied on sector analysis as a cornerstone of portfolio management. This approach involves categorizing companies into specific sectors and industries based on their business activities. By analyzing these sectors, investors can make informed asset allocation and stock selection decisions. Narratives can be found on various websites dedicated to cryptoasset markets, I have chosen cryptokoryo's on Duneas a source of information , which you may delight in the information it provides on the same.

The main sectors in TradFi include:

1.Technology

Financial Services

3.Healthcare

4.Consumer Cyclical

Consumer Discretionary

Communication Services

7.Industrials

Defensive Consumption

Energy

Renewable Energy

Agriculture

Aviation

Basic Materials

Real Estate

15.Utilities

Telecommunications

Each sector has its unique characteristics, risk factors and growth potentials. For example, the technology sector is known for its rapid innovation and high growth potential, while the utilities sector is characterized by stability and consistent dividends. Portfolio managers traditionally diversify investments in these sectors to manage risk and capitalize on growth opportunities. There are numerous websites and investment platforms that today provide information on these sectors, heat maps, indicators, historical and more data.

Introduction to DeFi: Narrative Driven Analytics

DeFi, built on blockchain technology, introduces a new paradigm where the focus shifts from sectors to narratives. In the DeFi ecosystem, projects and tokens are often driven by themes or overarching narratives that capture the collective imagination of investors. These narratives reflect potential use cases, technological advances and market dynamics in the DeFi space.

Some prominent DeFi narratives include:

1.Account Abstraction

AI (Artificial Intelligence)

3.Appchain

DeFi Bluechips

5.DEX (Decentralized Exchanges)

DEXAggregator

7.Domains

Gamble-Fi

Game-Fi

Interoperability

Layer 1

Layer2

13.LSD (Liquid Staking Derivatives)

LSD Layer 2

15.Meme 1.0

Meme 2.0

17.NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens)

18.Options

19.PREMIA

20.Perp Dex (Decentralized Perpetual Exchanges)

21.Privacy

22.Real Return

23.RWA (Real World Assets)

24.Stablecoins Issuer

Telegram Bots

26.Top 5 MC (Market Cap)

27.Portfolios

China

CEX (Centralized Exchanges)

Friend.Tech

31.Bitcoin ETFs

32.Liquidity Provisioning Derivatives

Gammaswap

34.Logarithm Finance ($LOG)

SmileeFinance

36.Limitless Finance

37.Panoptic

38.Social-Fi

Yield-Stripping

Liquidity Managers

41.Liquid Restaking Token (LRT)

42.DePIN (Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Networks)

The Shift from Sectors to Narratives

Sector Analysis at TradFi

Sector analysis involves examining the macroeconomic, regulatory and competitive factors that affect different industries. For example, in the technology sector, analysts can look at innovation trends, regulatory changes related to data privacy, and competitive pressures from emerging technology companies. By understanding these factors, investors can identify companies with strong growth potential or those that are undervalued relative to their peers.

Narrative Analysis at DeFi

At DeFi, narrative analysis focuses on understanding the stories and themes that drive investor interest and market dynamics. Unlike sector analysis, which is based on established industry classifications, narrative analysis is more fluid and dynamic. Often the advancement of their movements are found in X-groups, Telegram and Reddit rather than portals. Because of this it is also much more difficult to stay on top of every opportunity and movement.

Narratives can emerge and evolve quickly, influenced by technological advances, market sentiment and community engagement.

For example:

-IA: Integrating artificial intelligence into DeFi protocols can improve security, optimize business strategies and provide personalized financial services.

-Layer2: Solutions such as Optimistic Rollups and zk-Rollups aim to improve the scalability of Layer 1 blockchains, making transactions faster and cheaper.

-Game-Fi: The merger of gaming and decentralized finance creates new opportunities for play-to-win models and digital asset ownership.


Adapting Portfolio Management Skills for the DeFi Era.

The transition from TradFi to DeFi requires a new set of portfolio management skills and tools. Here are some key areas where traditional portfolio managers need to adapt:

Understanding Blockchain Technology 2.

A fundamental understanding of blockchain technology is essential to navigate the DeFi landscape. This includes knowledge of smart contracts, consensus mechanisms and the differences between various blockchain platforms (e.g. Ethereum, Solana, Binance Smart Chain).

2. Narrative Analysis and Sentiment Tracking.

At DeFi, the ability to identify and analyze emerging narratives is crucial. This involves keeping up with industry news, following influential figures on social media, and participating in community forums. Sentiment tracking tools can help gauge market sentiment and identify trending narratives.

3. Decentralized Finance Tools

DeFi introduces a range of new tools and platforms for trading, lending and yield farming. Portfolio managers should familiarize themselves with decentralized exchanges (DEXs), automated market makers (AMMs), liquidity pools and other DeFi primitives. Understanding how to use these tools effectively is key to managing a DeFi portfolio.

4. Risk Management in a Volatile Environment

DeFi markets are characterized by high volatility and unique risks, such as smart contract vulnerabilities, regulatory uncertainty and market manipulation. Effective risk management strategies are essential to protect investments. This includes diversifying across different narratives, using insurance protocols and setting stop-loss orders. To look here at specialized trading platforms or telegram sniper bots for buying and selling. To also be careful which platforms you use, there are even trading bots that are actually smart contract based scams that empty your DeFi wallet.

5. Data Analysis and Interpretation

The DeFi ecosystem generates huge amounts of data, from blockchain transactions to social media activity. Portfolio managers must develop skills in data analysis and interpretation, leveraging tools such as blockchain explorers, analytics platforms and machine learning models to gain insights and make informed investment decisions.

6. Regulatory Awareness.

DeFi operates in a regulatory gray zone, with evolving legal frameworks that vary by jurisdiction. Staying informed about regulatory developments and understanding their potential impact on the DeFi ecosystem is crucial to managing compliance risks.


The Multiplicity of Investment Opportunities

DeFi offers a multitude of investment opportunities, each with its own risk-reward profile. Here are a few examples:

Decentralized Exchanges (DEXs) 2.

DEXs such as Uniswap, SushiSwap and PancakeSwap allow trading between cryptocurrency pairs without the need for intermediaries. They offer opportunities for trading, liquidity pools and yield farming.

Yield farming is a practice within the decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem that allows investors to earn passive income by providing liquidity to DeFi protocols.

2. Lending and Borrowing Platforms.

Platforms such as Aave, Compound and MakerDAO allow users to lend and borrow assets in a decentralized manner. These platforms provide interest income for lenders and liquidity for borrowers. Advanced traders even perform flash loans, which I will write more about later.

Staking and Yield Farming.

Staking involves locking up assets to support the security and operation of a blockchain network, earning rewards in return. Yield Farming involves providing liquidity to DeFi protocols in exchange for interest and governance tokens (DAO Tokens).

Additionally investors participate in other investment opportunities.

In conclusion, the evolution from TradFi to DeFi not only redefines investment paradigms but also the skills needed to navigate this new financial landscape. Portfolio managers must be prepared to adopt a more nimble and technology-driven approach, taking advantage of the innovation and opportunities that DeFi offers, while carefully managing risks. This shift represents an exciting reconfiguration of the financial world, where success will depend on the ability to adapt and evolve with emerging narratives and technologies.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational and educational purposes only. It does not constitute investment, financial, legal or tax advice. Investing in decentralized finance (DeFi) carries significant risks, including possible loss of principal. Before making any investment decision, it is strongly recommended that you seek appropriate professional advice and consider your personal financial situation and risk tolerance.

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rodrigo coronel

Rodrigo Coronel

With a career spanning over 21 years, I have assumed diverse roles as finance executive, sales manager, Product Owner, Scrum Master and PM, specializing in IT/Business transformation. I have led teams locally and globally, incorporating methodologies such as Lean, Design Thinking, Agile, waterfall, and exploring emerging technologies in Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, LLM, web3 and the metaverse.

As CFO at RoloStudios LLC, I drove transformational changes in finance, collaborated on strategic initiatives and optimized processes. Simultaneously, I contributed to academia as a Fintech Docent, sharing knowledge on blockchain and AI. My academic background in Management and Finance, along with certifications in Project Management, Agile Scrum and Blockchain, highlight my commitment to continuous learning.

Currently based in Cordoba, Argentina, I work remotely, balancing a full personal life as a husband and father of five children alongside my professional projects.

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