CeFi, DeFi and ReFi – What is the Difference?

CeFi, DeFi and ReFi. Big chance you have heard the acronyms being thrown around when people talk about cryptocurrencies or finance.

In this post we will clarify what each of these terms mean, what the differences and similarities between them exist and what popular apps and platforms there are.

We will also provide more interested reading material that go beyond the scope of this post.

Centralized Finance (CeFi)

What is CeFi

The acronym CeFi stands for Centralized Finance.

How to use CeFi

Earning interest from lending out your crypto or staking it via a 3rd-party is probably the easiest way to make money on your crypto. You can now earn interest on your cryptocurrencies just like a regular bank account, but then without any negative interest rates.

Popular CeFi apps

We list some of the more popular CeFi uses, platforms and apps here.


Nexo is the world’s most advanced, regulated digital assets institution offering instant crypto loans, daily earning on assets, exchange, and the only blockchain company to provide its services in 40+ fiat currencies and in more than 200 jurisdictions.

Nexo gives digital asset holders the best of both worlds – instant access to cash and high-yielding interest on idle assets. Not limited to that but also sophisticated trading and OTC capabilities.

The company’s mission is to maximize the value and utility of cryptocurrencies and this translates into $30+ billion processed for 2+ million users across the globe.


Celsius Network is a leading Centralized Finance (CeFi) platform for crypto assets offering competitive interest reward rates for deposits and low interest rates on collateralized loans. Over 40 assets are supported and the community has grown to over 1 million users in just 3 years. CEL is the native token for the Celsius Network platform. It’s an incredible rewards program that gives you up to 25% more weekly rewards and up to 25% discounts on loans, just by holding CEL in your wallet!

The CEL token trades publicly on Centralized Exchanges (CEX) including: FTX, Liquid, Bitfinex, Gate.io, Bittrex, OKEx, Bancor, Bilaxy, CoinEx, HotBit and HitBTC. CEL also trades on Decentralized Exchanges (DEX) including: Uniswap and 1inch Exchange. You can also purchase CEL through the Celsius Network OTC or in-app via 3rd parties.

They especially have good promocodes. For example if you send $5000 worth of Ethereum and lock it up for 90 days, you will receive $200. They are able to do this because other users take out loans and pay interest. Check out the promo codes page for current active ones.



More information about CeFi

Learn more about CeFi

Decentralized Finance (DeFi)

What is DeFi

You’ve probably guessed it by now, the acronym DeFi stands for Decentralized Finance.

How to use DeFi

Popular DeFi apps

Starting from 2020 onwards we have seen a huge increase in DeFi applications. [INSERT GROWTH OF TVL]. We list some of the more popular DeFi uses, platforms and apps here.


PancakeSwap is one of the famous DeFi based Protocol which aims to provide Automated Market Making (AMM) by being a #1 liquidity provider. This open-source DeFi based exchange is built on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) through which the platform users can swap BEP-20 tokens.

CAKE is the native token of PancakeSwap and the users can swap, add liquidity, farm, yield, stake, and win CAKE Tokens through lottery.


BakerySwap is the all-in-one DeFi platform that provides both AMM and NFT Marketplace solutions in one place. Users can exchange tokens, provide liquidity, participate in liquidity farming, and also mint NFT and trade them.


Beefy.Finance is a multichain Decentralized Finance (DeFi) Yield Optimizer project, that allows its users to make more crypto with crypto. DeFi applications are unique in the sense that they are permissionless and trustless, meaning that anyone with a supported wallet can interact with them without the need for trusted middlemen.

More information about DeFi

Regulated Finance (ReFi)

What is ReFi?

ReFi stands for Regulated Finance. It simply means those financial projects that are regulated and perform identifcation and other forms of KYC, often required by central banks and governments. Thus: most Centralized Finance-platforms are a subset of Regulated Finance since they are obligated to do all kinds of checks.

How to use ReFi?

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Popular ReFi apps

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More information about ReFi

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Differences between DeFi and CeFi

One biggest difference between DeFi and CeFi is that CeFi requires KYC (Know Your Customer) which requires uploading privacy sensitive data and DeFi is permissionless

-CeFi requires trust in a centralized party, while DeFi is trustless. However, the smart contracts DeFi use can be faulty. There are lots of auditers that check smart contracts, but you can not guarantee it is 100% bug free.

Last Updated on 21/01/2022 by Staff