Decentralized Finance (DeFi) as the term sounds, is a type of financial innovation that makes traditional financial services - savings, loans, trading, investing, insurance and more - accessible to anyone worldwide. It was born out of the introduction of bitcoin in 2008 and many ensuing cryptocurrencies that brought along a non-traditional way of thinking and interacting with finance through new technology. Some benefits include: decentralization (cutting off middlemen from transactions), transparency, permission-less globally and inclusive, interoperability, and earning opportunities.
Though it is promising, DeFi is also full of risks. Yield farming is probably the buzzword behind DeFi's popularity because of the huge rewards, which play on human weaknesses and desires to get rich quickly and effortlessly.
At the same time, people should consider how the pursuit of high yields can be incredibly complex, risky, and not suited for everyone.
My 2 cents about the push for digital dollars is that the current crisis has taught us how our paper money is a source of confusion and strain because it is analog. Take for example the recent stimulus money and how difficult it was to reach people on time not to mention some money that went to deceased people; here we have a pretty balkanized and inefficient system. The digital currency would be a better way of delivering money, but it will require a new architecture.
I believe to combat pandemics like the covid-19, the healthcare sector that would benefit from blockchain is patient identity. With identity established, there will be more transparency in matching patients and their records, leading to better interoperability with other datbases. Additionally, blockchain identity allows patients to travel digitally with their records anywhere, sharing them with providers, and volunteering them with clinicians researchers or drug manufacturers for medical research purposes. This would be a boon to our fight against a pandemic like the covid-19 because of effective tracing.