An Investor’s Guide to DeFi


As decentralization continues to shape the future of finance, an industry expert shares his perspective on making smart investments, blockchain security, and more.

This is a bonus episode to our four-part series on blockchain, crypto, and tokenization where we discuss the concept of decentralized finance, including its significance in the global economy and potential impacts DeFi could have on real estate investment. To do this, we’re joined by Rennick Palley, founder and chief investment officer of Stratos Technologies. Rennick explains how protocols built on Ethereum and other blockchains are creating an entirely new financial ecosystem, where investors can trade, lend, borrow, and execute contracts. He also offers advice to investors who are trying to determine which blockchains will have longevity, and he addresses some of the common concerns people have about these new technologies, including security issues, legal questions, and DeFi’s long-term staying power. 

Along with his work at Stratos Technology — the company Rennick founded in 2016 which focuses on investing in innovative technology companies — Rennick is a founding team member, investor, and advisor to Goldfinch Finance, a DeFi project built on Ethereum. Before this, he was a research associate at Sanders Capital, a $40 billion global equity manager founded by Lewis Sanders. Rennick holds two bachelor’s of science degrees from Southern Methodist University in applied mathematics and mechanical engineering, along with a master’s in quantitative finance from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Key Insights:

  • Ethereum’s potential as the foundation for a new financial ecosystem
  • The difference between layer one “infrastructure” and layer two “applications” in blockchain
  • Advice for investing in blockchains with longevity
  • The value of DeFi (decentralized finance) and what is being transacted on-chain
  • How DeFi and tokenization intersect with real estate investment

Guest Bio:

Rennick founded Stratos Technologies in 2016.​ Before founding Stratos, Rennick held the position of Research Associate at Sanders Capital, a $40 billion global equity manager founded by Lewis Sanders, formerly Chairman & CEO of AllianceBernstein L.P. and Chairman and CEO of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., Inc. Rennick was one of ten investment professionals at the firm and reported directly to Lew. Rennick credits the evolution of his investment philosophy and process to the influence of Lew and the team at Sanders, which embody a heritage of best in class research established at Bernstein Research. Rennick holds a Bachelors of Science in Applied Mathematics and a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering, both from Southern Methodist University, and a Masters in Quantitative Finance from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Rennick is a founding team member, investor, and advisor to The Goldfinch Protocol, a decentralized finance project backed by the best founders and investors in the fintech and defi ecosystem.


Real Wealth Real Health

Alpha Investing

Stratos Technologies

Goldfinch Finance

[email protected]