Recap: DeFi Week of Nov. 25 🦄

Hello defiers, hope you’re having a great weekend! Before I get into this past week’s recap, a reminder that this is the last day to subscribe to The Defiant at $8/month and $80/year, and lock in that early defier discount for the next 12 months. Tomorrow, subscription prices will increase to $10/month and $100/year. It’s been amazing to see how much this one-woman content platform has grown in just a few months and I’m excited to continue working hard to make it better and better, with and for you.

Summing up last week: Total value locked in decentralized finance platforms crossed $700 million for the first time, showing DeFi is the new honey badger. Hackers stole about $50 million from a centralized exchange, sparking a debate on whether they should use DeFi to profit. Meanwhile, Dex volume soared. Set Protocol announced the launch of social trading, Stake Capital announced the launch of a revenue-sharing DAO, and Fidelity tested using an Ethereum token to reward employees.

News & Views


  • Lightning Drop in Lightning Network Highlights Slide: An apparent glitch made it seem like the bitcoin held in the Lightning Network had plunged to 73 from ~800 and quickly erased losses three times in a couple of minutes. The move called attention to the overall trend. 

  • DeFi Dashboards Popping Up: With the proliferation of decentralized finance platforms, developers are making tools to help users organize all their assets and data in one place, rather than have to access to them individually. Traditional fintechs are already doing this, without much success in monetizing.


  • DeFi Don’t Care: The amount of dollars locked in decentralized finance protocols touched a new record, even amid a crypto market slump.

  • Fidelity Testing Ethereum Tokens for Employee Rewards: Fidelity Investments, which holds $7.8 trillion in total customer assets, is testing a cryptocurrency-based rewards program for its employees.


  • Can (and Should) DeFi Enable Crypto Thieves to Profit?: 342k ether got stolen from Upbit. Aside from the “not your keys, not your crypto” meme that comes up whenever centralized exchanges get hacked, this time, because ETH was stolen, another interesting question came up: What if the hacker is able to more easily profit from the stolen funds thanks to DeFi.

  • The New SaaS is Staking-As-A-Service: Stake Capital, which provides staking as a service, on Monday announced it’s launching a revenue-sharing DAO, enabling DAO token holders to receive staking rewards and participate in governance decisions.


  • Dex Volume Soars Amid Market Rout: Decentralized exchange volume more than doubled last week from the previous seven days, far outpacing centralized exchanges.

  • Set Protocol Plans to Add Social Trading Next Year: Soon Set Protocol users will be able to follow successful traders and automatically copy their moves.

💜Community Love💜

Thanking all the amazing defiers for the support and love this week (and always!)

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Record Value Locked Shows DeFi is the New Honey Badger

Also, Fidelity is testing Ethereum tokens for employee rewards.

Hello defiers, and happy Thanksgiving for those who celebrate! I’m personally thankful to have discovered this fascinating corner of tech and finance :)

  • New record value locked in DeFi

  • Fidelity Investments is testing Ethereum tokens

A reminder that The Defiant’s beta period is ending next week. That means subscription prices will increase from $80/year and $8/month, to $100/year and $10/month. If you become a subscriber now, you’ll be locking in the discounted price for the next 12 months. You’ll have full access to the content and archive, and be in the select club of early Defiers, which will get its own perks. And this almost-daily newsletter is just the start. You’ll know what I mean soon. Thanks again for your support; it’s exciting to watch this new financial system together.

DeFi Don’t Care

The amount of dollars locked in decentralized finance protocols touched a new record, even amid a crypto market slump.

There’s now ~$680 million locked in DeFi, surpassing the June high of ~$650 million, according to DeFi Pulse. The asset that’s contributing the most to this increase is ETH, as more than 300k ETH (about $50 million) has been added just in the past month. About $180k in BTC was added in that time, while $2 million in Dai was withdrawn.

An increase in value locked in DeFi is a sign these platforms are seeing increased use, either from new users pouring money in the system, or existing users trusting these smart contracts with more of their funds. This increased activity is more significant as it happened as the cryptocurrency market slumped.

ETH in DeFi did this:

While ETH in the market did this:

It’s a sign users of decentralized finance platforms are confident Ethereum’s cryptocurrency ether will rebound as they’re willing to continue using it as collateral for their loans and other trades.

More broadly, it shows this new financial system doesn’t rely on the hype cycles of the cryptocurrency market, which can be frequent and violent. After all, it was during the brutal bear market of 2018 when DeFi emerged in the first place.

Bitcoin is often said to be like a the honey badger that went viral in 2013, as it “doesn’t care” about banks and authority. DeFi might be the rebellious brother, who doesn’t care about any of that, and it also doesn’t care about prices either.

Fidelity Testing Ethereum Tokens for Employee Rewards

Fidelity Investments, which holds $7.8 trillion in total customer assets, is testing a cryptocurrency-based rewards program for its employees.

Fidelity’s Center for Applied Technology’s Bits & Blocks Club launched an ERC-1404 token, which is an Ethereum token designed to carry complex compliance requirements. Security token firm TokenSoft helped FCAT design and issue the BBT token to be used in a closed-loop rewards system. The token is designed to incentivize employees to attend internal events and other activities.

This test comes after a long string of blockchain initiatives by Fidelity, which has a digital assets arm, providing cryptocurrency custody and trading fro institutional investors.

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About the author: I’m Camila Russo, a financial journalist writing a book on Ethereum with Harper Collins. I was previously at Bloomberg News in New York, Madrid and Buenos Aires covering markets. I’ve extensively covered crypto and finance, and now I’m diving into DeFi, the intersection of the two.

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