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🧙🏼♂️ MetaCartel Reimagines Venture Capital for a DeFi Future
Hello Defiers! Here’s what we are covering today,
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🙌 Together with:
Kraken, consistently rated the best and most secure cryptocurrency exchange, which can get you from fiat to DeFi
Aave, an open-source and non-custodial liquidity protocol where users can earn interest on deposits and borrow assets.
The DeFi Pulse Index, a capitalization-weighted index that tracks the performance of selected DeFi assets across the market.
THE LEAD: When I joined MetaCartel Ventures’ weekly meeting online earlier this month I didn’t know what to expect. The outfit’s bare-bones website looks like something university students would cook up on an all-nighter, with low-rez GIFs and, strangely, an embedded mp3 of Evanescence’s hit “Bring Me to Life.” Its whitepaper features images reminiscent of playing cards from Magic: The Gathering, a fantasy game.
SO WHAT And yet MetaCartel Ventures, one of the arms of MetaCartel, a self-styled ecosystem and community, is emerging as one of the more formidable investors in DeFi startups. Its portfolio includes splashy platforms Rarible and Reflexer Finance, and the firm counts influential players such as Aave’s Stani Kulechov among its investors. Alex Van de Sande, a well-known developer connected to the Ethereum Foundation, is a member.
Are you an early-stage founder of a Web3 project or a larger team planning to launch a token? Pitch it to Base Camp 6 - applications are closing soon!
Base Camp is an award-winning, early-stage Web3 startup accelerator at Outlier Ventures aimed at companies in DeFi, NFTs and New Data. The applications are running until 31st July 2021.
During a 12-week virtual program, you will get access to:
● Bespoke content lined up with your startup’s goals
● Continuous 1-on-1 support from a team of specialists and industry experts
● Up to $250,000 total funding available per team
● Legal and back-office support,
● World-class mentors and network with some of the biggest names in Web 3 community of alumni and friends of Outlier Ventures
Outlier Ventures have been accelerating blockchain startups since 2019 and has notable alumni such as DIAData, Boson Protocol, NFT42, Cryptio, Crucible, among others who have collectively raised over $130m in seed capital with a combined valuation of over $1bn for the Base Camp graduates to date.
Participating startups will gain access to Outlier Venture’s network of investors and mentors to support fundraising efforts— the ultimate goal of each Base Camp accelerator.
TLDR When Philipp Pieper and Timo Lehes co-founded Swarm Markets in 2017 in California and then moved to Berlin, they did a strange thing. They knocked on the door of Germany’s financial watchdog, known as BaFin, and said, please regulate us.
TESLA That’s not supposed to happen in DeFi. The whole idea is to break free from the sclerotic practices of the conventional financial services industry. But Pieper and Lehes, seasoned TradFi players who’d been through their share of market cycles, were making a bet. They wagered that financial institutions and sophisticated retail investors would love to trade DeFi products, especially tokenized versions of popular stocks such as Tesla and Amazon, but many were wary of the lack of accountability in DeFi, not to mention the skulduggery that’s made headlines of late.
WOES Between rug pulls and exploits and regulatory warnings – just look at Binance’s woes over the last few months – it’s hardly surprising that a lot of investors are having second thoughts about DeFi.
TLDR Grayscale is now offering institutional investors index exposure to DeFi. The Grayscale DeFi Fund tracks Coindesk’s DeFi Index (DFX), a new market cap-weighted benchmark index following a representative basket of ten DeFi crypto tokens. These include Uniswap (UNI) weighted at 49.95%, Aave (AAVE) weighted at 10.25% and Compound (COMP) weighted at 8.38%.
PROTOCOLS Grayscale’s new index fund displays increased institutional interest in DeFi, although by engaging with an index instead of directly with the protocols, it also suggests some hesitancy on the part of institutional investors.
FUND The DeFi Fund is Grayscale’s second diversified fund, following their Grayscale Digital Large Cap Fund, which primarily tracks the prices of Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Cardano (ADA).
If you pay attention to central bank agitprop, you may have noticed an interesting trend: Central bankers are increasingly fond of making references to monetary history, specifically the pre-Civil War period in the U.S. That was when the U.S. entered a monetary era known as “free banking.”
The rocky road that Bitcoin (BTC) has been on for the past two months continued on July 19 as a widely predicted move downwards materialized in the early hours on Monday and dropped the price of BTC below $31,000. Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that a wave of mid-day selling pushed the price of BTC to a low of $30,400 before bulls arrived to provide support and lift the price back to $30,850.
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🧑💻 ✍️ Stories in this newsletter were written by Owen Fernau and Dan Kahan, and edited by Edward Robinson, Bailey Reutzel and Camila Russo. Videos were produced by Robin Schmidt and Alp Gasimov. Podcast was led by Camila, edited by Alp.
The Defiant is a daily newsletter focusing on decentralized finance, a new financial system that’s being built on top of open blockchains. The space is evolving at breakneck speed and revolutionizing tech and money. Sign up to learn more and keep up on the latest, most interesting developments. Subscribers get full access, while free signups get only part of the content. Click here to pay with DAI (for $100/yr) or sub with fiat by clicking on the button above ($15/mo, $150/yr).