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🦄 Recap: DeFi Week of Aug. 1
This was the week we’ve been waiting for — EIP-1559, aka London, made its debut and the upgrade was as dramatic as we were expecting. We all felt the burn as Ethereum began a new chapter in its evolution, and The Defiant produced a raft of primers and news stories to chronicle the event and explain what’s going to change in DeFi as a result of this historic shift.
Guest writer Marcus Sandstrom unpacked how EIP-1559 will alter the eonomics of Ethereum, and YYCtrader did the math on the deflationary effects of the upgrade. That’s going to be a powerful new force in DeFi so be sure to check it out. Owen Fernau, meantime, reported on how EIP-1559 will change the Ethereum experience for users and developers, and Dan Kahan got his arms around the market action, including the burn rates, as the upgrade rolled out on Aug. 5.
But it was not all good news as crypto came under heavy regulatory scrutiny from the US Senate to the SEC. We have a story that wraps it all up and Camila Russo also hosted a newsy livestream with leading voices in the DeFi regulatory story, including SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, Compound CEO Robert Leshner, crypto lawyer Gabriel Shapiro, and the outspoken Chris Blec. Important stuff! Also, check out Cami’s buzzy podcast with the creators and investors behind Stoner Cats, the NFT-loaded show about felines and ganja.
And, of course, don’t miss our latest videos from Robin Schmidt, who this week provides invaluable guidance on how to navigate the pricey world of NFTs, among other topics.
So savor your weekend, and catch up on the DeFi action… It’s safe to say the action will probably accelerate yet again next week, right?!
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🎙 "We Get to Tell Future Pixar Animators They Can Quit Their Jobs and Come Build With NFTs:" Stoner Cats Team
In this week’s episode, I speak with some of the creators and investors behind Stoner Cats, the NFT-infused adult cartoon show about a group of cats who become sentient from their owner’s marihuana. And there are famous humans behind these cats, Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin is one, and Jane Fonda is another. Ashton Kutcher’s VC fund is also involved. With all these big names, there was huge anticipation around this NFT sale -- so much, that the demand made Ethereum gas prices spike, so that many purchases didn’t go through and over $700,000 were lost in failed transactions.
Ashton Kutcher said after this interview that the team is going to personally gift ETH to cover all failed transaction fees. Producer Lisa Sterbakov, investors Maaria Bajwa, Morgan Beller, and NFT creator Jonathan Howard, talk about the motivation behind Stoner Cats, how NFTs is changing the game for creators, what the chaotic launch was like for them, how they got Vitalik to join the show, and more behind the scenes scoops.
Inbox Dump #20
For paid subscribers only — The Inbox Dump is where we include the updates and announcements that flood our DMs each week and didn’t make it to The Defiant’s content platforms. We also include a compilation of DeFi and crypto funding rounds in the past week so you have these in one handy place.
In this week’s research piece, Marcus Sandstrom, co-founder of Viseo.se, provides an invaluable look at how the London upgrade will rewire the economics of Ethereum. It may have a big impact, especially when it comes to gas prices. A must-read on this historic week.
Defiers may be a disparate, opinionated bunch but there is one thing we can all agree on — Ethereum gas prices are a real drag.
Just look at what’s happened over the past few months. Gas prices have ping-ponged all over the place, turning off users from doing all the cool things Ethereum was designed to support, such as minting NFTs, sending money, or playing with DeFi apps and services. Volatile fees have also been a boon for other blockchain projects like Solana and Cardano, which are trying to one-up Ethereum.
The bottom line is that gas prices — essentially, the cost of processing transactions — are preventing Ethereum from truly being Ethereum. Yet this week we may finally have a solution: It’s called EIP-1559, and it is the mother of all updates for the Ethereum blockchain so far.
Here’s the Latest on How U.S. Regulators Want to Crack Down on Crypto Top U.S. lawmakers and regulators are taking steps to tighten their grasp on cryptocurrencies, or advocating for greater control over digital assets. Here are the bills, speeches and charges issued by U.S. government representatives and agencies in the past week.
ETH Burns and a Price Surge After EIP-1559 Executes The Ethereum market is on fire, at least proverbially speaking. Over the first eight hours since EIP-1559 was implemented, thus changing the transaction fee mechanism of Ethereum, 2,458 ETH, or $6.9M at ETH’s current price of around $2.8K, had been burned.
Gelato Releases Tool to Ease Pain of Liquidations Liquidations are a pain for Defiers, but a new tool aims to prevent them automatically. Decentralized bot network, Gelato Finance, released a user interface yesterday which will automatically pay down users’ debt on lending platform Aave if they are close to liquidation.
Hedge Fund Giant Steven Cohen Dives into Crypto with $21M Funding Round in Messari In the latest sign that Wall Street big shots love crypto, Point72 Ventures, the early-stage investment firm founded by hedge fund billionaire Steven Cohen, has led a $21M funding round in Messari, the crypto market intelligence provider. It is Point72’s first foray into crypto.
Crypto vs. Wall Street NFTs Dropping From pplpleasr and Fortune Magazine Artist pplpleasr, who has worked with big name DeFi protocols Uniswap, SushiSwap and Pickle Finance, has teamed up with Fortune Magazine for an NFT drop.
Can’t Afford a CryptoPunk? New Platform Lets Buyers Join Forces to Buy NFTs With NFT prices out of control and wealthy whales squeezing out would-be buyers, collectors are banding together in a newly launched project that lets them pool their capital to bid on works. It’s called PartyBid, and during its public launch on Aug. 4 the action got intense as a coveted CryptoPunk hit the auction block.
Governance Wars Break Out Over Proposal to List BOND on Aave Supporters of the tokenized risk protocol BarnBridge are upset as a proposal to list the project’s BOND token as collateral on lending platform Aave has been met with unexpected resistance from a handful of large token holders in the final stretch of the on-chain vote.
SEC’s Peirce Takes “Liberty-Loving” Perspective after Gensler Calls for Tighter Crypto Regulation SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce is taking a “liberty-loving perspective” when it comes to cryptocurrency and DeFi, contrasting with statements by the agency’s chairman on Tuesday.
Ethereum Price Rallies in Lead Up to EIP-1559 The price of Ethereum’s Ether has been rallying in the lead-up to the EIP-1559 upgrade. ETH crossed $2,500 for the first time since June 16 over the weekend — that’s a 47% increase from $1.7K on June 22, the lowest since hitting an all-time high above $4.3K on May 12.
What Will Change for Users and Developers After EIP-1559 With anticipation building about EIP-1559’s effect on ETH and gas prices, here’s what users should expect. First and foremost, if you have ever been confused by Ethereum gas fees in the past, the upgrade which includes EIP-1559 is meant to make gas fees more predictable and the user experience less complex.
The Math Behind a Deflationary ETH After EIP-1559 There’s a bullish case for ETH, and it’s being defined by terms such as ultrasound money, triple-halving, and deflationary asset. Ethereum’s London hard fork is set to execute on August 5 and the included EIP-1559 upgrade has been hailed by many as a game changer for the world’s second largest cryptocurrency.
Zuckerberg’s Vow to Make Facebook a Metaverse Company Roils DeFi Community At this point, we really shouldn’t be surprised when Mark Zuckerberg courts controversy. But on July 28, he actually told investors on an earnings call that Facebook would become a metaverse company in the future. Huh? Maybe Zuckerberg was just tossing off the latest buzzword to goose Facebook’s stock. Or maybe he truly believes that in the years to come Facebook will “transition from a social media company to a metaverse company.”
Art Blocks NFTs Soar as Savvy Collectors Snap Up Edgy Pieces While all eyes remain on red-hot NFT avatars like Cryptopunks and Bored Apes, some savvy collectors have been quietly amassing Art Blocks in recent weeks. The hook? Art Blocks specializes in a revolutionary genre called Generative Art that’s been around a long time but has found new life in the spellbinding world of NFTs.
When $114M in CryptoPunks Sell, So Do Other NFT Projects CryptoPunk sales exploded over the past week, and the rest of the NFT market is coming along for the ride. The OG NFT avatar project has always been the biggest tour de force in the NFT marketplace, but recently the project has seen an unprecedented amount of sales, in both volume and value.
Crypto Tax Debate On Capitol Hill Signals Big Changes for DeFi Taxing cryptocurrencies just picked up serious momentum, with potentially serious ramifications for DeFi. The U.S. Senate’s $1 trillion infrastructure package now under consideration includes a provision that would tax transactions involving Bitcoin and its ilk to raise around $28 billion in funding.
Thanking all the amazing Defiers for the support and love this week (and always)!
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)