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🦄 Recap: DeFi Week of Aug. 15
We’re in the dog days of summer and the heat isn’t just literally on, it’s figuratively cranked up, too, as the DeFi community grapples with growing pains and exciting possibilities.
This week, we saw Balancer and SuperRare make bold moves to bolster liquidity and the rights of NFT artists and tokenholders. Owen Fernau reported on Avalanche’s whopping $180M bid to attract Defiers to its platform amid a wave of alliance-building with other players. And Brady Dale fired in with a probing exploration of how NFTs can be used to secure loans, a potentially massive new driver in the DeFi lending space. And speaking of NFTs, yyctrader wrote about the copyright battle over Sad Frogs.
At the same time, tensions continue to mount between Washington’s lawmakers and the crypto community. Ryan Selkis, the CEO of Messari, the data analysis provider, has emerged as an outspoken voice calling for the DeFi community to oppose draconian proposals emerging on Capitol Hill and state houses. Be sure to check Camila Russo’s podcast with Ryan this week. In the same vein, contributing writer David Liebowitz delivered an important essay on how DeFi users might back new crypto laws and rally in favorable jurisdictions such as Wyoming.
This week also featured some choice video pieces from Robin Schmidt and his team on liquidity pools, pudgy penguins, and why he gave away $144K in NFTs for free. So feast on the content on offer, Defiers, and we’ll catch you next week.
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Balancer, one of the leading DeFi automated market makers (AMM) for multiple tokens. Dive into their pools at https://balancer.finance/
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, by Index Coop - DPI is the easiest way to capture the upside of DeFi with the benefit of diversification. Buy DPI today on your favorite DEX.
In this week’s episode we speak with Ryan Selkis, CEO and founder of Messari, one of the most popular crypto data and research companies. Ryan has been very vocal about crypto regulation in the US. We talk about how he believes the infrastructure bill was a catalyzing event for the whole American crypto ecosystem. He believes while there are think tanks and corporate-led lobbying groups, the space is missing a grassroots entity that gives a voice to the millions of crypto users in the US that so energetically came to life against this bill. That’s why he’s creating a group to help mobilize voters in the crypto community to support pro-crypto candidates.
Inbox Dump #21
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 feature, Brady Dale explores the push to use soaring NFTs to secure loans, opening new market in DeFi.
The whole world is struggling to wrap its head around non-fungible tokens (NFTs), including DeFi. But DeFi is trying.
“Over the last two weeks NFT sales have exploded to levels well beyond the NFT boom seen in March,” says a new report by CoinMetrics. Obviously, that’s driven in part by genuine interest but also by snagging something on the cheap that soars in value. And there’s been a lot of that going around.
When people in the analog world want to make use of something valuable without selling, they turn to a lender who will accept it as collateral for a loan. That’s definitely happening in decentralized finance (DeFi), but not as quickly as one might expect considering all the other financial innovation that’s occurred on the blockchain.
“It’s a gradual understanding of this opportunity,” Vanessa Grellet, who leads portfolio growth at the venture firm CoinFund, told The Defiant in a phone call. “It needs to be much more user friendly.”
This is a weekly tutorial on the most compelling opportunities in yield farming, written by our friend DeFi Dad, an advisor to The Defiant and Head of Marketing and Portfolio Support at Fourth Revolution Capital.
Background on Protocol: A new DeFi protocol called Orion Money aims to build a cross-chain stablecoin bank for saving and lending. What’s clever about Orion is that it’s bridging demand from two different DeFi communities: the Anchor Rate available on Terra blockchain and the outsized amount of stablecoin liquidity and demand to earn yield on Ethereum. If you’re unfamiliar with the Anchor Rate, think of it as the target APY that Anchor protocol seeks to pay out to depositors of UST. This Anchor Rate isn’t fixed, but is designed to be stable, currently about 19.55% APY.
If you have a reliable source to earn a stable 19-20% yield on stablecoins on one blockchain (Terra) and a larger pool of stablecoin lenders on Ethereum, what happens when you bring the two together? Orion Money addresses this by allowing stablecoin lenders to remain on Ethereum, while lending one of many stablecoins such as DAI, USDC, and UST to earn with the Anchor Rate.
In this week’s Opinion piece, David Liebowitz argues how and why all the tribes of crypto and DeFi must band together to press Washington not to pass draconian laws and regulations. The stakes couldn’t be higher — the creative revolution released by blockchain technology. Among David’s proposals: new laws to protect crypto.
Earlier this month when the infrastructure bill came with a provision to broadly expand the definition of brokers to include blockchain ecosystem participants such as miners, developers, and others, the crypto industry sprung into action.
Builders, investors, enthusiasts, lawyers, and everyone in between embarked on an all-out effort to add to the Lummis-Tooly-Wyden amendment and narrow the definition of a broker. Moreover, they sought to educate members of Congress and the general public on the ramifications of a sweeping definition on the future of nascent technology, and why such consideration demands more time.
Organizations such as Coin Center, The Blockchain Association, and Fight For The Future spent countless hours organizing grassroots outreach online, resulting in tens of thousands of calls to Congress. The undertaking garnered enough attention to receive coverage from the Washington Post, which headlined its article How Cryptocurrency Became a Powerful Force in Washington, as well as features in The New York Times, Vox, and others. Although the provision was not amended before it passed the Senate, the saga solidified the blockchain lobby as a serious presence and showed what’s possible when the industry organizes in a coordinated effort.
In this weeks research piece, Juan Pellicer of IntoTheBlock crunched the numbers on Axie Infinity’s explosive performance. Delving into what makes the gaming platform tick, Juan discovered some surprises about the evolution of the Metaverse and its revenue models.
Axie Infinity has recorded unprecedented growth in the crypto space. This week the data confirmed that it surpassed more than $1 billion in sales and the equally spectacular achievement of one million daily users. Where is the limit for Axie Infinity? Will play-to-earn help to expand crypto adoption to the young generations? Can traders benefit as well from this growth?
Up until last week, OpenSea was the sole platform to break the threshold of $1B in cumulative traded volume in the NFT space. To put this performance in perspective, other popular NFT projects like NBA Top Shot or Cryptopunks are approaching $700M in accumulated total volume.
It’s Been a Killer Week for “Ethereum Killers” This is shaping up to be a killer week for so-called “Ethereum killers.” Of the 100 largest tokens in terms of market capitalization, seven of the top ten biggest gainers in the last week are smart contract platforms, according to CoinGecko. Eleven of the top 15 smart contract platforms are up double digits on the week, according to crypto research company Messari. Of those, three, Solana, Terra, and Avalanche, are up over 75%. Cardano, Polkadot and Cosmos are all up over 25%.
9 SXSW Panels the DeFi Crowd Can Get Behind DeFi can be part of the conversation at South by Southwest — if you demand it. Organizers allow the public to weigh in on the agenda of South by Southwest (SXSW), one of the biggest festivals in the country, and that’s underway now.
Uniswap Proposal Stirs Up Controversy in DeFi on DAO Fund Management A Uniswap governance proposal riled up the DeFi community this week. The proposal, which has since been canceled, would have used yield generated from $25M in Uniswap treasury assets to pay employees at blockchain analytics platform Flipside Crypto. The payment would have been for Flipside to oversee a bounty program for pulling more users into the Uniswap ecosystem.
SuperRare Drops Token Amid Series of Moves to Empower Artists SuperRare, the influential NFT art platform, is taking a big step forward in its plan to progressively decentralize with the launch of its RARE token on Aug. 17. As part of a slew of changes, SuperRare is poised to bestow more control to artists.
Layer 1 Player Avalanche Offers $180M in Incentives to Woo Defiers Layer 1 blockchains are making extraordinary offers to attract DeFi protocols and juice liquidity. It was Harmony earlier this week, and now it’s Avalanche. The Avalanche Foundation is offering $180M in liquidity mining incentives to bring more apps into its DeFi ecosystem.
Balancer’s New Kind of Pool Enters Battle for Crypto Liquidity Automated portfolio manager Balancer introduced a new mechanism to improve capital efficiency for liquidity providers as it aims to take a larger bite of the interest-bearing token market.
TikTok Chooses Blockchain-Powered Audius for First Music Integration If TikTok is a window into what teens are up to these days, then crypto has a place beside dance videos.
Sad Frog NFT Holders Furie-ous After OpenSea Delisting A copyright battle is being waged in the NFT space. On August 16, Sad Frogs District, a collection of 7,000 Ethereum-based non-fungible tokens (NFTs), was delisted from OpenSea, the largest NFT marketplace.
Harmony One Invites Curve and Aave to Join its Blockchain Five months after opening the door to SushiSwap, Harmony One is inviting more major DeFi apps to hop on its blockchain.
DAOs Will be Ready the Next Time Washington Comes After Crypto It didn’t take long for DeFi’s rank-and-file to mobilize after the U.S. Senate ran roughshod over the community’s concerns last week. An array of players in decentralized finance are now marshaling forces to stand up for the industry.
Tokens Don’t Make a Democracy: Buterin Critiques On-Chain Voting Vitalik Buterin, criticized the state of on-chain governance yesterday on his blog, arguing blockchain projects have become overly reliant on token-based voting as they try to become more decentralized.
Solana’s SOL Breaks All-Time High as Ecosystem Rallies Together The Solana blockchain’s SOL token is soaring to an all-time high, climbing the ranks to become the tenth largest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization.
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)