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🦄 Recap: DeFi Week of Nov. 14
Hello Defiers! Happy weekend!
“The NFT space hit like a monsoon.” That’s what Ice Cube, the legendary rap artist and entrepreneur, told our Robin Schmidt in an exclusive video-interview this week on The Defiant’s YouTube channel. With his collaborator Trevor Jones along for the ride, Cube shared his vision for the NFT space, and his own forthcoming drop. Scintillating stuff that’ll inspire and amaze!
Indeed, the NFT juggernaut kept advancing through the culture. Brady Dale wrote a great read on how a virtual real estate play called Parcel aims to be the Zillow of the metaverse and challenge OpenSea on NFTs in the space. Owen Fernau jumped into the war of words that erupted after Discord founder Jason Citron mused that maybe a hookup with MetaMask made sense. Whoa! Anti-NFTers came out of the woodwork assailing Citron for warming up what some called a “scam.” NFT champions such as Vincent Van Dough leapt into the breach with counter salvos.
Pivoting to the more technical precincts of DeFi, The Defiant has been covering the emergence of Layer 2 as a major development for some time. This week we saw a flurry of action in Layer 2s.
Sam Haig reported on how Layer 2 protocol Polygon is using Zero Knowledge proofs in a new Ethereum Virtual Machine rollup. (For a deep dive on ZK-based solutions see this invaluable primer by Alex Shipp). Then yyctrader wrote a new edition of Ape Diaries on how to do gasless yield farming on Aurora, NEAR protocol’s EVM compatible blockchain. Guest writer Maxine Smith also weighed in with a nice research piece exploring NEAR, which incidentally plans on distributing 40M tokens over the next four years.
In this week’s podcast, Camila Russo spoke with Nadya of Pussy Riot, the dissident Russian punk band and collective, about crypto and NFTs. Nadya harnesses the same creative energy as Ice Cube and its no coincidence that both these artists are embracing new forms of technological expression. Let it rip!
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🎙 Nadya of Pussy Riot: "We Can Be Truly Unstoppable if We Combine Our Ideals With Tools That Crypto Provides"
In this week’s episode, Camila Russo speaks with Nadya Tolokonnikova, one of the founding members of the feminist punk rock protest collective, Pussy Riot. Nadya has been protesting against repression of individual freedoms in Russia since she was 17. She started Pussy Riot to focus on women and non-binary people as she noticed leadership would always fall on men. The group started performing in the streets of Moscow and were being repeatedly arrested for a few hours at a time, until one day in 2012, Nadya was put in jail for two years, for performing in a church. Her time in prison made her even more convinced to do everything she could to try and make a difference.
She believes art is a more effective vehicle for influencing hearts and minds than politics and that’s why she continues to perform. This year, she discovered she can use cryptocurrency and NFTs as tools to amplify her art, and coordinate people and capital on a global scale. NFTs can be used as a vehicle to both influence opinion, and also raise funds to be used back in Russia, where political adversaries to the government are still being poisoned and jailed. Nadya talks about her past token drops, where she used her own prison sentence as part of the art, and discloses details of future projects.
📬 Inbox Dump #33
Hello Defiers! Welcome to Inbox Dump where we include the updates and announcements that flood our DMs each week and didn’t make it to The Defiant’s content platforms. Sometimes announcements here didn’t meet the bar to become a news story, sometimes they may have slipped through the cracks, or they came late and we haven’t had a chance to cover.
At The Defiant we cover the most important DeFi-related news and developments but we know many of you are hunting for projects before they are fully developed and before they are newsworthy. Our goal with this installment of the newsletter is to help you find them. Look at this as the starting point to DYOR.
We also include a compilation of DeFi and crypto funding rounds in the past week so you have these in one handy place.
Keep in mind these have been unedited. With that —here we go!
[This post is exclusive to subscribers]
In which Owen Fernau ventures into the free fire zone between NFT evangelists and fierce critics.
The backlash against NFTs has been brewing ever since the first JPEGs hit the market late last year and fetched eye-opening sums. Detractors called them a fraud, the sequel to the Initial Coin Offering bubble that popped the last great crypto boom in 2018. Critics said you can right-click and save NFTs, so what makes them so unique? Others said they contribute to global warming.
But on Nov. 8 things took a more definitive turn when Jason Citron, the CEO of Discord, teased an integration with the crypto wallet, MetaMask, on Twitter. While his proposal garnered support within crypto, opposition to his proposal hit like a tsunami.
“I cannot stress enough that NFT’s are a scam made by a group of the worst people in my field and should be viewed as a money laundering pyramid scheme burning the planet away,” tweeted Aranock, an artist and computer scientist, on Nov. 8. The tweet received over 24,000 likes.
They weren’t alone. On Discord’s feedback section, users strongly opposed the platform integrating crypto, calling the idea “vile” and “extremely harmful.”.
“Aurora is an EVM built on the NEAR Protocol, delivering a turn-key solution for developers to operate their apps on an Ethereum-compatible, high-throughput, scalable and future-safe platform, with low transaction costs for their users,” says the website.
We went straight to the source and interviewed Matt Henderson, head of product at Aurora.
In this explanatory column, guest writer Maxine Smith describes how NEAR is making a splash with its Proof-of-Stake blockchain and planned token drop.
NEAR protocol is a scalable smart contract platform that supports decentralized applications of almost any kind. Its token, NEAR, can be used to pay for transaction fees and storage as well as for staking by token holders who participate in achieving network consensus as transaction validators.
The recent development fund raised in October 2021 for NEAR ecosystem totals $800M. Proximity Labs, a newly formed DeFi DAO, aims to distribute nearly 30% of the fund, nearly 40M NEAR tokens over the next four years on NEAR’s DeFi sector.
Data from Footprint shows the total value locked (TVL) of NEAR’s DeFi surpassing $140M ($160M as of 15 Nov 2021) after a 20% boost within a day after news of the fund was released. The native token, NEAR, also hit an all-time high of $12.3 on the next day.
Footprint Analytics: TVL of NEAR
Parcel Challenges OpenSea in Bid to Rule Virtual Property in the Metaverse In the future, we will all be connected to the metaverse constantly just as we are all connected to the internet now. At least, that’s the thesis of Parcel, a “Zillow for the metaverse” that aims to bring together all the information virtual landowners might need to know about their properties. “The metaverse is the evolution of the internet,” Noah Gaynor, its CEO, told The Defiant in an interview.
Polygon Uses Zero-Knowledge Proofs in New Ethereum Virtual Machine Rollup Polygon, one of the leading Layer 2 Ethereum scaling solutions, has unveiled an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)-compatible rollup.
0L Aims To Revive Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency With Fair Launch Every now and then folks adjacent to crypto Twitter like to tweet out some version of “Remember Libra?”. Libra was Facebook’s first effort to get in on the decentralized web, with a bold promise to “bank the unbanked” via blockchain that was revealed in mid-2019. The world’s largest social network caved in to regulatory pressure and gave up on its higher-end ambitions less than a year later.
ParaSwap Airdrops PSP Governance Token to ‘Active Users’ ParaSwap, a decentralized exchange (DEX) aggregator and market maker, launched its governance token, PSP, on Nov. 15.
CREAM Team Gives Up Future Payouts Following Hack, But Will They Stay? The team behind DeFi money market C.R.E.A.M. Finance has come forward with a plan for partially compensating victims of the Oct. 27 exploit. The Yearn-affiliated money market is draining its treasury to repay users. 1.45M CREAM governance tokens had been set aside for future team remuneration, but will now be distributed proportionally to uninsured victims of the hack.
Pendle Launches Yield Token Trading on Avalanche Pendle, a pioneering yield tokenization protocol and automated market maker exchange, launched on Avalanche on Nov. 11, bringing new functionality to Avalanche’s growing DeFi ecosystem.
Bitcoin’s Taproot Seeks to Boost Smart Contracts and Privacy in Major Upgrade Bitcoin has completed its long-awaited Taproot enhancement, improving privacy, scalability, and smart contract functionality in the network’s first major upgrade since August 2017.
DAO Forms to Buy Original Print of the US Constitution for $20 Million A rocky relationship with US regulators hasn’t dampened the web3 movement’s American patriotism. Last Thursday, a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) was formed to buy one of eleven remaining first prints of the United States Constitution.
Sablier Finance Deploys Payroll Streaming to Polygon and BSC Streaming music and videos has become a daily part of life. A “real-time finance” DeFi protocol now wants to do the same thing with money.
Thanking all the amazing Defiers for the support and love this week (and always)!
🧑💻 ✍️ Stories in The Defiant are written by Brady Dale, Owen Fernau, Sanuel Haig, Bailey Reutzel, and yyctrader, and edited by Edward Robinson, yyctrader, Bailey Reutzel, and Camila Russo. Videos were produced by Robin Schmidt and Alp Gasimov. Podcast was led by Camila, edited by Alp.
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