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🦄 Recap: DeFi Week of Oct. 17
Hello Defiers! Happy weekend!
Well, this was the week that a Bitcoin ETF finally went live. An eight year wait ended, and there no way to miss the hype, the headlines, and the impact on the crypto market writ large, with BTC and ETH hitting all-time highs. Amid the hoopla, The Defiant cast a sober eye on what this milestone truly means in the context of DeFi and adoption of its innovations in the marketplace.
To that end, Camila Russo pointed out that the BTC ETF was based around futures contracts, meaning it was a single security that might appeal to Wall Street traders far more than individual investors, who can just as easily buy actual Bitcoin on any number of exchanges. The Defiant’s founder also highlighted the fact there are already hundreds of DeFi index funds on the market that truly do hedge risk through diversification, which is supposed to the real value of ETFs.
The prolific Brady Dale, meanwhile, wrote how Bitcoin in DeFi surged in anticipation of the futures ETF product. and Owen Fernau applied his market savvy to reporting the yawning disparity emerging between ETH and the DeFi Pulse Index’s blue chips during this mad week It’s the type of piece of market intelligence you’ll only find in The Defiant. (Speaking of DeFi Pulse, it crossed the $100B barrier for the first time).
In the midst of all the action around BTC, Owen reported how Layer 2s such as Sushi and Curve are surging in terms of TVL and gaining on Layer 1s that have been burning up the market this year. The other big platform story on The Defiant this week was Fantom. Mason Marcabello wrote an invaluable primer on how the protocol solves the “blockchain trilemma,” a Vitalik phrase of there ever was one! We also reported how Fantom rocketed 90% in 30 days, besting the likes of Solana. If that wasn’t enough, the omnipresent yytrader produced a handy tutorial on yield farming Fantom.
As you tuck into this smorgasbord of DeFi delights make sure you swing over to our Podcast — Cami talked to Adam Jackson, the head of the talent platform Braintrust — and our YouTube channel. Robin and his band of merry pranksters plumbed Acala, PFPs, Nexus, and what else, the Bitcoin ETF. Enjoy!
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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.
We’re excited. We’re getting ready to launch The Defiant Terminal, a platform for investors and analysts to track all DeFi data in one place. Join the waitlist today to be notified as soon as it’s live. You’ll want to be the first to get your eyes on that alpha.
In this week’s episode, I interview Adam Jackson, co-founder of Braintrust, a user-owned talent network. Think Fiverr for web3. Braintrust runs on Ethereum, has thousands of users, household names like NASA, TaskRabbit, Nike and Nestlé are clients, it has processed millions of dollars, yet not many people in the crypto community have heard of it. And it may be by design, as the team has focused on building the platform looking outside of crypto.
📬 Inbox Dump #29
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]
It was an ancient hack that roared back to life this week with a novel twist… Brady Dale investigated.
It’s been more than four years since Summer 2017 when three ICO-funded projects got hit by a hacker and lost 153,000 ETH. The victims think they have a way to be made whole again now. It would be an enormous windfall if it works.
At current prices, the stolen ETH would be worth approximately $600M. At the time of the hack, it was more like $30M. If the funds were returned under this plan, it could be an important turning point in cybercrime, where criminals learn that stealing digital assets is a tough hustle in the current state of blockchain forensics.
Today, the victims — Aeternity (a smart contracts startup), Edgeless (gaming) and Swarm City (decentralized e-commerce) — are offering their adversary amnesty if nearly all the funds are returned to a specific wallet address. They are putting out a call on a group Medium blog today, the Defiant has learned.
In this research piece, Mason Marcabello lays out in lucid detail how Fantom is addressing web3 challenges with a new Proof-of-Stake mechanism called “Lachesis.” It’s a fascinating deep dive in an intriguing platform that’s picking up serious mojo.
While the ever expansive world of decentralized finance is improving on its traditional counterpart the web3 is not without its problems. For example, to maintain an optimal state of functionality, commonly used assets like Bitcoin need to compromise between one of three core components: scalability, security, or decentralization. This concept is known as the “blockchain trilemma.”
Coined by Vitalik Buterin, it advocates that decentralized technologies (at least in their present layer-one state) can’t equally balance all three of these aspects simultaneously. With Bitcoin, for example, we can see that while Proof of Work helps provide strong security and a purer embodiment of decentralization, the speed of its transactions are slower as a result.
Still, a nascent cluster of platforms like Fantom are solving this trilemma. Fantom achieves this with its high-speed Proof of Stake consensus mechanism called “Lachesis.” It doesn’t compromise on security or decentralization to scale. With its bespoke “leaderless” PoS protocol, Fantom also allows developers to fully customize blockchains and tailor specific qualities for digital assets according to their respective use cases.
Camila Russo, the Defiant’s founder and chiefess, notes the long-anticipated moment with a contrarian view — DeFi is way beyond a BTC futures ETF.
The first Bitcoin ETF starts trading today and that’s a big deal. Everyone from multi-billion dollar investment firms to Wall Street hedge funds to individual investors can now easily and relatively cheaply buy Bitcoin. From the position of a news organization (and individual) who is optimistic about crypto’s future it feels almost wrong to write anything but a celebratory post.
So yeah, a Bitcoin futures ETF is a milestone. It’s nice. But it’s also just so meh when you look at DeFi’s progress. In the last year, a picture of a new financial system is emerging, and a Bitcoin futures ETF just isn’t the game-changer everyone in the mainstream believes it may be.
U.S. regulators have taken almost a decade since the Winklevoss twins filed their application to list their $COIN ETF to finally approve the ProShares product. But in just the last 24 months, hundreds of different tokenized index funds have been created using open source tools like Uniswap, Balancer and Set Protocol. These products were created by users who didn’t have to ask for anyone’s permission to provide index-based exposure to traders and investors. Anyone can invest in these funds.
In this column, Christopher Harding argues that regulation is not only imminent but that the DeFi should embrace it as a key to growth. The challenge is how.
The debates over regulatory compliance rage in Washington, in the press, and across the crypto community. Whatever the ultimate fate of the bills and amendments put forward one thing remains constant: distributed ledgers and DeFi are here to stay.
They offer solutions to a host of issues that we’ve, so far, been unable to properly address through the fiat system. However, for those problems to be tackled we must take inventory of the issues we face in the shift to mass adoption, decide on the best approach to solving them, and understand what compromises are needed to integrate blockchain solutions into the mainstream once and for all.
As long as compromise is on the table in good faith from all interested parties, the crypto industry will be able to augment the traditional financial system and make the world a better place for countless people. One thing we should all strive to keep in mind during these ongoing discussions is the real opportunity in reducing financial exclusion. People in developing countries need an alternative to their fiat-based systems and, provided certain safeguards are in place, DeFi is the perfect solution for them.
In this primer, yyctrader provides a how-to-guide on using Fantom.
Fantom’s FTM token is the best performing among Layer 1 smart contract platforms this year and Total Value Locked (TVL) on the blockchain has soared since a liquidity mining program kicked off in September.
No less than 370M FTM tokens currently worth $888M have been allotted to the program.
If you’re looking to get in on the action, here’s a step-by-step guide.
Bridging Assets To Fantom
If you’re already familiar with DeFi on Ethereum, you’ll find this pretty simple. For those Defiers newly joining us, please check out our DeFi 101 content before attempting to proceed.
Step 2: You’ll need some FTM tokens to pay for gas fees. Fortunately, you can get some for free by joining the SpookySwap discord and using their faucet bot.
Floor Prices at Bored Apes Yacht Club Drop 33% Amid Swoon for NFT Projects Uh-oh. Don’t look now but floor prices have been cut in half at many leading NFT projects this week. Trading volume is slowing down, too. The floor at Bored Apes Yacht Club, the second highest ranking individual NFT project in terms of lifetime volume, has dropped by a third, to 29.47 from 44.05 ETH, according to a Dune Analytics dashboard.
Why are DeFi Blue Chips Seriously Lagging ETH in Epic Rally? The vibe is palpable. Bitcoin enthusiasts are celebrating its all-time high this week, and Ethereum’s Ether broke its own record price of $4,357. Make no mistake, it’s a good time to be holding crypto, but it’s better if you’re in the two biggest cryptocurrencies than in DeFi’s blue chips.
Terra Blockchain is Set to Connect to the Cosmos Ecosystem Tonight The Terra stablecoin, UST, will be moving over to the Cosmos universe imminently, which should be quite helpful for the progress of DeFi in that ecosystem.
Bellwether DeFi Pulse Breaks Past $100B in Historic Moment for Decentralized Finance Ever since DeFi Pulse launched its website in February 2019, the world of decentralized finance (DeFi) has completely changed. Now DeFi Pulse, which measures the total dollar value of assets that have been committed to DeFi applications on the Ethereum blockchain, has just crossed the $100B mark.
Layer 1s Better Watch Their Backs as L2s Surge in TVL Smart contract platforms — Terra, Solana and Avalanche, to name a few — had a summer to remember. Terra’s LUNA rocketed 421% between June 1 and Sept. 30 and its fellow Layer 1s (L1s) Avalanche and Solana also delivered triple-digit returns.
Fantom Surges 90% in 30 Days to Hit All-Time High and Challenge Elite Layer 1s There’s a new star in the Layer 1 firmament: Fantom. The smart contract platform’s token, FTM, set an all-time high of $2.48 on Oct. 19 before slipping to about $2.31 in early morning trading Eastern time, according to CoinGecko. With a $5.9B market cap, the token has almost doubled in the last 30 days.
Most Top Crypto Exchanges’ Mistaken Deposit Policies are Either Unclear or Missing Binance customers make erroneous deposits about 800 times a day, according to a spokesperson for the company. Mistaken deposits occur when a user indicates they are going to send one kind of token to an address but sends another.
Arrival of Futures ETFs Stokes Bitcoin in DeFi Bitcoin in decentralized finance has been surging since speculation strengthened that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission would finally approve an exchange-traded fund to invest in the world’s largest cryptocurrency.
Terra and Abracadabra Team Up to Challenge Centralized Stablecoins For an industry that has decentralization in its very name, DeFi’s reliance on centralized stablecoins remains an Achilles’ heel, making it an easy target for overzealous regulators.
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, 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.