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💁♂️Crypto Dudes Embrace the NFT Thirst Trap
Hello Defiers! here’s what we’re covering today,
CryptoFinally NFT sparks “thirst trap” debate
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis publishes report on DeFi
Tornado Cash airdrops TORN token
Axie Infinity digital land sells for record $1.5M
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TLDR The NFT community has been taken over by thirst traps. Sexy, sexy thirst traps like this one posted over the weekend. Middle-aged, male NFT artists like Second Realm and Alotta Money are posting scantily-clad photos of themselves to illustrate the sexist double-standard sometimes present in media: When a woman takes a picture, it’s a “thirst trap,” when a man does it, it’s a joke.
CONTEXT It all started with a CoinDesk article, published back in September, about how women in crypto are leveraging thirst trap NFTs to take ownership of their public image. The article posits that women can use these tools to choose how they want to present themselves to the world, and profit from it. Men have been able to sexualize women or demean them for their appearance; now crypto offers a way for women to take control and benefit from their sex appeal with NFT thirst traps.
Of course, not all women posting NFTs attached to their picture are creating thirst traps. One example is Rachel “CryptoFinally” Siegel, a well-known blockchain advocate and marketing professional who generated a ton of crypto community buzz (and backlash) for minting what was most likely the first NFT selfie on Rarible. Siegel was at the center of CoinDesk’s story.
NOT A THIRST TRAP But to Siegel, the NFT in the story wasn’t a thirst trap at all. Over the past week, she has been especially vocal about her efforts to get CoinDesk to issue a retraction.
PRIVILEGE Men have the privilege to do things like post NFT thirst traps in solidarity without actually needing to worry about any real repercussions. Defiant author Dan Kahan can post a thirst trap NFT of himself in Shrek boxers without any concern that it will be sexualized or that his name will become attached to an OnlyFans he doesn’t have (yet).
TLDR DeFi is getting an unexpected and huge new backer: The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
“DeFi offers exciting opportunities and has the potential to create a truly open, transparent, and immutable financial infrastructure,” reads the latest report from one of the 12 regional Reserve Banks.
DEFI BUILDING BLOCKS The report cites learnings from projects like Maker, Uniswap, Balancer, dYdX, Synthetix and Yearn to provide context on the blossoming DeFi ecosystem. It also provides a breakdown of the “DeFi Building Blocks.”
SIGNIFICANCE While these topics aren’t new to most readers, the fact that the Federal Reserve has displayed such an in-depth understanding of the DeFi ecosystem bodes well for the emerging space as ‘the future of finance’.
TLDR Tornado Cash passed its first governance proposal to make its native token - TORN - transferable yesterday afternoon.
WHAT IS TORNADO CASH Tornado Cash offers a way for users to privately send funds between any two addresses using an anonymity pool, meaning tokens sent through the mixer can not be tracked between the sending and receiving address. It also features a compliance feature to allow any users to submit a past transaction note to prove their funds were not used for malicious purposes.
TORN AIRDROP To bolster liquidity and decentralize ownership of the protocol, Tornado Cash airdropped vTORN - a voucher representing a claim on future tokens- to 7,500 past users’ addresses. Now, less than two weeks after those vouchers were distributed, the community has banded together to lift the transfer restrictions.
TOKEN SOARS Given the only circulating supply was the 5% of tokens distributed through the airdrop, TORN quickly jumped to as high as over $400 to a market cap of $44M, which implies a fully diluted valuation of $2B, as investors scrambled to get their hands on one of Ethereum’s best-kept secrets.
ANONYMITY MINING Now, users are able to participate in privacy protocol by contributing to “anonymity mining,” which rewards users for depositing liquidity with TORN tokens.
TLDR The Tamagotchi x Pokemon web3 crossover Axie Infinity has broken the record for the largest NFT sale yesterday afternoon as a community member purchased a digital plot of land for 888.25 ETH, worth over $1.5M at the time of writing.
"We're witnessing a historic moment; the rise of digital nations with their own system of clearly delineated, irrevocable property rights,” stated the purchaser Flying Falcon. “Axie land has entertainment value, social value, and economic value in the form of future resource flows. As Genesis land plots are the rarest and best positioned plots in Axie Infinity, they were a natural fit for my thesis."
PROJECT K The sale comes alongside the launch of Axie Infinity’s custom sidechain, Ronin, which launched last week. Axie Infinity will soon debut ‘Project K’, an interactive new play system where users can explore, decorate, battle and harvest resources on their virtual land.
Vesper’s $2.5M round comprises strategic partners, including: A195 Capital, CMT Digital, Kenetic Capital, Digital Strategies, HCM Capital, Capital6 Eagle, VeriBlock, and TRG Capital. This was complemented by crypto investors and builders including: Robert Leshner (Compound), Ryan Selkis (Messari), Meltem Demirors (CoinShares), Trevor Koverko (Tokens).
“Vesper’s reason-for-being is simple: We identified the need for a platform that blended the powerful energy that built DeFi with the evolution required to bring it closer to mainstream finance.”
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🧑💻 ✍️ Stories in this newsletter were written by Daniel Kahan and Cooper Turley, and edited by Camila Russo. Videos were produced by Robin Schmidt and Alp Gasimov. Podcast was led by Camila and edited by Alp.
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