Hello Defiers —hope you’re all weathering the storm safely! Here’s what we’re covering today,
and more :)
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TLDR It’s bad out there — in the past 24 hours Bitcoin plunged more than 30%, while Ether fell more than 40%, crypto exchanges were down, price tracking websites collapsed, China crackdown news flashed, crypto Twitter panic ensued. All in all, a classic crypto sell-off. But there are signs the market is starting to recover.
SELLOFF DRIVERS The crypto market sell-off appears to be driven by concerns that fewer investors and institutions will be willing to buy Bitcoin after Elon Musk’s tweets criticising the largest cryptocurrency for its energy use. Plus, news that China’s regulators are restricting crypto use added to the bearish sentiment.
BOUNCING BACK BTC is recovering after touching $30,415 and ETH is bouncing back after almost touching $2,000, signaling some investors are betting the sell-off has gone too far, or taking the chance to add at lower prices.
Though at $2,841 for ETH and $37,277 for BTC, these cryptocurrencies are still at the lowest price in 4 and 15 weeks, respectively.
ETH IN DEFI CLIMBS ETH held in decentralized finance protocols is also climbing. Right now, it’s at 10.3M from a six-week low of 10M on May 12. Growing ETH in DeFi protocols is a bullish sign as it means traders are effectively betting the cryptocurrency will appreciate by using it as collateral and borrowing against it.
BTD Yearn Finance is buying its own YFI token dip. The protocol recently announced it would buy 8.15 YFI, when the average price was $50,121. Because of today’s market crash, the organization is down $12K at the time of writing. Yearn doesn’t seem concerned by the drop, doubling down today and announcing another purchase of 21.35 YFI for $1.2M.
YIP-56 The buybacks are in accordance with mandates in Yearn-Improvement-Proposal 56 (YIP-56), the protocol uses YFI staking rewards to buy back the token and “use bought back YFI for contributor rewards and other Yearn initiatives.”
YIELD FARMING According to Messari senior analyst Ryan Watkins, who also co-authored YIP-56, “Yearn is primarily just yield farming with its treasury.” Watkins anticipates that in the short term, Yearn will use the capital to borrow DAI to generate more yield by locking up the YFI in lending protocols like MakerDAO.
MISO LAUNCH The Sushi community voted and the protocol listened and is now introducing a token launchpad. The launchpad, called MISO, which stands for “Minimal Initial SushiSwap Offering,” is the latest product to arise from the community governance protocol that was built around the Ethereum-based decentralized exchange SushiSwap. It will be launched on May 20.
SAK3 TOKEN The first token set to be launched on MISO is SAK3 (called sake, like the Japanese rice wine), an ultra-limited celebratory token created by the Sushi team. Sushi will only ever produce 888 SAK3 tokens, with 200 of them going up for sale in a dutch auction on MISO’s launch day. The starting price for a SAK3 token is a whopping 88,000 SUSHI, or over $1.9M at SUSHI’s current price of $22.
TLDR Coinbase Wallet has a new Chrome browser extension that will be competing directly with MetaMask, DeFi’s long-standing go-to browser wallet.
COINBASE WALLET USERS While more recent Coinbase Wallet mobile user numbers aren’t readily available, the exchange reported in their February 2021 SEC filing that Coinbase Wallet had over 2M users at the end of December 2020. Coinbase also noted in the announcement of the browser extension that more than 1M Coinbase Wallet users regularly utilize decentralized apps like Uniswap and Compound.
METAMASK USERS monthly active user base across both its browser extension and mobile app had grown 400% in six months, from 1M users in October 2020 to 5M in April 2021.
Good tweets and threads on today’s sell-off:
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🧑💻 ✍️ Stories in this newsletter were written by Dan Kahan, Owen Fernau, and edited by 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).