🦄 Recap: DeFi Week of April 25
Hello Defiers! Happy weekend!
In Bored Apes we trust…
That was the watchword of the week as we saw the most illustrious club in NFTs excel at a time when the rest of crypto — strike that, all the capital markets — pummelled by economic blows. Not Bored Ape Yacht Club. Its recently released ApeCoin soared more than 60% in the last week or so, as yyctrader reported in a market roundup for a very tough April.
Owen Fernau dove deep into Yuga Labs, BAYC’s creator, to find out what makes the NFT studio tick and how it went from zero to a $4B valuation in less than a year. It’s a great weekend read addressing fundamental questions about the utility and unhinged valuations of NFTs, and how Yuga has made savvy moves to extend its brand into the pop culture firmament. Our video crew also dove into the BAYC phenomenon in the latest Defiant Weekly BAYC, APE, the OtherSide and Kodas - everything you need to know.
Speaking of utility and proper value, Robin Schmidt and his team of cineastes also produced a sharp primer on essential NFT tools in the latest episode of The Open Metaverse Show. Robin also covered how crypto has become the “connective tissue” for Ukrainians as they struggle to secure essential supplies amidst Russia’s bombardment of civilians. It’s an important and eye-opening segment.
The other major story this week was, of course, Elon Musk’s $44B deal for Twitter. In this week’s Real Vision vs. The Defiant segment, Camila Russo, Robin, and Ash Bennington unpacked the ins and outs of the blockbuster move. And Bitcoin was also trending as a flurry of moves demonstrated deepening adoption. Jason Levin reported on Fidelity’s decision to begin offering BTC in its 401(k) retirement accounts, and Buenos Aires’ move to let taxpayers settle bills in the cryptocurrency, among other news.
Don’t be sure to miss Cami’s podcast with Professor Fabian Schar, one of the most provocative and influential academics focused on crypto. He argues that regulators should disregard consumer protection and err on the side of flexibility.
Great stuff… Enjoy!
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🎙 Prominent Academic Fabian Schär Says Crypto Regulation Should Happen Only at On/Off-Ramps and Ditch Consumer Protection
Fabian Schär is one of the most prominent academics focusing on blockchains and specifically DeFi. He is Professor for Distributed Ledger Technology and Fintech at the University of Basel, has a PhD in crypto, co-authored the bestselling book “Bitcoin, Blockchain and Cryptoassets” and has published many academic papers, including one outlining the DeFi tech stack on the St Louis Federal Reserve Review.
Fabian has a great deal of experience speaking with regulators and studying different laws and frameworks being applied to crypto. He argues regulators should not be using old laws to regulate new tech. He also says regulation should happen at the off and on-ramp level, and at individual businesses, but not in the non-custodial world of on-chain transactions.
Fabian has the somewhat controversial opinion that regulators should ditch consumer protection as a goal all together, and trust that each individual should be free to decide what to do with their money, and take responsibility for their decisions.
Bored Ape Creators Target Metaverse with New Land Venture
In which Owen Fernau delves into the mysteries of the world’s most exclusive primate club and the unhinged valuations of NFTs.
NFTs are irrational. They don’t make any sense. A JPEG you can instantly copy with a right-click of your mouse? And the cheapest Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT costs 146 ETH, or $416,000? That’s a down payment on a house… a really nice house.
Many Bored Apes go for much more. How is this even possible? And yet non-fungible tokens and their magical ability to make the ubiquitous unique have defied all the naysayers, and a punishing bear market. Cryptocurrencies as a whole have lost a fifth of their value this year but the floor price for Bored Apes has has soared 131%. Absurd? Yes, indeed. But NFTs are pumping.
Perhaps no venture has maximized this strange craze like Yuga Labs, the mysterious outfit behind Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and its many spinoffs. In March, the Miami-based enterprise raised $450M in a round led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, bestowing the NFT studio with an astonishing $4B valuation. Not bad for a year-old company, eh?
Yuga was also key in releasing ApeCoin last month. The token’s $5.5B market cap already eclipses that of every DeFi project. Oh, and in March the company also acquired the intellectual property rights for CryptoPunks, arguably the second buzziest NFT collection. Meanwhile, BAYC has captured the web3 zeitgeist, with celebs ranging from Snoop Dogg to Madonna to Paris Hilton to Super Bowl champion Tom Brady joining the club.
Now on Apr. 30, Yuga is gearing up another NFT mint for a project called Otherside, which is largely anticipated to be a metaversal world of some kind. That Yuga posted a teaser with computer animation strong enough to make Pixar blush has helped turn up the hype meter for Otherside to a fever pitch.
April hasn’t been kind to crypto. But there is one unlikely bright spot: ApeCoin (APE), the native token for the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) has surged 37% as investors prepare for Yuga Labs’ upcoming virtual land sale on April 30.
For just about everything else, the end of April can’t come fast enough: only nine of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization have posted gains this month, according to data from CoinGecko. The total crypto market cap dropped more than 18% this month and now stands at $1.8T.
Bitcoin is down 16% in the last 30 days and Ether has fared slightly better, down 13%. The damage wasn’t limited to crypto, however. Global equities have softened as inflation concerns take center stage. The S&P 500 is down 7% this month and the tech-heavy Nasdaq has plunged over 12%. In fact, crypto has outperformed major tech stocks this year.
Web2's Missed Opportunities are About to Be Remedied
Guest writer Spencer Graham makes the case for a new era in crowdfunding.
Web3 promises to advance crowdfunding far beyond what Web2 is capable of. To fulfill this promise, we must fully embrace the trust-minimization ethos of Web3 as well as its technology.
With Web2 platforms like Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and WeFunder, individuals, non-profits, and startups can call upon donations and even venture funding from their communities. It’s a powerful innovation. But as we all know, there are problems with these Web2 platforms.
The first problem is access, which limits the amount of funding available to projects and worsens inequality. Many would-be funders are blocked from accessing these platforms, including marginalized groups like sex workers, residents of countries with sanctioned and/or authoritarian governments, and large portions of the world that lack financial payment infrastructure.
The second problem with Web2-based crowdfunding is power and accountability. The Web2 crowdfunding platforms are large, centrally controlled companies. Their size grants them market power to extract outsized fees, and their centralized nature creates vectors for governments or executives to block access to many would-be funders.
DeFi Lender Goldfinch Hits $100M in Loans as Crypto-to-Real World Model Picks Up Steam Crypto is a circular system where whales borrow money against their assets to pump up ponzi schemes and dump those tokens on retail traders betting those coins are the future of finance.
How to Become a Liquidity Provider on Uniswap Uniswap is a decentralized financial exchange, or DEX, which allows anyone to take part in the financial transactions of Ethereum-based tokens without a central body or intermediary.
Bitcoin Gets Mainstream Push From Argentina to Fidelity If progressive decentralization comes in waves, this week there was a tsunami. And it struck in widely different areas.
Ox Labs’ Bandeali Says ‘Everything of Value Will be Tokenized’ Ox Labs, the maker of Matcha, the popular DEX aggregator, and a key partner for Coinbase on its fledgling NFT offering, has a mountain of fresh capital to work with. On April 26, 0x Labs raised $70M in a round led by Greylock Partners.
Carson’s Sudden Exit from Moonbirds Team Leaves NFT Investors Miffed Ryan Carson, the chief operating officer of the Proof Collective team that launched the Moonbirds NFT collection on April 16, is leaving to start an NFT fund. The new venture,1.21 Gigawatts Fund, touts itself as “the fund you wish you could go back in time and invest in.”
New Project Puts NFT Investing on Autopilot The financialization of NFTs continues. The latest development is the deployment of an automated market maker (AMM) called sudoAMM, which is specifically designed for NFT trading. It’s slated for Ethereum’s mainnet and is designed to be a piece of infrastructure for other NFT projects.
Optimism Launches OP Token With Airdrop For Early Users Layer 2 season is upon us. Optimism, a Layer 2 (L2) network designed to scale Ethereum by executing transactions off the main chain, is launching the “Optimism Collective,” a bicameral governance system which will be tasked with increasing demand for the network.
NFTs Worth Millions Stolen After Bored Apes Instagram Hack Ape owners continue to fall prey to scams. In the latest exploit, some users have lost their Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and other NFTs after the project’s Instagram was hacked, directing users to a malicious website that promised an airdrop of virtual land.
OpenSea’s Deal for Gem a ‘Hell of an Upgrade’ for Leading NFT Marketplace OpenSea, the most popular site for buying NFTs, has made an acquisition of its own. On Apr. 25, OpenSea acquired Gem, an NFT marketplace aggregator.
Synthetix Incentivizes sUSD Liquidity On Optimism With Lyra Legendary investor Charlie Munger famously said, “Show me the incentives and I will show you the outcome.” On Apr. 22, Synthetix, a derivatives protocol, unveiled its new initiative with Lyra: an options protocol that launched last year.
Stripe to Start Using Crypto’s Financial Rails for Payments Today Stripe, the payments processing giant, introduced a new function which will allow businesses to pay users in crypto using the Polygon network.
Thanking all the amazing Defiers for the support and love this week (and always)!
SuperMassive x Defiant @IamSuperMassiveMeet the war hero saving lives with crypto https://t.co/MOgfe30sR7 She saves lives everyday, and she does it with crypto. What did you do today?
The Defiant @DefiantNews👨🌾In this week's #DeFi Alpha with @DeFi_Dad and @yyctrader1: 🌹40% APR on RUSD with @RoseOnAurora on @auroraisnear 🦧32% APR on YUSD with @YetiFinance on @avalancheavax 🌟20% APY lending #Bitcoin on @starlay_fi @AstarNetwork Happy Farming! https://t.co/OwqiWWJT9D https://t.co/0bhDO9j4pT
Camila Russo @CamiRusso@mattmedved pretty simple really: collect NFTs that allow you to be a part of a Ridley Scott movie based on The Infinite Machine book, that will take crypto to the mainstream at a theatre near you 🎬
🧑💻 ✍️ Stories in The Defiant are written by Owen Fernau, Samuel Haig and yyctrader, and edited by Edward Robinson, yyctrader and Camila Russo. Videos were produced by Robin Schmidt and Alp Gasimov. Podcast was led by Camila, edited by Alp.
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