Hello Defiers! Hope you’re having a great weekend.
Summing up the past week: Last week Ethereum reached a huge milestone in terms of institutional adoption with the European Investment Bank registering a 100M euro bonds on the network. The move helped push ETH over $2,700 for the first time. Rising ETH prices are coming with a growing user base with MetaMask monthly active users reaching 5M, while DeFi wallets crossed 2M.
We did a deep dive of the Solana blockchain in our Defiant Weekly video, produced a tutorial on how to swap tokens on Raydium, and published an ecosystem overview, which includes the network’s main DeFi projects. We covered how Polygon is taking the lead in the Layer 2 race, and its token is moving accordingly. Meanwhile Polygon founder raised over $3M for an India Covid Crypto Relief Fund.
Unslashed and Enzyme teamed up to provide insurance infrastructure and Balancer Labs and Gnosis launched a DEX that will combine Balancer V2’s liquidity pool system with Gnosis Protocol's price-finding mechanism. Hashflow launched a new decentralized exchange which uses institutional market makers instead of automated liquidity pools for prices, and we interviewed the founders on the podcast. Ilia Maksimenka of PlasmaPay argues DeFi builders should take a page from the fintech rule book in this week’s op-ed.
And there was more! There’s a lot going on, but we’ve got you covered :)
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The DeFi Pulse Index, a capitalization-weighted index that tracks the performance of selected DeFi assets across the market.
In this week’s episode, we talk with Varun Kumar and Pranay Mohan from Hashflow, a new decentralized exchange that wants to unbundle Uniswap. What this means is, they want to keep the non-custodial side and the liquidity pools, but instead of finding prices with smart contacts and a formula, they use market makers applying their highly specialized strategies and algorithms behind the scenes. Anyone can become a market maker, and some may open their pools so that others will be able to share their capital in exchange for a portion of trading fees. Their bet is that they will combine machines and humans in just the right way, to provide cheaper rates at lower prices.
This week’s guest opinion piece dives into the all-important topic of mainstream adoption for crypto and DeFi. For all its past growth and innovation, less than 1% of the world is using decentralized finance —that’s both a huge opportunity for those building in the space, and a huge challenge. Arguably, developers have been building for insiders. How to build for the larger, 99% of people who don’t have experience with crypto, and who also may need it the most?
Ilia Maksimenka of PlasmaPay argues DeFi builders should take a page from the fintech rule book, and look at what these companies did to reach the masses. Maksimenka questions some of the common practices seen in DeFi today, often hailed as UI/UX triumphs —maybe that minimalistic AMM interface isn’t so intuitive for most users after all. Don’t dangle tech in people’s faces, user recognizable patterns, and make it easier to go from fiat to DeFi. Read his take.
📬 Inbox Dump #6
Only for paid subscribers: The Inbox Dump is where we include the updates and announcements that flood our DMs each week and didn’t make it to our content platforms. At The Defiant we cover the most important DeFi-related news and developments but I know many of you are hunting for projects before they are fully developed and before they are newsworthy. The 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.
DeFi Users Explode as ETH Makes New Highs: ETH is breaking new all-time highs of just under $2,800 on Thursday, and the breathtaking rally from $200 a year ago is coming with a boom in users.
Polygon Co-Founder Raises $3M for India Covid Relief: As coronavirus cases spiked in India, the co-founder of Layer 2 solution Polygon, Sandeep Nailwal, tweeted on April 24 that he “can’t take this sitting down anymore,” and started the India Covid Crypto Relief Fund, which has raised over $3M as of April 27.
Uranium Suffers $50M Hack, Second Attack in a Month: Uranium Finance, an automated market maker on Binance Smart Chain, suffered its second hack this month, this time to the tune of $50M.
IDEO Startups to Invest in Each Other Via New Founder Collective: IDEO today announced the IDEO Founder Collective, where founders of the design firm’s portfolio companies can invest in each others’ startups.
The Graph Migrates First Subgraphs to its Decentralized Network: Ten subgraphs, eight of which track DeFi protocols have moved to The Graph’s decentralized network.
DeFi Fixed-Lending Protocol Notional Finance Closes $10M Round Led by Pantera: Notional Finance, a decentralized fixed-rate lending protocol built on Ethereum, closed a $10M Series A funding round led by Pantera with participation from ParaFi, 1confirmation, Spartan Group, Nascent, Nima Capital, and others.
EIB’s Blockchain Bond Pushes ETH to New Highs: European Investment Bank (EIB), the publicly-owned lending arm of the European Union, sold a 100M euro 2-year digital bonds registered on the Ethereum blockchain. ETH jumped after the news was reported and continued to climb to a new record of over $2,700 today.
Polygon Takes Lead in Layer 2 Race as MATIC Token Soars: Polygon’s token is rising the most among all cryptocurrencies in the past 24 hours, while assets in its networks spike. The activity is a sign an increasing number of users are betting the project will become a leading Ethereum scaling solution.
Novice Jeweler is Living the American Dream Thanks to NFT Wearables: It’s been a long, hard road for Eddie, as he’s known. Growing up in South Central LA, he was always the class clown, scraping by with Cs on a good day. Now he’s back home with a college degree, learning to be a jeweler and navigating an American success story powered by NFTs.
Yearn Finance Q1 Report Reveals Rising Profits Thanks to Vaults and Yield Farming: Yearn Finance said in its second-ever quarterly report, and first using the EBITDA accounting metric, that earnings in Q1 2021 were up 32% of all 2020 earnings, a period which spanned the five months since the protocol’s inception last year.
1Inch Launches DeFi Wallet for iOS: 1Inch released 1Inch Wallet, a non-custodial DeFi wallet for IOS yesterday. At launch, 1Inch Wallet’s features primarily revolve around swaps, with plans to introduce staking, governance, and liquidity pools in the future.
Defiant Degens: How to Farm stkAAVE Lending and Borrowing on Aave: Here’s how lenders and borrowers can earn a portion of the allocated Aave rewards through July 15, 2021 since AIP-16 is now implemented.
Solana DeFi Ecosystem Overview: Solana has emerged as one of the handful of smart contracts platforms competing to become a base layer for DeFi applications, with some of its projects gaining traction as its SOL token climbs to the top 15 by market capitalization. This overview looks at the main DeFi dapps on Solana and compared them with Ethereum and BSC applications.
Algo Stablecoin Basis Cash Attempts Turnaround With V2: Basis Cash V2 is launching with the aim of “redesign[ing] from the ground up after a deep analysis of the shortcomings of V1.”
Eminem & Ellen DeGeneres are Latest Celebs Into NFTs: Another week, another batch of celebrities entering the NFT space. This time it’s hip-hop icon Eminem and daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres jumping in.
Thanking all the amazing Defiers for the support and love this week (and always)!
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 below ($15/mo, $150/yr).