🦄 Recap: DeFi Week of Feb. 1

Hello Defiers! Hope you’re having a great weekend.

Summing up: Another week amid this crypto bull run, with ETH climbing off the charts, above $1,700 for the first time, while BTC smashed through $40k. Most every data point in DeFi is also surging to records (TVL, DEX volume, total volume), but we report that users measured by wallets are climbing slower than other metrics.

In our most-read article of the week, a DeFi engineer was able to refinance his mortgage and continue paying it off with a DeFi loan, via lending protocol Notional. In other non-speculative DeFi use cases, Goldfinch says it enabled $1M in uncollateralized loans in emerging markets.

Lots of developments in the NFT space; Hashmasks were the latest digital art/collectibles experiment to blow up, Foundation launched its V2 with a 100-piece NFT auction, Rarible raised $1.75M. Our podcast this week is with MetaKovan, owner of the largest NFT collection. Foundation’s Kayvon Tehranian argued dapps’ UX should be “unabashedly crypto-native” in a guest post.

And there was more! There’s a lot going on, but we’ve got you covered :)

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"For the First Time, You Can Buy a Piece of the Art, and a Piece of the Gallery:" MetaKovan

In this week’s podcast episode we interview MetaKovan, the pseudonymous investor who holds the largest known NFT collection in his Metapruse fund, which he leads with his (also pseudonymous partner) Twobadour. MetaKovan made waves in the surging NFT space after buying all 20 pieces of the Beeple collection at auction for $2.5M. In this interview, we dive into how exactly he managed to get his hands in the entire collection and what the bigger purpose of holding those pieces was. 

MetaKovan didn’t buy the 20 pieces to just hold them in his wallet. Instead he and Twobadour built sprawling museums across the metaverse, added original ambient music by 3LAU, bundled it all together, and tokenized it. The B20 tokens are now the keys to owning this experience.

🎙Listen to the interview in this week’s podcast episode here:


"Crypto Wants to Be Seen," By Kayvon Tehranian

The consensus about crypto user interface has so far been; abstract it and they will come. The holy grail is to hide away the crypto-ness of dapps so that users are “tricked” to believing they are interacting with another Web2 application. No signing transactions, no paying for gas, no wallets and private keys. They should be able to use a DeFi protocol without even knowing what Ethereum is. But what if the best way forward is exactly the opposite? What if users should* be seeing all the weirdness of crypto upfront? That’s what Kayvon Tehranian, founder & CEO at Foundation Labs, argues in this column.



  • Yearn Loses $11M in 2021’s First DeFi Hack: Yearn Finance, the yield aggregation protocol founded by Andre Cronje, has been hacked. One of the platform’s so-called vaults lost $11M, and the attacker got away with $2.8M.  





  • Rarible Raises $1.75M to Become the “Uniswap for NFTs”: Rarible, the community-owned non-fungible-token (NFT) marketplace, announced a $1.75M seed round from investors including 1kx, ParaFi Capital, Coinbase Ventures, and Coinfund.

  • Foundation Upgrades With Massive NFT Auction: Foundation added 100 new NFTs to auction as its V2 upgrade went live yesterday afternoon. The launch featured 1/1 drops running as 24 hours auctions, most starting at 1 ETH reserves with first edition items like Robbie Tilton’s Fire Sword leading the way at 5 ETH at the time of writing.



  • DeFi Stocks Trading Climbs After Robinhood Fail: Synthetic assets trading in decentralized finance is picking up after stock buyers were locked out of traditional markets last week. Platforms like MirrorFTX, and Synthetix, which are live, and others still in the works like Injective Protocol, allow investors to gain access to traditional stocks and assets via tokens which replicate their price. 





  • Engineer Becomes His Own Lender in First DeFi Mortgage: The first-ever DeFi mortgage may have just gone through. An engineering lead at a top DeFi protocol, who asked to remain anonymous to keep his personal finances private, on Jan. 22 paid off his mortgage loan with Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and now is paying down his refinanced home loan through DeFi protocol Notional Finance, which provides fixed-rate lending and came out of stealth mode last month.


  • Goldfinch Says it Has Enabled $1M in Un-Backed Loans: Goldfinch, which launched in December, today said it’s working with PayJoy in Mexico, Aspire in Southeast Asia, and QuickCheck in Nigeria, which have collectively drawn down $1M from the Goldfinch protocol and deployed it to thousands of their end borrowers.

  • Hashmasks is The Newest NFT Craze: NFT collectors are flocking to get their hands on Hashmasks - a collection of 16,384 unique digital portraits. The sale window opened with seven price tranches, quickly breaching the 100 ETH threshold and selling out yesterday morning for a total of $14M in ETH.

  • NFTs Take on Freelance Writing With $ESSAY: Mirror is a new publishing platform, akin to an open source, DeFi-oriented take on Medium. The platform will allow individual writers to crowdfund their work by minting their essays as NFTs.  

  • Yearn Holders Vote to Lift YFI Cap: Yearn Finance token holders voted for the protocol to mint 6,666 new tokens, prioritizing the implementation of a funding model for contributors over keeping a hard cap. Holders of 1.66k YFI (83.4%) voted “yes,” compared with 330.5 YFI (16.6%) voting “no,” on the off-chain governance tool Snapshot.


✊ Head to THEDEFIANT.IO for more DeFi news 📰

🧑‍💻 ✍️ Stories this week were written by Owen Fernau, Daniel Kahan, Cooper Turley, and Christopher Attard, and edited by Camila Russo. Videos were produced by Robin Schmidt and Alp Gasimov. Podcast was led by Camila and edited by Alp.

💜Community Love💜

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 above ($10/mo, $100/yr).