🦄 Recap: DeFi Week of Jan. 16
Happy Weekend Defiers!
When it comes to crypto content, there’s a multitude of firehoses out there. As big consumers of news ourselves we know how all this info can blur into an impenetrable fog. That’s why The Defiant was so pleased to produce a raft of deep, heavy, colorful, and urgent features this week. We love cutting through the miasma and revealing the people and forces that are shaping DeFi at such a volatile moment in its evolution. That’s why we’re here!
For starters, check out Owen Fernau’s deep dive into the OlympusDAO crucible. Owen has been covering the ins and outs of the Olympus phenomenon for some time now. He’s made sense out of its forking madness, and Robin Schmidt and his video crew have ascended the mountain as well. Now Owen delves into how and why Olympus has plunged in value and suffered allegations that it’s little more than a ponzi scheme. Sam Haig also reported on the brutal fall of Olympus’s ecosystem in his weekly Market Action report.
Meanwhile, Brady Dale turned his sights on budding NFT communities like Sappy Seals and the emerging Pixelverse. Brady has been plumbing the significance of interoperability in DeFi and he brings his expertise and storytelling chops to bear on a fascinating account of how these projects are joining forces to take on the likes of OpenSea.
We are also pleased to bring back our popular podcasts this week. Camila Russo chatted with Robin for our 2022 opener about all the action taking place inside The Defiant. Big things are afoot! You may have noticed our new website design, for instance. Well, there’s plenty more going on, so tune in.
And speaking of Robin, he and his team covered a lot of ground this week. Their tutorial on how to bridge Fantom was timely, and the SuperMassive NFT Show took on the latest zeitgeist with a look at Irene Zhao, Victor Meldrew, and other NFT stars.
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📬 Inbox Dump #39
Our Inbox Dump newsletter, which is exclusive to paid subscribers, is where we include the updates and announcements that flood our DMs each week and didn’t make it to The Defiant’s content platforms. Sometimes announcements here didn’t meet the bar to become a news story, sometimes they may have slipped through the cracks, or they came late and we haven’t had a chance to cover. We also include a compilation of DeFi and crypto funding rounds in the past week so you have these in one handy place.
Welcome back to The Defiant podcast! After a brief break at the end of last year, we’re back stronger and better than ever to continue chatting with the greatest and brightest minds in DeFi and web3. At The Defiant we believe 2022 is going to be another explosive year for crypto and we have a stellar lineup of guests coming up. I personally think that bull or bear market, there is simply nothing stopping builders in decentralized finance from taking this space forward and we’ll be covering each twist and turn with objective, quality journalism as always.
Our first guest is our very own Robin Schmidt, aka SuperMassive. Robin leads multimedia at the Defiant and produces our video content, which has become known for raising the bar way beyond what’s expected not just from crypto videos, but from all of YouTube. If you haven’t already, check out and subscribe to our channel. I wanted to do the first video of the year with Robin to get the chance to talk about The Defiant itself – what moves us, what sets us apart and what we’re expecting for this year. After over a year working together, I also wanted to finally shine the spotlight on the man behind the video host, and hear the story of how he got here.
Owen Fernau breaks down how one of DeFi’s most promising projects unraveled.
PROMISE OlympusDAO held so much promise when it exploded on the DeFi scene in 2021. The project set out to do nothing less than provide a new decentralized infrastructure for finance, and even better, it would be community-driven. At its heart, OlympusDAO offered a solution to one of the thorniest problems in DeFi — providing sustainable liquidity for projects’ native tokens.
BREAK-THROUGH DeFi degens loved what they saw. Within four weeks of its introduction in March, OlympusDAO’s token, OHM, skyrocketed to $1,415 and its market capitalization hit an all-time high of $4.4B in November. This wasn’t just another hot crypto play that drew speculators. Olympus was heralded for its breakthrough protocol-owned liquidity (POL) model, and it became the standard-bearer of the “DeFi 2.0” movement and a brave new era in open finance.
+90% PLUNGE Now Olympus is being rocked by doubts. OHM has cratered 93% since its high on Oct. 24r and is trading at about $97 in mid-day trading New York time, CoinGecko data shows. In comparison, ETH has skidded about 30% in that period.
In which Brady Dale traverses the budding Pixelverse.
We very seldom see collaborations across websites on the normal internet, where different companies are extremely possessive of their visitors. Attention is the currency of the web, and no one gives it away.
Perhaps it’s just the idealistic early days of web3, but on Wednesday night multiple leaders of different NFT products with dreams of metaverse collaboration came together on a Twitter Spaces discussion. These teams have joined together under the banner of the project that the Sappy Seals NFT founders are leading. It’s called the Pixelverse, and it is a metaverse for many projects.
Unveiled in November, the Pixelverse is a 2D metaverse where different NFT communities interact, create their own worlds, and also enable visits to each other’s worlds seamlessly. Communities joined the call because they have committed to be part of the Pixelverse, and these included the Sappy Seals, BearX, Winter Bears, Axolittles, Chubbicorns, WeAre24Px and Caked Apes. Other communities have also already committed to join (as many as 15), but there has not been a single complete list of the founding communities published so far.
In which yyctrader unpacks a dynamic NFT platform and its airdrop.
LooksRare, the upstart NFT marketplace that airdropped its $LOOKS token to NFT traders on Jan. 9, is having a stellar run.
Over $5B worth of NFTs have been traded on the marketplace since the platform launched just ten days ago, and trading volume has consistently surpassed that of OpenSea, the NFT marketplace leader. (Source: @hildobby Dune Analytics)
$LOOKS briefly traded north of $7 on Jan. 20, giving the project a fully diluted valuation of $7.1B. The token has since fallen to $5, in line with the broader market sell-off.
The intersection of socially responsible investing and DeFi has the potential to alleviate poverty and support the developing world, Gabriela Chang writes.
While global crises are never welcomed, they do tend to kick people to find solutions to crucial challenges.
After the 2008 financial crisis, for instance, interest in impact investing grew. The COVID-19 crisis has further demonstrated the need for cooperation through investing strategies that are driven by values and ethics as much as profit.
Since the pandemic began in early 2020, we’ve seen an increase in the number of companies building out dedicated ESG teams, according to the head of J.P. Morgan’s Development Finance Institution. And institutional investors are launching more impact-focused investment funds to fulfill the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
More than $715B of assets under management are now committed to impact investing. This is a paradigm shift that is reshaping the future of investing. That’s why there is a natural fit between impact investing and DeFi, which, of course, has not only upended the traditional order in finance. It’s also providing impact investors with a powerful tool to track performance.
DEXs Sliding into Price War as Uniswap and dYdX Slash Trading Fees It had to happen: Rising competition amid a souring market is pushing decentralized exchanges to lower their fees.
Lens Protocol Might be a New Social Media Project and It Could be From Aave Aave founder Stani Kulechov has been teasing a play at decentralizing social media for most of the past year.
Cronje and Sesta Reveal Details of ‘Solid Swap’ Project to Spur Fees Details are beginning to emerge regarding the highly anticipated project from star DeFi devs Andre Cronje of Yearn Finance and Daniele Sesta of Wonderland and Abracadabra.
Twitter Enables Ownership Verification of Profile Picture NFTs – For a Price Twitter Blue, the social network’s subscription service, finally has a feature that some users want: NFT verification.
Uniswap Crosses Milestone With Greater ETH/Stablecoin Volume than Coinbase or Binance Uniswap, the leading decentralized exchange by trade volume, now processes more ETH/stablecoin volume than any centralized crypto trading venue.
New Entrants Follow Compound’s Lead to Offer Fiat Savers Juicier Yields In personal finance, there’s nothing more depressing than the savings account. It has always been the least glamorous, most conservative place to stick money.
Aave Cranks Up Institutional Play With Launch on Layer 2 Networks Aave’s institutional deployment, Aave Arc, will launch on leading Layer 2 rollup networks Optimism and Arbitrum after receiving resounding support in a governance snapshot.
POAP Raises $10M for NFTs Recording Celebrations and Events POAP Inc., the company behind the Proof-of-Attendance Protocol, has closed a $10M funding round featuring participation from Delphi Digital.
Multichain Recovers Some Stolen ETH After Hit by $1.9M Exploit Multichain, the cross-chain bridge formerly known as Anyswap, has suffered a seven-digit exploit, the project’s team reported on Jan. 18.
Curve Boosts Layer 2s with Launch on Optimism Curve, a leading decentralized exchange specializing in stablecoin swaps, has launched on Layer 2 rollup network Optimism.
Solana Money Market Solend Offers Developers Incentives to Build on It Solend, a money market on the Solana blockchain, announced today that it will share proceeds from loan origination fees with the developers of applications that drive loans on the platform.
Coinbase Inks Deal with Mastercard as it Musters for Battle with OpenSea The battle for NFT market share is heating up, with Coinbase betting that Mastercard-powered fiat on-ramps can give it an edge over rivals such as OpenSea and Rarible.
Surging Burn Rate Drives First Deflationary Week for ETH Issuance Ethereum has posted its first consecutive week of deflationary issuance amid surging network activity, meaning more ETH was destroyed than created over the past seven days.
OlympusDAO and Forks Brutalized as Broader DeFi Market Rebounds OlympusDAO (OHM) and many of the forked rebase projects it inspired have suffered brutal losses this past week despite the broader DeFi markets rebounding from last week’s lows.
China Hops Aboard NFT Bandwagon But With No Cryptocurrency Links Even the Chinese government is down with NFTs now. China’s state-backed Blockchain Service Network is planning to roll out infrastructure enabling the creation and launch of NFTs by the end of this month.
Thanking all the amazing Defiers for the support and love this week (and always)!
🧑💻 ✍️ Stories in The Defiant are written by Brady Dale, Owen Fernau, Sanuel 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.
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.