🦄 Recap: DeFi Week of March 6
Hello Defiers! Happy Weekend!
Regulation is coming. That’s been a watchword for the better part of a year as the Biden Administration telegraphed its intention to clamp down on the crypto. Don’t operate outside the perimeter – that was Gary Gensler’s warning to the industry. This week, the hammer dropped. And to the surprise of virtually everyone, it wasn’t a blow but, perhaps, an opportunity.
To understand the import of the President Biden’s executive order on crypto read Owen Fernau’s succinct and detailed news analysis. Owen spoke with leading voices on crypto policy, including Kristin Smith, Connor Spelliscy, and the outspoken Ryan Selkis. The upshot: an oversight regime is coming, yet it may not be as draconian as Defiers feared, and most importantly, will reflect the fact that blockchain technologies are a historic breakthrough, and should be supported as such.
The crypto community will have to lobby and argue to make sure web3 fulfills its destiny. To learn more about that may happen, the prolific Robin Schmidt landed an exclusive interview with Andrew Yang to talk about his new venture, Lobby3. Yang says his group “will take the voices of web3 to Washington.” His timing couldn’t be better.
We continued our coverage of Russia’s war on Ukraine with a special report from DappRadar analyzing the macroeconomic impact of the conflict, and its impact on blockchain technologies. It’s a comprehensive and probing report that highlights the utility of crypto in extreme geopolitical conditions.
Meanwhile, there was a flurry of news on the DeFi front: Sam Haig reported on the newest dustup around Anchor Protocol and its yield policies, and dug into Avalanche’s plan to invest $290M in ‘subnets’ for DeFi, GameFi and NFTs.
Brady Dale delved into how BitDAO is quietly amassing $2M a day in its treasury. Not to be missed is Owen Fernau’s feature on the restless Andre Cronje and his decision to quit DeFi for good. Owen writes how the Yearn Finance founder’s move isn’t really a surprise after all.
What remains a mystery is the identity of the DAO hacker who upended Ethereum years ago. Or at least it was until author and podcaster Laura Shin investigated the case for her new book The Cryptopians. Check out Camila Russo’s podcast with Laura as the two Ethereum historians unpack one of the great enigmas in crypto.
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⍺ DeFi Alpha Newsletter
In this week’s episode of The Defiant podcast, we speak to Laura Shin, the former senior editor at Forbes and host of the popular podcast Unchained, about her new book ‘The Cryptopians: Idealism, Greed, Lies, and the Making of the First Big Cryptocurrency Craze.’ In Cryptopians, Laura may have solved Ethereum’s biggest mystery; the identity of the DAO hacker. In this interview, she goes into the backstory of how she came up with the most credible suspect to date.
The DAO hack was a story to behold, but was by no means the only theme of ‘The Cryptopians.’ Laura’s book delves deep into the Ethereum story itself and those at the core of the project, making new revelations and delivering an extremely detailed account. She talks about the most surprising discoveries she made. We also discuss her Unchained podcast, and what comes next for her now that her first book is out.
In which Owen Fernau reports on one of the more dramatic departures from DeFi by one of its most influential figures.
Andre Cronje’s relationship with DeFi has never been simple. Back in February 2020, the founder of Yearn Finance wrote a blog post called Building in #DeFi Sucks. “Not a sensationalist title, honestly it sucks,” he said. “It’s expensive, the community is hostile, the users are entitled.”
A year later, Cronje was back with another rant, warning entrepreneurs about the years of toil it takes to bring ideas to fruition in DeFi. “This in itself can be demotivating. But now, add hundreds (sometimes thousands) of people shouting on telegram, discord, and twitter, ‘When will it be released?’, ‘Why hasn’t it been released?’, ‘give us an update’, and significantly more hostile messages.”
Now it appears Cronje has finally quit DeFi for good. “Andre and I have decided that we are closing the chapter of contributing to the defi/crypto,” tweeted Cronje’s longtime collaborator Anton Nell on March 6. “There are around ~25 apps and services that we are terminating on 03 April 2022.”
In which Brady Dale digs into the mysterious rise of BitDAO, the so-called DAO of DAOs.
The BitDAO treasury is the largest for a DAO you’ve never heard of. According to Open-Orgs, BitDAO currently has $1.8B in it, making it the second largest treasury of any publicly viewable treasury on Ethereum, following that of Uniswap and just ahead of those of Ethereum Name Service, Lido, and Gitcoin.
BitDAO holds the number 2 spot largely thanks to its governance token, BIT, which accounts for about $1B of that treasury. Its governance token currently trades for around $1.06. That treasury also grows at a pace of roughly $2M per day without diluting BIT holders.
“I think people in crypto have been excited about coordinating capital better than you can as an individual,” Jonathan Allen, of Mirana Ventures, a sister fund of ByBit, the exchange that managed spinning up the BitDAO concept, told The Defiant.
DappRadar analyzes the global economic impact of Russia’s military aggression, and what it means for blockchain technologies.
When Russia launched an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, its neighbor and trading partner, the world reacted in horror and anger. The West, led by the U.S. and the E.U., immediately imposed severe sanctions on President Vladimir Putin’s regime, including barring its access to foreign reserves. The global economy has been impacted with soaring energy and commodities prices, and capital markets are grappling with the uncertainty and long-term effects of Putin’s aggression and the worst military tragedy on the European continent since World War II.
The cryptocurrency community, too, has been roiled by this tragedy. Due to blockchain technology’s peer-to-peer nature, there are a number of questions about the utility of Bitcoin and other digital assets in the war zone, and in Russia itself, where ordinary citizens have lost purchasing power as the rouble craters and access to financial infrastructure such as the Swift system.
In this report, we unpack the macroeconomic forces at work and analyze how blockchain-based solutions may come to play an important role as the war continues.
In a way not seen before, blockchain and web3 are demonstrating their value in contributing to the humanitarian effort to bring aid to Ukrainian refugees, and to providing support to Ukrainian citizens defending their country against the Russian military.
On-Chain Markets Update by Pedro Negron IntoTheBlock
Curve Finance was launched in 2020 with the initial purpose of creating an automated market maker (AMM) exchange for assets pegged to one another. By using efficient algorithms they soon experienced incredible growth, offering some of the lowest fees, slippage, and impermanent loss in the DeFi space.
Since their focus was on stable assets, fees for liquidity providers (LPs) tended to be smaller. This created the need for the protocol to offer incentives to its liquidity providers. These incentives were given in the form of CRV which also works as a governance token for the Curve DAO. This article analyzes Curve’s high user engagement on the swapping and staking side of the protocol.
Volume traded is an important indicator to understand DEXes. They show the platform’s usage. IntoTheBlock gathers all daily volume traded on Curve’s pools on Ethereum and aggregates it into a single indicator.
Guest writer Tiffany Priosoetanto-Masrin shares her tips and experience on understanding the increasingly complex NFT space.
Entering the NFT space is a little like venturing out into a hurricane. DeFi, crypto, Web3, and a slew of acronyms come at you from all sides.
What’s worse is that scammers are taking advantage of this learning curve. Cases of fake websites and malicious links that steal your secret seed phrases and drain your wallet are serious obstacles to adoption. That being said, there is little doubt that NFTs are an emerging medium with the potential to become a global phenomenon, if they aren’t there already.
Most NFT projects are a form of crowdfunding or investment into a new type of asset in conjunction with real estate, trading cards, luxury handbags, and wine. As an investor at a venture capital firm, I’ll be drawing parallels from the traditional finance world to the metaverse in order to show you a comfortable pathway into NFT investments.
Call to Reduce Yield Payouts to Save Anchor Protocol Roils Terra Community The Terra community is again divided on the future of the network’s leading protocol, Anchor. And the question of how it can maintain high yield payouts is at the heart of the matter.
Messari Data Shows Flipping Airdrops is Twice as Profitable as Holding It appears that profit-seeking web3 users would have been better off selling their airdrops rather than holding them.
Polygon Suffers Latest Multi-Hour Outage After Node Halts Polygon, a leading sidechain-based scaling solution for Ethereum, is suffering a multi-hour outage resulting from an issue with one of its nodes.
Crypto Community Relieved by Biden Order’s Balance Yet Wary as Oversight Regime Takes Shape Whew! The cryptocurrency community is breathing a sigh of relief after President Biden issued his hotly anticipated executive order for digital assets on Wednesday.
South Korea’s Next President Vows to Reverse Crypto Crackdown and Deregulate Sector The cryptocurrency community just got a friend in very high places in South Korea. Yoon Suk-yeol, the former prosecutor general of South Korea who recently pledged to deregulate crypto assets, secured a narrow victory on Thursday in the country’s presidential election.
Avalanche to Invest $290M in ‘Subnets’ for DeFi, GameFi and NFTs Following last year’s rise of low-cost scalable Layer 1s, an increasing number of projects are now seeking to foster multi-chain ecosystems under the umbrella of a single network.
EXCLUSIVE: Andrew Yang Urges Web3 Community to Rally and Shape Inevitable Regulation If there was ever a time when the crypto community believed it would operate unfettered by state rules it’s over. Regulation is coming, and time is running out for DeFi to influence and shape this looming regime.
EXCLUSIVE: Aavegotchi Poised to Morph into Play-to-Earn Game on March 31 Aavegotchi, the playable characters loaded with Aave’s interest-bearing tokens, are getting their own little gaming universe. The Gotchiverse will launch March 31, The Defiant has learned.
Privacy Coins Shake Off Their Slumber and Spike 25% in 24 Hours Privacy coins were dead in the water, an afterthought for most of last year as the crypto market hit all-time highs and they languished. Now, the top two privacy coins, Monero’s XMR, and Zcash’s ZEC, are both up more than 25% on Tuesday before settling at 21% and 16% respectively in early morning trading U.K. time. What’s going on?
Cronje’s Exit Hits Yearn and Fantom as Defenders Scramble to Shore up Confidence The crypto markets have been punished recently, but tokens associated with Andre Cronje have taken an extra beating in the wake of news he is quitting DeFi.
Evmos Chain Paused After Going Live With Highly Anticipated ‘RektDrop’ Last year, it seemed like every blockchain compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), the rules which dictate how transactions get processed, had its time in the sun. Layer 1s like Avalanche, Fantom, and Binance Smart Chain launched nine-figure growth funds to bootstrap their DeFi ecosystems.
Axie Infinity Hikes Marketplace Fees to Reward Game Players with ‘Creator Codes’ In a move to crank up tokenomics, Axie Infinity launched a new program today to share the wealth with game players. The leading play-to-earn game, plans to increase its marketplace fees to 5.25% and distribute the extra revenue to Axie’s community of content creators, the project said last week.
Thanking all the amazing Defiers for the support and love this week (and always)!
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🧑💻 ✍️ Stories in The Defiant are written by 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.
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