🦄 Recap: DeFi Week of March 8
Hello Defiers! Hope you’re having a great weekend.
Summing up: Beeple broke the internet this week with his $69M sale of an NFT —at Christie’s no less. It goes without saying it was by far the largest sale of a non-fungible token ever, but it was also the third-highest sale of an art piece by a living artist, pushing this new paradigm further into the mainstream. In other NFT news, withdrawal delays on NBA Top Shot highlighted centralization of the dapp and the Flow blockchain. Some artists and critics also called attention to the amount of energy needed to mint NFTs. Celebrities continued to ride the hype with Lindsay Lohan NFTs selling like hotcakes. Still not quite sure how you feel about NFTs? We produced The Greatest NFT Film Ever Made, a 90-minute documentary, with all the information you need to understand the space and make up your mind.
UMA and Yam Finance teamed up to make a token that tracks trending stocks on Wall Street Bets. In Ethereum scaling news, Argent announced plans to move to a Layer 2 solution, and MakerDAO said it will release a bridge for DAI and other Ethereum tokens into Optimism. Big Data Protocol had quickly climbed to the top three protocols by total value locked last weekend with as much as over $6B in assets, but it’s lost that liquidity as quickly as it came. We interviewed Mike Novogratz for the podcast, and he said we’re not in a bubble, we’re in a movement. Cryptonatrix, a sex worker and artist, wrote about the need to destigmatize the blockchain.
And there was more! There’s a lot going on, but we’ve got you covered :)
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Non-fungible tokens have been hailed as the technology that can help creators regain control of their value and connect directly with their audiences, disintermediating record labels and galleries, thanks to the miracle of true, verifiable digital ownership. But some creators are finding that this brave new world isn’t as open as its underlying technology. Cryptonatrix, a sex worker who started exploring digital art inspired by NFTs, has found the same stigmas that plague women and sex workers outside of crypto are seeping into the digital art space too. In this column, she dives into her experience in the space and makes a call to revolutionize not just the tech behind digital art, but also how creators are treated and perceived.
"I Don't Think We're in a Bubble. We Had a Bubble in ‘17; Now We're in a Movement:" Mike Novogratz
In this week’s episode we speak with Mike Novogratz, the CEO of Galaxy Digital. He started his career at Goldman Sachs and then led a macro hedge fund at Fortress, which was shuttered in 2015. He then went all-in on crypto, in part thanks to convincing from his college roommate Joe Lubin, and founded Galaxy Digital, an investment bank for digital assets.
While Bitcoin is firmly established as digital gold, to him, Ethereum is a venture bet because it’s not totally finished yet. It's getting there, and so the bet is it's going to happen, not that it's happened. Novo is wildly bullish DeFi. He says the threat to the banking system and payments is DeFi, not Bitcoin. But that also means the big guys are going to fight back with lobbying and regulation because protocols like Uniswap and Aave are going after their business. About the hype and rally in the crypto market, Novo says this time it’s different. Unlike in 2017, he doesn’t believe we’re in a bubble. He says we’re in a movement.
Beeple NFT Sells for $69M in Christie’s Auction: A 21,069 x 21,069 pixels jpg file attached to an Ethereum token sold today for $69M in ETH at Christie’s, the world’s oldest fine art auctioneer. Of course, we’re talking about Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days.”
Coinbase Rumored $100B Valuation Boosts DEX Tokens: UNI and BNT both hit new all-time highs this week, while SUSHI came within 2% of its $20.50 high. SUSHI’s recent price action came following its recent listing in Coinbase. While UNI and BNT had already been listed in the centralized exchange, their increasing price action has certainly been influenced by Coinbase’s rumored $100 billion pre-IPO valuation, Lucas Outumuro of IntoTheBlock writes.
People Are Outraged About NFT Energy Consumption: Blockchain mining is very energy-intensive, and by extension, so is minting NFTs. This is causing outrage among some artists and critics, with at least one creator canceling an NFT drop.
Lindsay Lohan’s NFTs Are Selling Like Hot Cakes: In case you needed further proof that NFTs are going mainstream: the latest NFT artist uploading tokens to Rarible is Mean Girls star Lindsay Lohan. Not only that, but her Bitcoin to the Moon piece is going for 24 ETH, or around $44k.
DAI Gets a Quick Bridge To Optimism: MakerDAO will soon launch a feature which may solve the biggest UX hangup of the Optimistic layer 2 (L2) scaling solution. The feature will allow users to move not only DAI, but eventually any Ethereum asset, off Optimism and to layer 1 (L1) within minutes.
There’s Now a Token That Tracks Trending WSB Stocks: Degenerative Finance has launched uSTONKS, a synthetic that tracks the ten most bullish Wall Street Bets stocks.
Keep and NuCypher Propose Protocol Merger: Proposals for merging Keep and Nucypher are live on both projects’ forums. The potential merge is the first of its kind in that it will produce a third network, a DAO governed by stakers of each projects’ respective tokens, KEEP and NU.
Big Data Protocol Amasses 10% of TVL Over the Weekend: Big Data Protocol wasn’t even live a week ago. Now it sits third in terms of total value locked, ahead of DeFi mainstays Compound Finance and Uniswap, according to data compiled by DeBank.
Withdrawal Delays Highlight NBA Top Shot Centralization: With over $230M in gross sales since launch and affiliation with one of the most lucrative sports franchises in the world, there’s one important question NBA Top Shot fans should be asking themselves: Do they actually own their NBA Top Shot?
Cover Protocol Token Dives After Yearn Breakup: Yearn Finance and Cover are splitting ways after announcing a merger back in November. The reasons behind the break-up haven’t been disclosed, but Yearn’s creator, Andre Cronje, has made one thing clear: it’s not amicable, and Cover’s token is paying the consequences.
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).