🦄 Recap: DeFi Week of May 23
Hello Defiers and happy weekend!
It’s Memorial Day weekend in the US, the unofficial start of the summer, and while the northern hemisphere gets ready for the warm months, the crypto market slumped further into hibernation. Bitcoin closed in the red for an eighth week, the longest losing streak ever, as YYCTrader and Jason Levin reported. Meanwhile, ETH continues to lose ground versus the original crypto, with the ETH/BTC ratio at a seven-month low. If this is anything like the last bear market, BTC would sink to $12,000 and ETH would fall to below $300, as Owen Fernau reports.
DeFi is still grappling with the fallout from Terra’s spectacular collapse. Lending startup Stablegains is under fire for going all in on Anchor, regulators continue to scrutinize stablecoins, while Vitalik Buterin came out in defense of algo stables. Terra itself is aiming to turn a new leaf by forking its blockchain and ditching UST, Aleks Gilbert wrote.
Amid all the bad news, it seems some Ethereum miners needed some more positivity and attempted to expedite Ethereum’s transition to proof-of-stake on a public testnet, Samuel Haig wrote. In other Ethereum news, Sam also reported that Eth2 beacon chain’s validators fell out of step causing a chain reorganization.
In NFT land, once popular project Milady fell from grace after the founder’s sordid past was uncovered. In more uplifting news, the PoolTogether community came together via Poolys NFTs to help with ongoing litigation and OpenSea dropped a new marketplace protocol.
While public markets plummet, private markets appear in better shape with a16z raising a $4.5B crypto fund, as Aleks reported, while Ethereum rollup startup StarkWare closes a Series D round at an $8B valuation. See, it’s not all bad!
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This week we speak to Yoni Assia, the founder and CEO of eToro, one of the most successful crypto and stock buying apps with over 27 million users in more than 100 countries. Originally founded in 2007, it was one of the pioneering companies to incorporate crypto as early as 2013. Yoni speaks about what led to being so early and where the idea for Etoro stemmed from. He also dives into the importance of the user experience in creating a mainstream crypto trading app, and how including a social aspect to the product early on helped in accelerating growth.
We talked about the next phase for eToro and the role NFTs and DeFi will play in the platform, as he looks to integrate both. Yoni is convinced finance will become increasingly digital, and believes eToro’s role is to help investors diversify their holdings. He sees a change in investment attitudes as the younger generation is interested in taking a more active role with their assets, and trading is becoming a more social experience. Finally, we talk about some of the lessons he has learned about entrepreneurship and taking big risks.
Record Crypto Downtrend Drags On
Jason Levin explores Bitcoin’s unrelenting downtrend.
Bitcoin has lost ground for eight consecutive weeks for the first time in history, and will extend its losing streak if it doesn’t reclaim $30,300 in the next three days. Ether is trading at the lowest level relative to Bitcoin in seven months, a sign traders may be flocking to so-called digital gold and away from the world computer.
Seven Beacon Chain Blocks Reorganized
Samuel Haig dives into why the Beacon Chain was reorganized.
The Eth2 Beacon Chain’s validators fell out of step on May 25 after a client update boosted some clients but caused confusion among validators who hadn’t bothered to upgrade. The incident, called a blockchain reorganization, happens when nodes disagree on the order of the most recent block. Blockchains order blocks – batches of transactions – chronologically.
Popular NFT Collection Crashes
Aleksandar Gilbert covers the shadowy past of Milady’s founder.
Charlotte Fang had a confession to make on Saturday morning. “I was Miya,” the Twitter user once called the mastermind behind the Milady NFT collection, said. For a brief period in mid-April, the cheapest of the 10,000 generative, doe-eyed, anime avatars “inspired by 00’s Tokyo street fashion” was selling for a little more than $6,000. But the price began to drop, and fell even further after a May 5 story from CoinDesk exploring the Milady founder’s sordid history.
Experts Weigh In On Crypto Bear Market
Owen Fernau dives into what makes this bear trend different from previous market cycles.
The most popular tokens of 2021 – Layer 1s, GameFi, meme tokens, and DeFi 2.0 – are all down over 75% from their all-time highs. While the market braces for a crypto winter, one question swirls around traders’ minds: How low can it go?
Of course, no two cycles are the same. “This is uncharted territory. Since crypto started, we’ve been in a decade-long bull run with low to zero interest rates,” DeFi analyst The DeFi Edge told The Defiant. “We’re facing inflation rates at a 40 year high. Crypto needs more money to grow and it’s a horrible environment now.”
Ethereum Miner Tries to Expedite Testnet Merge By 2 Weeks Ethereum developers foiled a “mischevious” miner’s attempt to expedite Ethereum’s transition to Proof-of-Stake on a public testnet by two weeks.
Ethereum Founder Vitalik Buterin Defends Algo-Stables Ethereum inventor Vitalik Buterin said that algorithmic stablecoins should be scrutinized according to how they fare under extreme market conditions, and whether they can safely wind down when hype falls away.
Forked Terra Blockchain To Launch On Friday In a bid for survival that has received majority support from its community, Terra is forking its blockchain and ditching UST, the algorithmic stablecoin that collapsed in dramatic fashion two weeks ago.
BREAKING: Optimism’s $OP Token Could Be Imminent The Layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum announced that it would be dropping a token exactly a month ago on Apr. 26. Now, there’s speculation that the OP token will launch tomorrow, based on some intrepid blockchain sleuthing.
PoolTogether Launches NFT Sale to Fund Ongoing Litigation PoolTogether, one of the earliest DeFi projects launched in 2019, is a defendant in a class-action lawsuit against the company as well its investors. It has turned to NFTs to raise funds to cover legal expenses.
Seth Green Could Air TV Show Without Stolen Ape, Lawyer Says A hacker stole Seth Green’s Bored Ape just weeks before the NFT was set to star in a TV show the Family Guy actor had written about the JPEG. But the show could air even if Green can’t get it back, Jordan Teague, co-founder of web3 law firm The Antifirm, told The Defiant.
Tether Launches Stablecoin for Mexican Peso Tether launched a new stablecoin pegged to the Mexican Peso Thursday, marking the company’s first foray into Latin America while adding to a roster that already includes USD₮, the world’s largest stablecoin by market capitalization.
Aave Ends Rewards In Latest Blow To Yield Farmers Aave had incentivized adoption on its v2 deployment since April 2021 by offering AAVE tokens to those that borrowed or supplied crypto. But on May 22, the protocol’s rewards program expired on v2.
Contrasting The 2022 Market Crash To 2018’s Crypto Winter Crypto winter is a prolonged period characterized by a sustained and general drop in the price of cryptocurrencies which also hinders the enthusiasm for the industry. Is winter coming?
a16z Raises $4.5 Billion For Its Largest-Ever Crypto Fund Venture capital firm a16z has raised $4.5 billion for its fourth crypto fund, the firm announced Wednesday morning. The new fund dwarfs a16z’s previous fundraising efforts and brings the total amount of money the firm has raised for crypto ventures to $7.6 billion.
WeWork’s Adam Neumann Raises $70M for Crypto Startup Adam Neumann, the disgraced founder of WeWork, has ventured into crypto. His new company, Flowcarbon, just raised $70M for a private token sale led by a16z crypto. It wants to provide crypto-based carbon credits to offset pollution from the companies that are slowly killing us all.
Mirror Taps Optimism for New Writing NFTs Web3 blog platform Mirror now lets writers sell their essays as NFTs. Upstart writers could already sell NFTs on the platform and hold crowdsales – they’ve raised $15.36M since Mirror launched in 2020.
Optimism Foundation Cracks Down On Airdrop Farmers The Optimism Foundation, the entity behind the eponymous Layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum, is cracking down on sybil attackers. To maximize influence or profit, some individuals or organizations create multiple online accounts — or, in the world of crypto, wallets — posing as independent or unaffiliated.
Ethereum Rollup Startup StarkWare Closes Series D At $8B Valuation Even though the price of ETH has fallen by about 50% since early April, Ethereum scaling solutions continue to secure huge amounts of funding to address the bottlenecks that slow down the blockchain and make it expensive to use.
Vitalik Proposes Soulbound Tokens as Web3 Credentials of the Future Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin recently proposed a new kind of token standard that will help users gain insights into others’ real-world activities, accomplishments, likes and dislikes – something like a glimpse into their soul.
OpenSea Drops New Marketplace Protocol for NFTs OpenSea, the leading NFT marketplace, has launched what the company bills as a “web3 marketplace protocol for safely and efficiently buying and selling NFTs.”
Filecoin and Lockheed Martin To Launch IPFS Into Space The Interplanetary File System (IPFS), a protocol for peer-to-peer file data sharing and storage, is set to live up to its name through a partnership with Filecoin and U.S. space and weapons company Lockheed Martin.
GameStop Launches Beta Version of Non-Custodial Crypto Wallet GameStop, the embattled video game store and meme stock, launched a non-custodial Ethereum browser wallet in beta on Tuesday. Users control their assets and must manage the wallet’s private keys themselves.
Federal Reserve Survey Finds 12% of U.S. Adults Held Crypto Last Year In the central bank’s Economic Well-Being Of U.S. Households in 2021 report, the Fed found that 12% of the 11,000 U.S. adults surveyed held cryptocurrency last year.
Stablecoins In Regulators’ Crosshairs After Terra Collapse After Terra’s collapse last week, regulators across the globe have started to take aim at stablecoins. Most of the regulatory concerns have been focused on algorithmic stablecoins like Terra’s UST.
Stablegains Under Fire After Going All-In On Anchor Stablegains customers are now alleging they were scammed – misled by marketing that suggested the company was better diversified, when in fact, it had deployed all investor funds in Anchor Protocol, the now-infamous savings app on Terra.
Optimism Targets ‘Ethereum Equivalence’ With New L2 Upgrade Ethereum scaling solution Optimism today announced Bedrock, an upgrade that improves speeds and cuts costs for those that trade on the L2. With Bedrock, Optimism said it’s shooting for “Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) equivalence.”
ConsenSys Pushes Upgrade for Ethereum Validators Ahead of Q3 Merge ConsenSys, Joe Lubin’s Ethereum software company, has rolled out a new tool it claims will smoothen Ethereum’s transition to Proof of Stake in August, also known as “The Merge.”
🧑💻 ✍️ Stories in The Defiant are written by Owen Fernau, Samuel Haig, Jason Levin, 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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