🦄 Recap: DeFi Week of Nov. 7

Hello Defiers! Happy weekend!

This week we stirred quite a stew of stories and research in DeFi. We saw some familiar faces bubble to the surface; Joe Lubin, the founder of ConsenSys, made quite a splash with his tweet-tease that MetaMask may token up. Gavin Wood popped up, too, in Sam Haig’s story on Polkadot’s parachain auctions. The Curve Wars made some noise again — yyctrader reported a wild tale on Mochi and how Curve pulled its rewards program after outcry about its tactics.

Ethereum itself also made headlines, or more precisely, Ethereum Name Service. No sooner had ENS airdropped its governance token than it surged past $1B in market value, as Owen Fernau reported. Meantime, Metis planted a $100M marker in the Layer 2 game with a new fund, and Brady Dale reported on how social media threesome Discord, Reddit, and Twitter are buzzing about a deeper integration with crypto.

On the NFT front, Camila Russo’s podcast with Zeneca, an NFT investor and content creator, delved into how he turned into a full-time NFT trader from a professional poker player. He talked about the promise and peril of trading NFTs. Robin Schmidt returned to the happy hunting grounds of Axie Infinity with a fresh primer on the blockbuster blockchain game. Robin also took aim at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and its fear of stablecoins. That’s been a sleeper issue this year and in Robin’s capable hands its importance finally gets the spotlight it deserves.

For those Defiers who want to take a deep dive into the infrastructure of the Ethereum blockchain be sure to read Alex Shipps’ research piece on Zero knowledge proofs and scalability. It’s high-level stuff, which is what we love at The Defiant!

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🙌 Together with: 

  • Balancer, one of the leading DeFi automated market makers (AMM) for multiple tokens. Dive into their pools at this link.

  • Kraken, consistently rated the best and most secure cryptocurrency exchange, which can get you from fiat to DeFi

  • Aave, an open-source and non-custodial liquidity protocol where users can earn interest on deposits and borrow assets. 

  • Fintech Meetup, join fintech’s largest online meetings event —30,000+ online speed date meetings. Learn More and Get Ticket

We’re excited. We’re getting ready to launch The Defiant Terminal, a platform for investors and analysts to track all DeFi data in one place. Join the waitlist today to be notified as soon as it’s live. You’ll want to be the first to get your eyes on that alpha. 


In this week’s podcast, Camila Russo talks to Zeneca, an NFT investor and content creator who grew his collection of non-fungible tokens from 0 to about 3,000 pieces worth millions in less than a year. He comes on the podcast to talk about how he went from professional poker player to full-time NFT trader, and what lessons from poker he has brought over to crypto. We discuss the importance of teams and communities when investing in NFT projects, and the key signals he looks for when buying NFTs. Zeneca talks about the difficult balance of using incentives to bootstrap community, while also providing value beyond those incentives, otherwise projects become unsustainable.

Zeneca believes the NFT market has hit a downturn amid rising crypto prices because it has become saturated with the same types of projects. He believes avatars will take a back seat to projects where NFTs have utility beyond displaying the art itself and being part of a community. That’s why gaming is setting up to be the next big movement in NFTs, he says. Still, he doesn’t believe we’ve seen a true bull and bear market yet — that will come when NFTs better integrate with DeFi and leverage comes into play.

🎙 Zeneca: "The Market is Fed Up With the Same Sorts of Projects and There's a Flight to Gaming NFTs"

📬 Inbox Dump #32

Hello Defiers! Welcome to Inbox Dump 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.

At The Defiant we cover the most important DeFi-related news and developments but we know many of you are hunting for projects before they are fully developed and before they are newsworthy. Our goal with this installment of the newsletter is to help you find them. Look at this as the starting point to DYOR.

We also include a compilation of DeFi and crypto funding rounds in the past week so you have these in one handy place.

Keep in mind these have been unedited. With that —here we go!

[This post is exclusive to subscribers]

The Tube

📺 The Defiant Weekly: The Defiant Guide to Play to Earn - GameFi

📺 First Look: Unboxing Jeff Staple x RTFKT Studios Meta-Pigeon

📺 Tuesday Tutorial: A Defiant Beginner's guide to Axie Infinity, play to earn and the Katana Dex ($SLP $AXS)

📺 Quick Take: Rugged by the government? NFTs are now cash!?

📺 The Defiant Weekly: The US Treasury is Terrified of Stablecoins

The Defiant Interview

🏞 The Metaverse is So Hot Right Now: Here’s How Top Investors are Separating Opportunity from Hype

Owen Fernau caught up with three influential investors who were way early on metaverse. They shared their thinking on the hype, and the angles they;re pursuing as the space evolves.

It’s happened. The metaverse is rapidly entering the hypiest part of the hype cycle. It’s all over the place, and it isn’t just Mark Zuckerberg’s rebranding of Facebook’s corporate name to Meta that’s cranked up the buzz. Metaverse was huge long before the embattled Big Tech chieftain signed on.

There’s been a flurry of blockbuster deals aimed at developing metaverse projects. An investment firm called Sfermion recently raised $100M from the likes of Marc Andreessen and Chris Dixon. A Google Trends search shows worldwide queries for the “metaverse” skyrocketing during  the week that Facebook rebranded to Meta in late October.

While some version of the metaverse appears inevitable, how it develops is up for grabs. Where will value in the metaverse accrue? And what changes are coming as the race to build the metaverse heats up? To get insight on these questions, The Defiant interviewed three of the most influential investors in the space. 


0️⃣ How Zero-Knowledge Proofs Became Ethereum’s Magic Bullets

In this research piece, Alex Shipp describes how Zk-proofs are a key source of innovation and a solution for deficiencies in blockchain tech.

This year, Zero knowledge proofs (zk-proofs) are making their mark as the most potent cryptographic instruments powering innovation in decentralized ecosystems. 

Zk-proofs were first conceived by computer science researchers Shari Goldwassser, Silvio Micali, and Charles Rackoff in their 1985 paper, The Knowledge Complexity of Interactive Proof-Systems. Developers, system architects, and researchers in the Ethereum community — blockchain’s leading smart contract ecosystem — have spent the better part of the last three years straining their creative faculties to develop solutions — and more often, temporary workarounds.

Their goal is to remedy the blockchain’s two glaring deficiencies: the capacity to operate efficiently at scale, and to safeguard user privacy unequivocally. On both prerogatives, Ethereum’s best and brightest minds have converged on zero knowledge protocols and their ever-versatile implementations to build the next iteration of turing-complete blockchain infrastructure.


👀 How DAOs are Challenging VCs in the Race to Fund Web3 Projects

In this guest column, Lukas Schor writes how DAOs present an unprecedented to challenge to venture capitalists when it comes to backing Web 3 projects.

Investment in crypto and blockchain startups rose significantly in 2021 and changed how venture capital funding is received in Web3 projects. Now with the emergence of Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs), traditional VCs are facing competition. They have to rethink how they help companies raise money.

Despite a rocky start in 2016, DAOs have adapted and changed. Some early examples include dxDAO, DAOStack’s Genesis DAO, or MolochDAO, which have paved the way for more recent projects. Following on from surging interest in decentralised finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), DAOs are one of the most interesting topics in crypto right now.

Crypto communities springing up as DAOs are pooling their funds in DAO treasuries and enabling members to vote and decide how the project should be managed. VCs are no longer monopolizing the funding scene, and they’ll have to change how they operate, how they invest in projects, and what value, if any, they bring to the table, particularly as Web3 grows.









💜Community Love💜

Thanking all the amazing Defiers for the support and love this week (and always)!

Twitter avatar for @kesselRunner6KΞSS @kesselRunner6
Been thinking about this since I learned about DAOs. There's a great article from @DefiantNews on this subject:

h0rus.eth 💎🤚 @h0rus_eth

Unpopular opinion: DAOs structures suck unless the majority of holders know about product and scalability, which is unlikely to happen

🧑‍💻 ✍️ Stories in The Defiant are written by Brady Dale, Owen Fernau, Sanuel Haig, Bailey Reutzel, and yyctrader, and edited by Edward Robinson, Bailey Reutzel, 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.