🦄 Recap: DeFi Week of Sept. 19

Hello Defiers!

Twitter going full crypto… Robinhood introducing open wallets… Gary Gensler on the warpath… Ryan Selkis fighting back by (maybe) running for political office. Yeah, that all happened this week, and then some. Our intrepid reporters — Brady Dale and Owen Fernau — covered these goings-on and the upshot of their reporting is clear: DeFi has become an action-packed thriller.

It’s striking that Gensler, the chair of the SEC, is vowing to regulate ALL crypto by defining them as securities, investment contracts, or debt instruments (see our story on Wednesday). That question about how to define crypto has been up in the air with regulators worldwide for some time. Not anymore. It’s also telling that the former Goldman Sachs man is doing this as household names like Twitter, Robinhood, PayPal, Visa, and even Disney quadruple-down on crypto, DeFi, and NFTs. (To be fair, China on Friday reportedly launched a fresh crackdown on crypto mining and trading.)

Just look at what Hollywood is doing — contributing writer R.D. Danes reports fascinating piece about how American Zoetrope, the fabled studio founded by Francis Coppola, is brekaing new ground on using blockchain and tokenomics to produce films for up and coming auteurs.

Our own filmmakers in residence, the indomitable Robin Schmidt and his team, threw caution to the wind and went live this week on The Defiant YouTube channel covering NFTx, Jay Pegs Auto Mart, and Olympus Pro, among other hot topics. Meantime, The Defiant Chiefess Cami Russo rolled up her sleeves and delved into the intricacies of DeFi investing with research guru Matthew Sigel on her weekly podcast.

All in all, a packed week, eh? Now if we can just find some time to relax this weekend!

The open economy is taking over the old one. Subscribe to keep up with this revolution. Click here to pay with DAI (for $100/yr) or sub with fiat by clicking on the button below ($15/mo, $150/yr).

🙌 Together with: 

  • Balancer, one of the leading DeFi automated market makers (AMM) for multiple tokens. Dive into their pools at https://balancer.finance/

  • 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. 

  • The DeFi Pulse Index, by Index Coop - DPI is the easiest way to capture the upside of DeFi with the benefit of diversification.  Buy DPI today on your favorite DEX.


🎙 "ETH and Most DeFi is Trading Cheaper Than Web2 and With Better Growth:” VanEck's Matthew Sigel

In this week’s episode we speak with Matthew Sigel, head of digital asset research at VanEck, an asset management firm overseeing $80 billion, which has shifted its focus heavily into crypto. They started out with investments almost exclusively in Bitcoin, but now, with Matthew on board, the firm is becoming increasingly bullish on Ethereum and DeFi. 


📺 SuperMassive NFT Show ft. Josef Rakich & Treasure

📺 First Look: What is Olympus Pro? | Can bonds really replace liquidity mining?

📺 NFTx wants to beat OpenSea but how are they going to do that? Deep Dive

📺 Tuesday Tutorial: NFTx wants to beat OpenSea but how are they going to do that? Deep Dive

📺 Quick Take: Red Market, Jay Pegs and Maki says sayonara

Weekend Read

🧪 Anything But Smooth: Axie Infinity’s Love Potion Token Whipsaws Game Players

In which Owen Fernau, fearless writer for The Defiant, risks the peril and unpredictability of Smooth Love Potion and Axie Infinity to report on the volatile tokenomics of the blockchain-based game.

SMASH Axie Infinity is a blockchain-based game that’s become a smash hit with crypto users. It allows players to earn real money, and lots of it, surpassing the monthly salary for many in the world’s poorest countries. 

MASSIVE It’s a massive game, sporting 1.5M daily users, according to its most recent development update. That’s more than Bitcoin’s all-time high of 1.36M active wallets on Apr. 15, according to data provider Glassnode. Earlier this year, Axie grabbed a lot of headlines for its torrid growth.

CRISIS But Axie Infinity is suddenly experiencing a crisis: Smooth Love Potion (SLP), one of its internal tokens and a key instrument in the tokenomics of the game, has been suffering extreme volatility, even by crypto standards. After peaking in May and again in July, it’s lost more than three-quarters of its value, though this week SLP has stabilized at around $0.081.

REAL WORLD For Axie Infinity players who earn the SLP token in-game and sell it to pay real-world bills, the torque is wreaking havoc. It raises significant questions about the potential of games and NFTs to truly create sustainable economies, a rising hope this year as the DeFi community — and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg — prepare for the Metaverse.

Deep Dive

In this special report, R. D. Danes explores the intersection of blockchain technology and the creative arts in a groundbreaking project backed by the family and studio that produced Apocalypse Now, The Outsiders and numerous other favorites.

🎬 Decentralization Now: Coppola Studio Brings Blockchain to the Movies

After four years of development, Decentralized Pictures — a new project from Frances Ford Coppola’s fabled American Zoetrope production company — is preparing to go live. 

The project is just what it sounds like — a decentralized platform leveraging blockchain and digital tokens to select films for financing and production support. It is now wrapping up the beta run of its democratic film-financing application and is weeks from launching the betanet of its underlying blockchain platform. It is the first 501(c)(3) nonprofit to issue digital assets under the Securities Act of 1933. 

Blockchain has been touted as a tool for opening up and leveling fortressed institutions of all kinds. The motion picture business — an insular world where the path to a theater release often opens through personal connections, introductions and insider knowledge — may prove a revealing test bed. 

Decentralized Pictures, or DCP, was co-founded by Roman Coppola, Francis’ son and the writer of critically acclaimed films such as Moonrise Kingdom and the forthcoming The French Dispatch. Co-founders Michael Musante, American Zoetrope’s vice president of production & acquisitions, and Leo Matchett, the Emmy Award-winning film engineer join Coppola in the project. DCP’s website states that its mission is to support “burgeoning independent filmmakers and filmmakers from underserved and underprivileged communities.” 


Exploring the Multi-Chain Universe Amid Incentives & Upgrades

In the latest installment of IntoTheBlock, Lucas walks us through the latest performance dynamics in DeFi. Read and learn

On-Chain Markets Update by Lucas Outumuro, IntoTheBlock

PERFORMERS Smart contract platforms’ tokens have been amongst the top performers of 2021. While Ether has recorded a remarkable 330% return year-to-date, newer platforms such as Solana, Avalanche and Terra have seen their tokens grow over 1,000% in 2021.

SCALABILITY The rise in these platforms has been driven initially by their lower fees and more scalable blockchains, but more recently sizable incentives programs have also buoyed their tokens. At the same time, Ethereum is pushing further with upgrades improving its proposition as a store of value and scalability. As so-called “Ethereum killers” have quickly grown, it is worth taking a step back and analyzing the evolution of the space to better understand how the multi-chain universe is unfolding and creating opportunities for both users and investors. 

VALUATION In terms of market cap, the top 10 smart contract platforms reached an all-time high in early September with an aggregate valuation of over $750 billion. 

ALL-TIME HIGHS The recent run-up in valuations has been driven by platforms such as Cardano and Solana hitting new all-time highs. While Ethereum has remained below its May high, Luna, Avalanche, Solana, Cardano, Algorand and Cosmos reached new heights in late August or early September. This has resulted in Ethereum’s market share dropping in terms of valuations. 




  • Oracle Pyth Goes Haywire on Solana with Bad Prices The Pyth Network malfunctioned on Sep. 20 as the data provider reported a Bitcoin price of $5,402 on a day when other sources like CoinGecko didn’t report a BTC price below $40K.

  • Robinhood’s New Crypto Policy Poised to Bolster DeFi and NFTs Robinhood, the wildly popular brokerage app, just made a move that could be a shot in the arm for DeFi. It plans to introduce crypto wallets in 2022 that will enable customers to deposit and withdraw Bitcoin, ETH, and other digital tokens from their accounts to external wallets.






💜Community Love💜

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 ($15/mo, $150/yr.