🦄 Recap: DeFi Week of Sept. 26

Hello Defiers!

The whole crypto-goes-mainstream thing has been a cliche since, well, forever. Even so, it’s pretty amazing to see the mojo at the intersection between DeFi and TradFi. There was a flurry of news this week demonstrating that this cliche is morphing into just plain normal business.

To wit: Visa unveiled a plan to make central bank digital currencies interoperable, with itself, naturally, at the center of new global monetary superhighway. Societe Generale, the French banking giant, announced it’s going to borrow 20M Dai on MakerDAO, a pretty bold move even for an institution known for avant-garde finance. And the prolific Brady Dale plumbed Twitter’s move to let its 206M users use NFTs as profile pics, a surprising tack given Jack Dorsey’s sniffy ‘tude toward non-Bitcoin crypto.

Yet the splashiest proof point of the DeFi-TradFi confluence must be Jay Pegs Auto Mart’s campaign to tokenize the 2007 Kia Sedona minivan. Who would have thought rolling this immortal vehicle onto the Ethereum blockchain would be present such a vivid vision of the future? Well, Jay Pegs, that’s who, and Brady Dale hopped a ride on the huckster’s magical mystery tour in our Weekend Read.

Switching channels, our fearless chiefess, Camila Russo, conducted our seventh Jam Session on The Defiant’s YouTube channel, this one covering the gateways to web3, with guests hailing from Argent, Dharma, Instadapp and other DeFi frontends. Robin Schmidt covered the Twitter story, non-fungible debt positions and Barnbridge’s SMART Alpha in on his must-see streams. Don’t miss SuperMassive reading aloud from Snow Crash in The Defiant Weekly. Also don’t miss the solid beat reporting by Owen Fernau — he covered newsy moves by Avalanche, dYdX, 1Inch and AngelList this week.

If all that wasn’t enough, Humpty Calderon wrote a provocative DeFi Essay on how decentralized identity is far more important than anyone realizes. So plenty to input this weekend as you calibrate for the week ahead. Imagine how much smarter you’ll be by Monday!

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🙌 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.


📺 Jam Session #7: Frontends

📺 First Look: Non Fungible Debt Positions with JPEG'd

📺 Tuesday Tutorial: Beat the DROPS with Barnbridge's SMART Alpha

📺 Quick Take: Twitter Goes Big on the Decentralized Universe

📺 The Defiant Weekly: What is the Metaverse?

📬 Inbox Dump #26

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]

Weekend Read

🚙 This Minivan Won’t Let You Down: How Jay Pegs’ NFT Gave Birth to an Absurd Universe

In which Brady Dale tours the strange world of Jay Pegs and the Dadaist dao of DONA…

I was told there would be explosions. There haven’t been any explosions, though, unless you count blown minds.

As everyone else in the NFT space heralds a new era in art history, a loose crew of about 10 degens took over Crypto Twitter for a week, recruiting an army of memesters to pitch the world on a simple message: There is simply nothing more desirable than a South Korean minivan that’s older than Bitcoin.

Jay Pegs Auto Mart is an NFT project that’s been churning out images of 2007 Kia Sedonas with little variations, like logs or eyeballs for wheels, garbage bags or traffic lights on the roof or wagons of various intentions attached to the bumper. The auto mart is a subsidiary of NGMI Global. What’s real and what’s part of the game gets blurry once 2007 Sedona NFTs are on the line. NGMI may or may not have more distractions in store for the blockchain world, but it definitely loves Pinterest.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in crypto, more “serious” NFTs are coming out and the space is working overtime to sell these new drops as choice picks for a forward thinking art collector. And some of them probably are works that will stand the test of time, but many probably not.

Deep Dive

When news broke last week that Twitter was finally going to embrace crypto and let users swap their old profile pics for NFTs, Brady Dale dove into the significance of this move, for both DeFi, online identity, and Twitter itself. Here’s his report:

🐥 NFT Profile Pics on Twitter: Will @Jack’s DeFi Move be a Game Changer?

A growing category of social media users now prefers using cartoons rather than their own photos to identify themselves online. They especially like cartoons that are as unique as their real faces. 

Non-fungible token (NFT) technology makes it easy for a person to know they are the only person who owns such an image. The kind of NFTs that work best here are ones that have picked up their own bit of jargon: PFP NFTs, where PFP stands for “profile picture.” 

Much to everyone’s surprise, the micro-blogging site Twitter has all of a sudden announced that it will embrace the trend and give PFP NFT users on the site a way to show that they have proven they really own the NFT in their avatar. So what will that mean for the digital collectible industry?

It might look like Twitter is just following where users are leading it. For anyone on crypto-Twitter, such NFTs have taken over the timeline. Where once there were lovingly filtered faces, today folks love to show off their fanciest non-fungible token (NFT) as their profile picture. For example, many prominent Ethereum backers (such as DCInvestor, David Hoffman of Bankless, and Snowfro of Artblocks) have the original NFT: CryptoPunks.

But because Web2 giants have been wary about all things blockchain, no one really expected a company as big as Twitter to embrace Web3’s approach to profile pics. Then, Jack Dorsey’s social media company announced that it was testing a tool for loading an NFT onto a profile and allowing the user to show that they had proven — with a crypto wallet — that they really owned that digital object. And on Wednesday a member of Twitter’s marketing team showed a preview video of how it’s likely to work.

The Defiant Essay

🤔 How Decentralized Identity Can Take Crypto to the Next Level

Get ready for DID — it’s a term you’re going to be hearing a lot more about. In this special edition of our Monday newsletter, Humpty Calderon, the head of community at Ontology, takes a deep look at an element in DeFi that’s long been overlooked — identity. Humpty posits that blockchain technology provides us with a way to essentially watermark our online selves and ensure that we control the digital activities that affect our lives. It’s an idea that drives to the heart of the DeFi proposition. Check it out.

Over the past year, there has been a notable increase of awareness and interest towards decentralized identity solutions. Decentralized identity solutions help users, amongst other things, to control their digital identity without the input of intermediaries. As well as the individual user benefits, decentralized identity solutions have the potential to create seamless, accessible, and verifiable ecosystems. Decentralized identity holds the potential to solve many issues across the DeFi sphere and more.

What is decentralized identity?

To begin with, it is important to define what we mean by decentralized identity or DID. A DID can be provided to anyone or anything, be it a person, organization, or device. In contrast to typical identifiers such as drivers licenses or passports, DIDs have been designed so that they do not rely on centralized registries, identity providers, or certificate authorities. 

For example, key pairs used for creating digital wallets are siloed to the blockchain where they are created. DIDs on the other hand can operate across a variety of platforms including different blockchains. Together with verifiable credentials (VCs), people can create a more robust version of their identity, linking real-world credentials like your college degrees and certifications, social media accounts, and government-issued documents such as a driver’s license or passport under one secure ID.  






  • dYdX Now Accounts for More Than All Other DEX Trading Combined Non-custodial exchange dYdX has climbed to the top of the DEX rankings by trading volume, beating out Uniswap, for the first time. More than $9B  has been exchanged on the trading platform in the last 24 hours, according to data provider CoinMarketCap.

  • Startup Icon AngelList Embraces DeFi by Opening Site to USDC Add AngelList to the ever-lengthening list of mainstream tech outfits going crypto. On Tuesday it started letting investors use USDC-enabled funds on its site. It’s a significant move. For the last decade, AngelList’s online bulletin board for angel investors and job-seekers has made it a valuable utility in the U.S. startup scene by playing matchmaker between angel investors and entrepreneurs.



  • DAOs Accelerate Token Swaps in Push to Diversify Their Treasuries DeFi DAOs have made some serious cash in 2021 — but generally only in their native tokens. Now they’re looking to diversify. Fueled by a combination of rising token prices and an explosion in fee revenues as DeFi continues to attract new users, the decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) that act as a management layer for DeFi currently hold billions of dollars worth of crypto assets in their treasuries.

  • Liquidity Mining Set to Begin Friday on the Risk Tranching GRO Protocol Everyone is looking for stronger yields in DeFi. Gro is a new yield platform that aims to offer boosted returns on leading stablecoins to users willing to accept some risk. Gro is set to launch liquidity mining shortly for its depositors, which means they will begin receiving its governance token, GRO, based on the funds held in the platform, Hannes Graah, GRO’s founder, told The Defiant in an interview.

  • Fireblocks Draws Closer to Getting Wall Street Cash on DeFi Giant Aave Fireblocks, the digital asset security firm, has posted a proposal on Aave’s forum to scrutinize and approve participants on the DeFi giant’s platform. If Aave governance passes the whitelisting proposal, Fireblocks would be able to onboard a slew of institutional clients into the lending protocol. 


💜Community Love💜

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

🧑‍💻 ✍️ Stories in The Defiant are written by Brady Dale, Owen Fernau, 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.