Hello Defiers! Here’s what we covered yesterday,
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ANTICIPATED DROP Stoner Cats, the NFT project backed by Hollywood heavyweights Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, released 10K NFTs on July 27 in a much-anticipated drop — but not everyone who participated ended up cool as a cat.
SOLD OUT With Vitalik Buterin voicing one of the characters in the upcoming series of animated shorts, it comes as no surprise that demand was sky-high, and the NFTs were sold out within 40 minutes despite being priced at a relatively steep 0.35 ETH apiece. The project raised 3,650 ETH — worth $8.2M — from the sale.
FAILED TRANSACTIONS But many users who tried to mint Stoner Cats were unsuccessful due to the minting contract, which was generating an incorrect estimate on gas fees (although the project insists that Metamask is to blame). More than 344 ETH, around $787K, in gas fees wasted on failed transactions.
31 SECONDS Yield Guild Games, an investment DAO focused on the use of NFTs in virtual worlds and blockchain games, raised $12.5M in 31 seconds on July 27.
32 WALLETS The launch, which happened on Sushiswap’s Miso token launch platform, caused a frenzy as only 32 wallet addresses bought up 25M of the DAO’s YGG tokens in the span of three Ethereum blocks. For context, the guild’s Discord server has 37.8K members.
As BeyondMimesis tweeted “It was over even before my ‘Approve’ transaction got through :(.”
THE LEAD Goldman Sachs’s proposed DeFi ETF has sparked speculation that the fund has more to do with boomer tech than DeFi — but there’s still a chance the banking giant may redeem itself.
NOKIA AND MICROSOFT Goldman Sachs’s DeFi and Blockchain Equity ETF will track the Solactive Decentralized Finance and Blockchain Index, according to the SEC filing. While the filing doesn’t mention the members of that index, an online search yields a basket tracking stocks of Nokia and Microsoft, a far cry from actual DeFi.
DIFFERENT INDEX? Except the Solactive Decentralized Finance and Blockchain Index, as named in the Goldman Sachs filing, does not seem to exist — at least not with that exact name. The closest index is the “Solactive Blockchain Technology Performance Index,” which tracks mainstream tech companies with “economic exposure to the Blockchain segment.”
CRYPTO HEARING On July 27, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs conducted a hearing to explore potential regulation needs for the cryptocurrency sector. The hearing, titled “Cryptocurrencies: What are they good for?,” largely centered around whether or not the industry’s claims of “decentralization” actually hold up to scrutiny.
POPULIST MARKETING And for many senators in DC, the answer seems to be ‘NO.’ Senator Sherrod Brown, who headed the hearing, even likened the claims of decentralization and democratization in crypto to the “phony populist marketing brought to us by people that have immense power in the marketplace.”
SHADOWY SUPER CODERS Senator Elizabeth Warren said, “Instead of leaving our financial system at the whims of giant banks, crypto puts the system at the whims of some shadowy, faceless group of super coders and miners, which doesn’t sound better to me.”
The EEA is hosting a free 90-min Ethereum Anniversary Special on July 29th. Highlights include presentations on the State of Ethereum and the Ethereum Roadmap. The highlight of the event will be a conversation between Balaji Srinivasan, Joseph Lubin, and Vitalik Buterin on the Future of Ethereum and Web3.
Fireblocks has raised $310 million, securing the cryptocurrency custody platform’s unicorn status with a $2 billion valuation. Announced Tuesday, the Fireblocks Series D round was co-led by heavy hitter tech VCs Sequoia Capital, Stripes, Spark Capital, Coatue and DRW.
🔗 Solana-based stablecoin exchange Saber raises $7.7 million from Chamath Palihapitiya's Social Capital and others: The Block
Saber Labs, the development team behind Saber — a Solana-based cross-chain exchange for swapping stablecoins and wrapped tokens — has raised $7.7 million in a seed funding round. The round was led by Race Capital, with participation from Chamath Palihapitiya's Social Capital, Jump Capital, Multicoin Capital, and the Solana Foundation.
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🧑💻 ✍️ Stories in this newsletter were written by Dan Kahan, YYCTrader and Masha Prusso, 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).