⍺ DeFi Alpha: Save Gas Buying NFTs With Gem + Yield Farming On Starstream

DeFi Alpha is a weekly newsletter published every Friday, contributed by Defiant Advisor and DeFi investor at 4RC, DeFi Dad, and our Degen in Chief yyctrader. It aims to educate traders, investors, and newcomers about investment opportunities in decentrali...

DeFi Alpha is a weekly newsletter published every Friday, contributed by Defiant Advisor and DeFi investor at 4RC, DeFi Dad, and our Degen in Chief yyctrader. It aims to educate traders, investors, and newcomers about investment opportunities in decentralized finance, as well as provide primers and guides about its emerging platforms.


Two years ago, DeFi investors could easily name every yield farming opportunity without much effort. It was a simpler time, where only a handful of teams had launched with any liquidity to trade, lend, borrow, provide liquidity, or even demonstrate new primitives such as no-loss savings by PoolTogether.

But times have changed! DeFi liquidity has grown to hundreds of billions of dollars across Ethereum with new burgeoning DeFi economies taking shape on EVM-compatible chains such as Polygon and Avalanche and non-EVM chains such as Terra and Solana. Any given day, a new DeFi or NFT project is launching. So after writing and creating countless DeFi guides and tutorials since 2019, we at The Defiant agreed it’s time we publish a more detailed weekly guide on all you need to know to keep up with new and old yield earning opportunities.

This is DeFi Alpha by The Defiant.

We are sending this issue to all Defiant subscribers. If you want to keep receiving this newsletter going forward please subscribe here:

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🙌 Together with:

  • Sperax USD, the FIRST Auto-yield stablecoin on Layer 2, connects you with modern money. Learn more!
  • Tracer Perpetual Pools V2 is Coming Soon! The simple way to mint, stake, or trade leveraged tokens for the DeFi economy - With no margin requirements and no liquidations. Learn More!

📈 Yield Alpha

Each week we will provide options to earn yield on ETH, WBTC, stablecoins, and other major tokens.

  • ETH - Curve stETH LP staked in Concentrator for a total of 8.16% APY
    • This yield is occurring in trading fees + ETH staking rewards to the underlying Curve LP, combined with auto-compounding CRV and CVX rewards on Convex, thanks to Concentrator auto-claiming rewards and selling for staked cvxCRV.
    • To participate, go to this Curve pool and deposit ETH and/or stETH.
    • Then, deposit the Curve LP into Concentrator here under steth.
  • BTC - Lend WBTC.e on Beta Finance (on Avalanche) at 6.71% APY
    • This yield is issued in interest paid by Beta borrowers + BETA tokens.
    • To participate, go to the Beta dApp on Avalanche and lend WBTC.e here.
    • Be aware this liquidity mining program ends on March 30th.
  • AVAX - On YieldYak, you can earn compounding lending interest with AVAX on Aave at 8.3% APY
  • SOL - Lend stSOL on Tulip Protocol on Solana to earn 11.33% APY (from Francium) + 6.2% APR from the underlying SOL staking rewards in stSOL
    • This yield is backed by borrowing interest paid by leveraged yield farmers on Tulip as well as the 6.2% APR in staking rewards thanks to the liquid staking derivative stSOL by Lido.
    • To participate, go to the Tulip dApp under Lendand deposit stSOL (by Lido).
  • LUNA - LP with LUNA-LunaX in TerraSwap to earn a net ~17.61% APY
    • This yield is backed by auto-compounding LUNA staking rewards thanks to LunaX by Stader (7.87% APY), trading fees on TerraSwap, and 13.68% APY in SD token rewards.
    • To participate on Terra, deposit 50% of LUNA into LunaX and then go here to TerraSwap to pair 50/50 LUNA<>LunaX as an LP and sit back to passively collect rewards trading fees, staking rewards, and claimable SD tokens (13.68 APY in SD).
    • The LunaX staking derivative alone is earning 7.87% APY.
  • MATIC - stake MATIC with ClayStack at 9.26% APY
    • The yield is backed by validator rewards using a MATIC liquid staking derivative.
    • To participate on Polygon, deposit MATIC here ClayStack.
  • ATOM - mint pATOM and stake the pATOMs on Ethereum to earn more pATOMs on pSTAKE at a rate of 12.02% APR
    • The yield earned is issued and claimable in pATOM and this yield is expected to hold steady for weeks/months unless pSTAKE changes their liquid staking model.
    • To participate, one must first mint a 1:1 representation of ATOM as pATOM on Ethereum by using the pSTAKE dApp under Deposit
    • Then, deposit/stake pATOMs to get stkATOMs and earn 12.02% APR
  • Stablecoins - Conservative - earning 19.5% APY with UST on Anchor Protocol on Terra
  • Stablecoins - Degen - Upto 95% APR on Excalibur Exchange, which we covered in last week’s DeFi Alpha.

🪂 Airdrop Alpha

In each DeFi Alpha guide, we update a list of the most obvious DeFi protocols that have yet to announce and/or launch a token.

  • Arch Finance - a protocol for comprehensive indices that provide access to differentiated sources of market risk.
  • Arbitrum - one of the leading L2 solutions for Ethereum with live dApps such as Uniswap, SushiSwap, Hop, and more, we expect a token to eventually launch so by depositing assets or transacting, one might earn a future airdrop
  • Cosmos Ecosystem : Staking $ATOM and $OSMO usually makes one eligible for airdrops from new apps that launch on Cosmos. Staking guide here in a previous edition of DeFi Alpha.
  • DeFi Saver - a one-stop dashboard for creating, managing and tracking DeFi positions across Aave, Compound, Maker, Liquity, and Reflexer
  • Element Finance - stake/lend to earn fixed interest with fixed terms on Ethereum
  • Euler Finance - a non-custodial protocol on Ethereum that allows users to lend and borrow almost any crypto asset, just launched but has yet to launch a token.
  • Francium - leveraged yield farming similar to Alpha Homora but on Solana, one can choose to simply lend single assets or hold leveraged LPs to potentially earn an airdrop here
  • Hop Protocol - become an LP to enable bridging instantly between Ethereum Mainnet, Polygon, Arbitrum, or Optimsm without waiting for long delays in withdrawals; DeFi Dad has a full-blown video tutorial on how to become a Hop LP and potentially earn a future HOP airdrop.
  • Optimism - one of the leading L2 solutions for Ethereum with live dApps such as Uniswap, Hop, Synthetix and more, we expect a token to eventually launch so by depositing assets or transacting, one might earn a future airdrop
  • Opyn - one of the OG decentralized options protocols on Ethereum, with major investors that signal a token has to be in their future. Buy/sell puts or call options to earn a possible future airdrop.
  • Polymarket - one of the strongest players in the DeFi prediction market vertical, bet on an outcome related to crypto, politics, sports and more or add liquidity
  • Set Protocol - one of the earliest DeFi protocols yet to launch a token for DeFi asset management, popular for TokenSets and known for powering IndexCoop indexes
  • Stader Labs - The SD token sale happened January 25th, and there’s still time to earn SD before the TGE by depositing LUNA into LunaX (a liquid staking equivalent of LUNA) and pairing LUNA<>LunaX as an LP here on TerraSwap.
  • Volmex - Volmex is a tokenized volatility protocol, similar to the VIX but ETHV
  • Yield Protocol - a newer protocol for fixed-term, fixed-rate lending in DeFi, backed by Paradigm, one might earn a future airdrop by lending DAI or USDC
  • Zapper - participate in Zapper trading, lending, providing liquidity, or yield farming; given the Zapper Quests and NFT Rewards program, it can be surmised that if Zapper ever releases a token, this is one way they might do a retro airdrop
  • Zerion - same can be said speculated about Zerion; if they ever release a token, they’re likely to reward those who interacted with their smart contracts swapping, lending, providing liquidity, or borrowing.

🧑‍💻 Defiant Starter Tutorial

How to Buy A Bundle of NFTs Saving Up to 42% in Gas Fees on Gem


Opportunity: Instead of the usual DeFi tutorial, I wanted to cover some tips for how to search for and buy one or more NFT at the best price. There are a number of tools that have emerged to aggregate NFTs across platforms like OpenSea, LooksRare, and more. Gem launched on January 19th this year and has ushered in a number of benefits for its users seeking to buy NFTs.

  • Find the best deals as an aggregator across marketplaces like OpenSea, Rarible, Larva Labs, NFTX, NFT20, and soon Universe.
  • Buy multiple NFTs in a single transaction.
  • Save up to 42% in gas compared to buying on other NFT marketplaces directly
  • Pay with any or multiple ERC20 tokens.
  • Find all NFT analytics in one place, including sales volume, floor price, live sales, minting activity, top holders & distribution, and top buyers/sellers

Before we get started, please exercise caution as this is a beta app. That being said, the team has already established a great reputation for responding quickly to bugs, without any exploits as of this writing. If you do find bugs or have questions, contact the team in Discord here.

Time to Complete: 5 minutes if paying the HIGH gas fees on Etherscan Gas Tracker

Estimated Length of Rewards Program: Not applicable to this tutorial

Gas + Protocol Fees: Based on gas prices of 20-60 Gwei on Ethereum, $10-$50 in ETH depending on whether they bought 1-5 NFTs in a single transaction.

Fees: Other than network fees paid for Ethereum transactions, you only pay for the marketplace fees based on wherever Gem routes the buy order from (ie OpenSea). As of this writing, Gem does not charge a fee.

Risks: As always, this is not financial advice and you should do your own research. The following are risks I incur when participating in this opportunity.

  • Smart contract risk in Gem and any associated NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea
  • Systemic risk in DeFi
  • Pegged assets such as stablecoins may de-peg


  1. First, I go to gem.xyz and connect my Ethereum wallet.
  2. I can search by item or collection name.
  1. Let’s say I search for Parallel trading cards and filter by BUY NOW, price range up to 0.1 ETH, and ranked by price from low to high.
  1. Let’s pretend I choose to add 4 cards to My Cart and then click Proceed to Checkout.
  1. I then choose whether to pay in ETH or another ERC20 token.
  1. Lastly, I review my cart order to be sure I’m happy paying the updated prices for these NFTs and click Place Order, which then prompts me to complete 1 MetaMask transaction if paying in ETH or 2 transactions if paying in another ERC20 token.
  1. That’s it! I’ve mastered using one of the most popular and new buying tools for NFTs on Ethereum.

🦍 Defiant Degen Tutorial

Auto-Compounding Hermes Yields With Starstream On Metis

Metis is a Layer-2 scaling protocol for Ethereum that utilizes Optimistic Rollups. We previously covered yield farming using Drachma DeFi in an earlier edition of DeFi Alpha.

Hermes Protocol is a fork of Solidly, the automated market maker launched on Fantom by Andre Cronje.

$HERMES token emissions started about a week ago and various apps are competing for their share by voting using the ve(3,3) model.

Today, we’re going to look at using Starstream, a yield aggregator on Metis that lets you auto-compound the $HERMES yields.

We’re interested in the ETH-USDT (36% APY) and MIM-USDC (23% APY) Vaults.

Let’s get started.

Step 1: Add the Metis Andromeda network to MetaMask. I used Chainlist, a handy tool for connecting to EVM-compatible chains.


Step 2: Head to the Metis Bridge and connect your MetaMask wallet to the Ethereum network. Enter the assets and amounts you wish to transfer and confirm the transaction(s).

Gas fees on Metis are paid in METIS tokens. First-time users who bridge over $2000 worth of ETH, USDC or USDT will be airdropped 0.05 METIS. It’s recommended that you buy some more so that you don’t run out of gas. You can do so on Netswap.

You are now ready to DeFi on Metis.

Step 3: Navigate to Hermes:


Add liquidity to your pool of choice. Note that you will need equal amounts of your chosen assets.


You’ll be asked to approve spending your assets. Confirm the transactions to receive your Liquidity Provider (LP) tokens.

Step 4: Once you have obtained LP tokens, head over to Starstream.


Starstream offers auto-compounding vaults in addition to the regular yield farms. A performance fee of 4.5% is charged, with no deposit or withdrawal fees applied to Hermes vaults. More details can be found in the project’s documentation.

Click on the vault corresponding to your LP tokens and make your deposit.


Note that you will not earn any token rewards if you miss this step.

You are done! Your earned $HERMES tokens will be periodically harvested and sold for more of your deposited LP tokens.

📰 Elsewhere on The Defiant

Tuesday Tutorial on The Defiant YouTube: This week, Robin explored CowSwap, a MetaDEX aggregator that offers gas-less swaps on Ethereum. Learn how and subscribe to The Defiant on YouTube!

The information contained in this newsletter is not intended as, and shall not be understood or construed as, financial advice. The authors are not financial advisors and the information contained here is not a substitute for financial advice from a professional who is aware of the facts and circumstances of your individual situation. We have done our best to ensure that the information provided is accurate but neither The Defiant nor any of its contributors shall be held liable or responsible for any errors or omissions or for any damage readers may suffer as a result of failing to seek financial advice from a professional.