🦄 Recap: DeFi Week of Feb. 20

Hello Defiers. Well, we’re coming to you on a somber weekend. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine this week was shocking, and The Defiant immediately went to work reporting on this calamity will impact the crypto community in the embattled nation, and abroad. Br...

Hello Defiers. Well, we’re coming to you on a somber weekend. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine this week was shocking, and The Defiant immediately went to work reporting on this calamity will impact the crypto community in the embattled nation, and abroad.

Brady Dale reported on how blockchain dev teams inside Ukraine are at once struggling and galvanizing to complete projects amid the violence. Sam Haig reported on how a newly formed UkraineDAO is pulling together community members to provide support for people inside the country. The project includes core members PleasrDAO, the DeFi collective from which FreeRossDAO spun out, Trippy Labs, an NFT studio, and the famed protest art group Pussy Riot. Rest assured, The Defiant will continue to report on these and other efforts to support crypto folk impacted by the war.

Meanwhile, check out Owen Fernau’s insightful feature on how metaverse land, of all things, is maintaining its value even as the rest of crypto craters. In a similar vein, Sam Haig delved into how the gaming guild YGG is making nimble moves (including using regional subDAOs) to weather the downturn in GameFi. Rounding off the news, Brady reported on the strange auction of CryptoPunks at Sotheby’s that was pulled at the last minute.

Don’t miss our Weekend Read, David Liebowitz’s fascinating diary of his experience at ETHDenver. David writes about the state of play in web3, focusing on both the technology and cultural sides of the story. His take on the import of zero knowledge proofs is worth the price of admission alone.

Tune in to Camila Russo’s podcast with Edan Yago of Sovryn; they spoke about the slow buildout of Bitcoin DeFi. And Robin Schmidt’s take on how to survive a bear market is a must-watch video for these turbulent times.


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Check out and subscribe to DeFi Alpha, a weekly newsletter by The Defiant and DeFi Dad, packed with tutorials and tips on how to earn yield in DeFi.

This week:

20% Fixed Yield On ETH and BTC Using 88mph + Yield Farming on Metis

📬 Inbox Dump #44

Our Inbox Dump newsletter, which is exclusive to paid subscribers, is 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. We also include a compilation of DeFi and crypto funding rounds in the past week so you have these in one handy place.


🎙 Sovryn's Edan Yago on Building Bitcoin DeFi; Slower Growth But Strongest Foundation


Edan Yago is a co-founder of Sovryn, a Bitcoin-based lending protocol. He’s maybe the first Bitcoin builder we have had on our show and that’s because DeFi on the first blockchain network has been slow to pick up — but Edan says that’s about to change.

Ethereum and other smart contracts platforms have evolved over time with use cases like tokens, DAO’s and NFTs flourishing. Meanwhile, Bitcoin has mainly looked from the sidelines. Edan says there has been a gradual mentality shift, as Bitcoiners accept the first cryptocurrency should be able to support a wider array of use cases to become the backbone of a more decentralized financial system.

The Tube

📺 SuperMassive NFT Show: NFT's must Fight for their Place in Culture


📺 First Look: Is this the NFT/DeFi crossover we’ve all been waiting for? Idols stETH BOND $virtue

📺 Tuesday Tutorial: How To Survive A Bear Market

📺 Quick Take: OpenSea Phishing, Credit Suisse leaking

DeFi Diary

Scaling Breakthroughs and a Thriving Culture: Here’s What I Learned About the State of Web3 at ETHDenver

Contributing writer David Liebowitz came away from Denver with a lot of takeaways on the state of DeFi and what happens next.


Coming back after a year hiatus, tens of thousands of experienced builders and curious beginners alike descended upon ETH Denver. The conference came at a crucial turning point for the industry as a whole.

It was earlier this month that the likes of Coinbase and FTX bought Super Bowl commercials and The New York Times and Business Insider reported on the exodus of talent to Crypto/Web3 companies from Silicon Valley. There’s no doubt that crypto and Web3 have captured the imagination of ordinary people and that has inspired many to wait hours outside confabs like ETH Denver in the brisk mile-high air to get a taste of the action.

Coming into the event, I was excited to see all my friends once again whom I’d met on the conference circuit. I’ve only been part of the circuit since BTC Miami in early June 2021 and since then have had the privilege to meet some of the smartest, most talented, and driven individuals I’ve ever come across. As the circuit progressed over the next eight months, I met individuals that considered themselves more a part of Web3 than crypto, a sign of how much the wider community is segmenting even in these early stages of adoption.

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Crypto is often associated with finance and the technical aspects of blockchain which was the topic of discourse for over the past decade. Web3 on the other hand refers to the “social layer” of crypto that is more accessible to the masses and has only become a common term over the past half year or so.

Deep Dive

🎮 Gaming Guild YGG Pulls Out the Stops to Weather a Brutal Bear Market in GameFi

In which Samuel Haig delves into the mystery of gaming guilds and weathering the downturn…


It wasn’t that long ago that GameFi was riding high. Led by Axie Infinity, play-to-earn gaming emerged as a cultural and economic force in DeFi. With in-game rewards incentivizing players and enabling many to meet living expenses, a new model had been born. Between the beginning of March and the November peak, Axie’s governance token, AXS, multiplied in value 110 times, bestowing the venture with a $10.5B market capitalization.

But like everything else in crypto, GameFi has tumbled since those November highs. And AXS has lost 60% of its value. Meantime, Smooth Love Potion, its in-game coin that drives much of its tokenomics, has crashed 95% since July.

Even so, many gamers are playing games other than Axie Infinity. Many players also use play-to-earn, or P2E, to supplement their income and are not solely reliant on GameFi revenues to support themselves. That’s continuing.

So what comes next for GameFi? Was it just a bubble, or, as so many believe, is it an innovative new model with staying power that will endure a bear market? To get some answers, The Defiant interviewed P2E gamers representing top gaming guild Yield Guild Games (YGG).

Weekend Read

🏞 Metaverse Land Sales Hold Steady in Defiance of the Crypto Selloff

In which Owen Fernau unearths a market doing just fine in the bear market…


It’s a stark reality. The cryptocurrency market has lost 40% of its value since peaking in November, and even web3 supporters have accepted that a bear market has arrived with no end in sight.

And yet, there is one asset that has been quietly and steadily holding fast during this sell off — metaverse land. Yes, that’s right, real estate in the virtual world had tracked the larger market’s surge to all time highs last fall but rather than drop it’s remained elevated despite some tapering.

In fact, weekly metaverse land sales broke 6,000 ETH for the first time starting on Nov. 14 and hasn’t dropped below that level since, according to WeMeta, a platform which tracks metaverse “worlds” like Decentraland. Land in the metaverse is typically represented by NFTs.


One-year volume for land in leading Metaverse Worlds. Source: WeMeta


🍁 Trudeau Just Proved Bitcoin’s Anti-Censorship Utility is As Valuable, and Necessary, As Ever

Guest writer Dave Weisberger argues thatCanada’s crackdown on financial and crypto accounts reinforces Bitcoin’s utility and purpose.


If you had Canada proving the need for a censorship-resistant, store-of-value on your 2022 bingo card, well, you are smarter than me, but, here we are…

With the extraordinary invocation of the decades old Emergencies Act, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acted to crush the self-styled Freedom Convoy of truckers who jammed the capital, Ottawa, several weeks ago to protest strict Covid vaccine policies.

For the truckers and their supporters, this was an act of civil disobedience. And yet Trudeau’s government froze demonstrators’ bank accounts and encouraged doxxing of contributors to their cause.

While Trudeau believed the step was necessary, he unwittingly proved how important Bitcoin can be to the cause of individual freedom worldwide. With Bitcoin, Ethereum and the rest of crypto suffering a profound selloff, the timing is important. The Canadian government’s action reinforces Bitcoin’s central anti-censorship thesis, and its utility. And that development is a decidedly bullish signal amid the noise of the last few months.

🧐 Web3 Could Unleash Innovation by Overturning Age Bias in Startups

Guest writer James Whitley says web3 has the potential to change worlplace behavior for the better.

Last week, it hit me: I was actually working at my first job putting together bankruptcy exit plans for a failing airline the year our protocol’s intern was born. After a bit of a panic and checking to see if my address was updated so I’d receive my AARP card (yes – I’m exaggerating), I spent a little more time reflecting on how I, a finance and management professional with nearly 18 years of experience, found myself as a contributor to a cutting-edge DeFi protocol.

So why exactly would I choose a web3 opportunity rather than any of the numerous other startups I’ve decided not to pursue? Web3 is uniquely positioned to upend the age bias that exists in the traditional startup world because it’s cheaper and quicker to scale, positions older founders in a positive light for their careers, and facilitates the step-change innovations in industries that require a deeper level of expertise.













💜Community Love💜

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


Joël Kai Lenz @_jklnzWhat a nugget from @VitalikButerin: Doing meaningful and valuable things, makes you more vulnerable than doing totally destructive things. Great interview with @CamiRusso from @DefiantNews


youtube.comVitalik Buterin: Ethereum Will Most Likely Be Mainstream and the Most Secure Base LayerThis week on The Defiant podcast we chat with Vitalik Buterin, someone within this space that needs no introduction, but let’s give you one anyway. Vitalik w...9:44 AM ∙ Feb 18, 202216Likes4Retweets


Metis @MetisDAOTERRIFIC tutorial on how to bridge to $METIS and take advantage of one of the best and fastest-growing DeFi DApps anywhere: @drachmadefi! A+ stuff from @DeFi_Dad @yyctrader1 and @DefiantNews!


The Defiant @DefiantNews👨‍🌾Check out the latest DeFi Alpha with @DeFi_Dad and @yyctrader1: 🏎️20% APR Fixed Rate On BTC ETH @88mphapp on @FantomFDN 🚜Yield farming on @MetisDAO using @drachmadefi And lots more👇 https://t.co/DQubJVVX4B https://t.co/hYvEtgbl5H3:12 AM ∙ Feb 20, 202292Likes34Retweets


Superfluid @Superfluid_HQ@FrancescoRenziA is live again on @EthereumDenver's Twitch, this time with @BradyDale from @DefiantNews to discuss the acceleration of crypto finance 💰 Tune in now 👇 twitch.tv/ethereumdenver


twitch.tvTwitchTwitch is the world’s leading video platform and community for gamers.3:00 AM ∙ Feb 20, 20226Likes1Retweet


Crypto-Gucci.eth ᵍᵐ🦇🔊 @CryptoGucci4/ @CamiRusso hosts interview with @VitalikButerin on Building a Base Layer for the Global Economy Without Compromising on Decentralization


bit.ly🎙 Vitalik Buterin on Building a Base Layer for the Global Economy Without Compromising on DecentralizationFor the Ethereum creator in this podcast interview, it’s almost a given that Ethereum will become mainstream and the most secure base layer.2:18 AM ∙ Feb 15, 202297Likes9Retweets


Jacob Martin @thenftattorneyLast year I hosted a 16 punk dinner in Malibu... then @justinshenkarow and @jakeudell hosted a 20 punk hang at Soho in LA... But the 50(ish) CryptoPunk only breakfast in Denver was top notch bullish on communities gathering IRL. s/o @DefiantNews coverage


thedefiant.ioEthereum’s Old Guard Meets the Newbies at ETHDenver and There Are So, So Many of Them - The DefiantCryptoPunks are relatively old, as far as Ethereum history goes, but the notion of punks as a community is newer.2:19 PM ∙ Feb 23, 202217Likes3Retweets


Sovryn | DeFi for Bitcoin @SovrynBTC🎧 Listen to the latest @DefiantNews podcast where #Sovryn core contributor @EdanYago talks to @CamiRusso about building #DeFi on #Bitcoin, the Sovryn stack & how Bitcoin DeFi differs from DeFi on other networks. open.spotify.com/episode/22AIbs…5:28 PM ∙ Feb 22, 202246Likes15Retweets


Gianttigerprawn @henriquecentiei"Who needs to go to a bank branch anymore? I borrowed $700K from my computer." Great #DeFi article on #Abracadabra @DefiantNews


thedefiant.ioBuying Real World Assets By Leveraging Crypto - The DefiantThis DeFi user bought his dream home with an overcollateralized loan against his crypto asset.2:27 AM ∙ Feb 17, 202226Likes10Retweets


Gearbox Protocol ⚙️🧰 @GearboxProtocolSuper cool overview of Gearbox Protocol by the @IamSuperMassive chad! Also, catch up with some interview parts w @ivangbi_ in the second part of the video. Thx for the mention @DefiantNews, DAO contributors are working to ship awesome stuff soon 👀 📸 youtu.be/q1FF2dIQk-c


The Defiant @DefiantNews⚙️@GearboxProtocol allows anyone to get leverage in a decentralized manner and use it across other #DeFi protocols in a composable way: margin trading, leverage farming, and more.🤑 @IamSuperMassive takes a #FirstLook👇 https://t.co/SDHiQqKkvf8:23 PM ∙ Feb 16, 202254Likes13Retweets


DeFi Dave (¤, ¤) @davesaidthat_Expanded upon my thread and wrote a full recap reflecting on my time in ETHDenver last week. Forever grateful for @CamiRusso and @DefiantNews for giving me an outlet to publish my thoughts.


thedefiant.ioScaling Breakthroughs and a Thriving Culture: Here’s What I Learned About the State of Web3 at ETHDenver - The DefiantComing back after a year hiatus, tens of thousands of experienced builders and curious beginners alike descended upon ETH Denver. The conference came at a crucial turning point for the industry as a whole.2:43 PM ∙ Feb 24, 202248Likes12Retweets


homopictur ᴺᶠᵀ.eth (Marlon Portales) @HPicturLook what I just received! I was waiting for the arrival of this marvel written by @CamiRusso .As an @ETHMovie artist, and as an NFT artist, it's a must read, which I recommend for everyone in this blockchain. #Ethereum #ethmovie #wagman


8:54 PM ∙ Feb 12, 202258Likes17Retweets

🧑‍💻 ✍️ Stories in The Defiant are written by Brady Dale, Owen Fernau, Sanuel Haig and yyctrader, and edited by Edward Robinson, yyctrader and Camila Russo. Videos were produced by Robin Schmidt and Alp Gasimov. Podcast was led by Camila, edited by Alp.

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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.