🦄 Recap: DeFi Week of July 24

Hello Defiers! Happy weekend! It’s hard to think of another week where we saw such a dramatic clash of DeFi’s past and future. On the one hand, the news was brimming with conflicts as projects struggled to settle old business. SushiSwap, for instance, wa...


Hello Defiers! Happy weekend!

It’s hard to think of another week where we saw such a dramatic clash of DeFi’s past and future.

On the one hand, the news was brimming with conflicts as projects struggled to settle old business. SushiSwap, for instance, was keen to finally resolve its leadership crisis. Yet the exchange triggered quite the dustup by nominating a new ‘head chef’ with a pay package many members of the community deemed exorbitant. Sam Haig spoke with members to learn what was going on and came back with a finely reported dive on the tensions roiling Sushi, including allegations of manipulating governance votes. It was a story only The Defiant covered in such detail.

Likewise, Harmony struck quite the discordant note when it sought to reimburse users who lost money in a $100M hack several weeks ago. As Aleks Gilbert reported, by proposing the minting of new ONE tokens the Layer 1 drew the ire of holders who feared serious dilution. Aleks and Sam also teamed up on an excellent dive into the legal machinations at work in the Voyager Digital bankruptcy. Rather than simply report Voyager’s rejection of FTX’s buyout bid, the pair showed how the case is poised to define the rights of tokenholders in bankruptcies. A fine piece of legal analysis.

On the data analysis front, Jason Levin, with an assist from our Defiant Terminal team, produced a fascinating dive into the efficacy of airdrops. Crunching the numbers, Jason found that airdrops have some marketing utility but may not be worth the trouble that they’re worth unless they focus on core tokenholders. Expect more of these Defiant Data Dives as we search for hidden patterns and development in DeFi!

Meanwhile, on the other side of the ledger, we reported loads of stories on DeFi’s emerging story. Much of that is tied up in The Merge, which has been driving a rally in Ether in recent weeks. Sam Haig has been covering the series of shadow fork tests of the merged Beacon and mainnet blockchains, and he delivered another report on the 10th trial run to pass muster this week. Speaking of market action, Cami Russo spoke with UMA’s Hart Lambur in this week’s podcastabout how the bear market is actually quite the pitch for DeFi.

Picking up on that theme, guest columnist David Liebowitz delivered another provocative dispatch from the conference circuit. In his EthCC Journal, DeFi Dave skteched out a decentralized future of network states organized by blockchain. In the same vein, guest writer Hatu Sheikh drew on the dotcom crash of 2000 to argue that bear markets are the ideal time to build breakthrough projects.

And be sure to check out Robin Schmidt’s Defiant Weekly segment on how CeFi failed in the crash but DeFi did not. If there’s one major takeaway from the week’s news it’s this emerging theme. Robin, as ever, nails it.


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⍺ DeFi Alpha: How To Refuel Your Wallet If You Get Stranded On A New Chain


🎙 UMA's Hart Lambur Says The Current Market Crisis Is A Sales Pitch For DeFi


This week on The Defiant Podcast we speak to Hart Lambur, co-founder of the UMA protocol. UMA is an optimistic oracle on Ethereum that aims to record any knowable truth onto a blockchain. He was previously CEO of Openfolio, a personal finance tracking platform, and also a US treasury trader for Goldman Sachs.

We discuss his take on the crypto market and how the current crisis is not a DeFi crisis, but rather a failure of risk management at centralized institutions.

He talks about co-founding UMA, which stands for Universal Market Access, in 2018 with the goal of making financial products and services accessible to everyone.

We discuss Optimistic Oracles, which let any application make requests for any piece of knowable data and allow anyone to respond to those questions, and how they enable decentralized dispute resolution.

There is constant discussion regarding the mismanagement of DAOs and issues surrounding governance. Hart believes that DAOs rely far too heavily on multi-sigs that are cumbersome and inefficient. We discuss Outcome Finance, an upcoming brand that will encompass all the DAO tooling that the UMA team has been building.

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The Tube

📺 The Open Metaverse Show: Juicebox supercharges funding, guest starring Metatope

📺Hot Stuff: Everything Wrong With The Degen Trilogy

📺 Tuesday Tutorial: Zapper is now the frontpage of Web3. About time...

📺 The Defiant Weekly: CeFi failed. DeFi did not. But is that the whole story?

📺 Quick Take: zkEVM - who's announced what and wtf is it?

Special Report

⚔️ Voyager Rejection of FTX Buyout Leaves Investors Searching for Answers

Stricken Platform and Bankman-Fried Jockey for Advantage as Bankruptcy Unfolds

By Aleksandar Gilbert and Samuel Haig


Thanks but no thanks. That was the message Voyager Digital, a bankrupt crypto lender and exchange, delivered to FTX and Alameda Ventures on Sunday.

On July 22, Sam Bankman-Fried, the CEO of digital asset exchange FTX, proposed a restructuring deal to Voyager. The stricken platform’s customers would get immediate relief in the form of liquidity and the option to join FTX, one of the top crypto exchanges worldwide.

But two days later, Voyager rejected the proposal out of hand as “a low-ball bid dressed up as a white knight rescue,” according to a court filing. Translation: FTX was attempting a takeover adverse to Voyager’s interests. The bankrupt firm also described the proposed deal as “a liquidation of cryptocurrency on a basis that advantages AlamedaFTX.”

Alameda Ventures is an affiliate of Alameda Research, a crypto trading firm founded by billionaire Bankman-Fried. While the crypto mogul has relinquished day-to-day control of the Alameda companies, they and FTX have occasionally acted in concert during this year’s digital asset meltdown, extending credit to or buying distressed companies.

Defiant Data Dive

💸 Airdrops are Mostly Fool’s Gold…But They Have Their Uses

Data From Nine Major Airdrops Show That Rewarding Core Users Has Delivered The Best Results

In which Jason Levin crunches a lot of numbers and produces a definitive take on the value of airdrops.


Who doesn’t love free money? Airdrops have become one of the most popular features of crypto. By giving away free tokens to investors, they epitomized the easy money to be made in the blockchain world. Airdrops also became a potent way to draw users and build critical mass on platforms.

Yet there is a downside no one is talking about. Many of crypto’s brightest minds suspect airdrops create buzz but fail to create long-term value and attract real customers to web3 protocols instead of tourists.

“Airdrops are effectively an expensive customer acquisition tool that hasn’t proven to lead to long-term users,” Messari analyst Dustin Teander told The Defiant.

More worrisome, airdrops have been criticized as being little more than pump-and-dump schemes. Rabbithole, a web3 education platform, recently airdropped NFT NYC attendees an NFT that said “Airdrops are killing web3”.

“We need to focus on the long term with web3 with high-value contributors – not necessarily scaling via mass airdrop,” Brennen Schlueter, Head of Marketing at Rabbithole, told The Defiant.


Uniswap TVL. Source: The Defiant Terminal

DeFi Drama

👨🏼‍🍳 SushiSwap ‘Head Chef’ May Pocket a Third of All Tokens Paid to Staff

Battle Over Howard's Hiring Intensifies Amid Vote by DAO

Samuel Haig owned the story of the tense debate surrounding the DEX’s attempt to resolve its leadership travails.


The proposed new “head chef” of SushiSwap could pocket more than a third of the crypto exchange’s total SUSHI coins allocated to staff over the next four years, according to an analysis of the compensation package by The Defiant.

The token would have to hit some ambitious targets and trigger performance bonuses to reach that level. If you add up salary, guaranteed SUSHI, and incentives, using current prices, the tally comes to a potential $10.6M payday.

The news may enflame tensions in the SushiSwap community as it clashes over the proposed hiring of Jonathan Howard to head the fifth-largest decentralized exchange and ease a leadership crisis that’s been brewing since last year.

The donnybrook also casts a spotlight on the thorny governance challenges DAOs are grappling with as the bear market cranks up fiscal pressure on projects. SushiSwap is governed by a decentralized autonomous organization.

NFT Roundup

💰 Yuga Labs to Collect 5% Royalty On Meebits

In this week’s edition, yyctrader hopscotches from Meebits to Unstoppable Domains to augmented hoodies.


MONETIZE It was bound to happen eventually. After buying the rights to CryptoPunks and Meebits from Larva Labs in March and bringing on Noah Davis from Christies to manage the Punks brand, Yuga Labs is making moves to monetize its purchase.

ROYALTY On July 28, Yuga Labs said that it would immediately start collecting a 5% royalty on all secondary sales of Meebits. Following the move, CryptoPunks is now the only major NFT collection that doesn’t charge royalties on secondary sales, though perhaps not for long.

FUNDING Web3 identity startup Unstoppable Domains has raised $65M in Series A funding. The round was led by Pantera Capital and values the company at $1B. Similar to ENS domains, Unstoppable allows users to purchase NFT-based domain names for their blockchain wallets.


🌇 EthCC Journal: Exploring the Network State and a Decentralized Future

Guest writer David Liebowitz muses on the power of blockchain to organize societies in a completely new ways.


As the summer sun shone down on the Parisian streets, builders, creators, and everyone in between made their way to this year’s edition of EthCC. The tone of this year’s conference, held July 19 to 22 in the City of Light, was marked by anticipation and uncertainty. Anticipation in the sense that a plethora of research and development are finally coming to fruition with The Merge, zkEVM compatibility, and more.

Yet in the background is a world that is seemingly growing more unstable. Soaring inflation in the U.S., a war in Europe, bank runs in China, supply chain shortages everywhere, and even an all out coup in Sri Lanka have us all anxiously questioning what will come next.

As traditional institutions struggle to adapt to a digital world, there are several crucial questions: Is there a system that can succeed the nation-state just as the nation-state succeeded the feudal system? Can said system cut out the extensive power intermediary platforms that are run by large conglomerates have over our lives?


🏗 There’s No Time Like a Bear Market to Build Breakthroughs

Heed the Lessons of the Web2 Boom Following the Dotcom Crash

Guest writer Hatu Sheikh urges Defiers to bear down and focus on their projects during this challenging period.

BearMarket BestTimeToBuidl

In the 1990s, the dot-com bubble drove a five-fold jump in the value of technology stocks and the Nasdaq index. But the bubble burst in 2000, leading to a crack up that felt like the end of the great dream of the internet.

But it was only the beginning. The dot-com crash, and more importantly, its aftermath, taught us essential lessons about the challenges and opportunities of a bear market. Companies such as Dell, Cisco, Intel, Amazon.com, and eBay not only weathered the storm, they reaffirmed the conviction that promising technology sustains itself in the long run, weeding out unnecessary frills.

In many ways, the dot-com bubble is similar to the current scenario in the blockchain-cryptocurrency industry. There’s no doubt the crypto industry is going through a terrible phase. The market has lost $2T, about 67% of its value, since all-time highs in November.








DeFi Explainers

  • What Is Liquidity Providing?Anyone who has participated in the real estate market understands the value of liquidity. The longer it takes to match a buyer with a seller and finalize that transaction, the lower the housing market’s liquidity. Because homes are inherently scarce due to land size limits and building materials involved, they are inherently illiquid assets.




DeFi Explainers

  • What Is Yield Farming?It could be said that yield farming is a quest for lifelong fulfillment. One doesn’t have to go farther than to remember the quote from the billionaire investor Warren Buffett: “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.”





DeFi Explainers

  • What Is Staking?One of the key benefits of blockchain technology is that it can offer banking services without banks. Instead of banking clerks, there are smart contracts. Instead of offices and guards, there is a decentralized network secured by its consensus mechanism. This is the foundation for Finance 2.0, or Decentralized Finance (DeFi).


💜Community Love💜

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


Balaji Srinivasan @balajis“As traditional institutions struggle to adapt to a digital world, there are several crucial questions: Is there a system that can succeed the nation-state just as the nation-state succeeded the feudal system?” https://t.co/RXr3qBXqb4


DeFi Dave (¤, ¤) @DeFiDave22EthCC recap in @DefiantNews is finally out! In it, I take the angle of the network state and how builders and community members alike are thinking about it 🌐 Check it out 👇 https://t.co/i5x0U1QtU19:35 PM ∙ Jul 27, 2022138Likes24Retweets


DeFi Dad ⟠ defidad.eth 🦇🔊 @DeFi_Dad🤔 Common question I get from founders is "where do I reach new DeFi/Web3 users during a bear market?" ✊ One super obvious answer is @DefiantNews. 😘 These are readers already bought into crypto.


7:00 PM ∙ Jul 28, 202227Likes6Retweets


Gitcoin 🤖 🌍 @gitcoin👀


DeFi Dave (¤, ¤) @DeFiDave22The Network State, Breaking Down Intermediaries, and Hope For a Sovereign Future. A few thoughts from EthCC and beyond last week. https://t.co/FofWOi4w5612:03 AM ∙ Jul 28, 202218Likes3Retweets


Hart Lambur @hal2001I had the pleasure of talking to @CamiRusso on the @DefiantNews podcast about how the 3AC disaster is a sales pitch for DeFi, and how the oracle design space is still super young.


anchor.fmUMA’s Hart Lambur Says The Current Market Crisis Is A Sales Pitch For DeFi by The Defiant - DeFi PodcastThis week on The Defiant Podcast we speak to Hart Lambur, co-founder of the UMA protocol. UMA is an optimistic oracle on Ethereum that aims to record any knowable truth onto a blockchain. We discuss his take on the crypto market and how the current crisis is not a DeFi crisis, but rather a failure o…12:23 AM ∙ Jul 28, 202267Likes6Retweets


Eli5_DeFi.lens 🦇🔊 @eli5_defi13/ For those who want deeper insights, please check @DefiantNews latest podcast. @drakefjustin from @ethereum foundations joins @CamiRusso and explains the advantages and technical challenges with #TheMerge #Eth #Merge $ETH #EthCC podcastaddict.com/episode/142722…2:48 PM ∙ Jul 24, 202212Likes5Retweets


Crypto-Gucci.eth ᵍᵐ🦇🔊 @CryptoGucciIf you only listen to one podcast today, make sure it’s this one with @drakefjustin and @CamiRusso Justin goes into everything you need to know about the Merge


newsletter.thedefiant.io🎙 Justin Drake on How The Merge Helps Make Ethereum the Settlement Layer of the InternetThis week on The Defiant podcast we speak with Justin Drake, a researcher for the Ethereum Foundation. He’s at the forefront of the biggest change to happen in Ethereum’s history: The transition from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake, also known as The Merge. We go into what the next steps are before…7:30 PM ∙ Jul 21, 202252Likes12Retweets


Samantha Yap @samanthawyap“@EthCC provided much fruitful discussion about the social, economic, and political ramifications of a sovereign world that is made possible by Web3.” - @DeFiDave22 via @DefiantNews


DeFi Dave (¤, ¤) @DeFiDave22The Network State, Breaking Down Intermediaries, and Hope For a Sovereign Future. A few thoughts from EthCC and beyond last week. https://t.co/FofWOi4w5610:09 PM ∙ Jul 27, 20223Likes1Retweet


DoubleB.eth 🏴 🦇🔊 @DoubleB_ethDo you have questions about #Ethereum's transition from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake? 🔊🎙️🎧 EF researcher @drakefjustin joins @CamiRusso on The Defiant podcast to chat about the #merge and its execution, risks and future $ETH upgrades - podcastaddict.com/episode/142722…11:03 PM ∙ Jul 20, 202233Likes12Retweets


EthCC - Ethereum Community Conference @EthCCThis week @YAPGlobalTeam interviewed @CamiRusso, author and executive producer of @ETHMovie and editor of @DefiantNews for #EthCC voices. Cami shares that EthCC played a key role during her research about the Ethereum community & culture for the Infinite Machine movie 🧵 (1/4)1:26 PM ∙ Jul 18, 202216Likes2Retweets


Camila Russo @CamiRusso📢 @DefiantNews is looking for a NYC-based video producer to join our stellar team Details here 👇 thedefiant.io/senior-video-p…thedefiant.ioSenior Video Producer - The DefiantJob Summary Are you a Senior Producer with avid interest and knowledge of the exciting world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain? If yes, then The Defiant could be the perfect place to put that to work writing, creating, and editing films that capture the zeitgeist. We are looking for someone with en…4:05 PM ∙ Jul 14, 202219Likes6Retweets


DeFi Dave (¤, ¤) @DeFiDave22The editor of my @DefiantNews piece about EthCC said it was provocative. Good. Excited for this one to come out 👏10:05 AM ∙ Jul 27, 2022

🧑‍💻 ✍️ Stories in The Defiant are written by Owen Fernau, Aleksandar Gilbert, Claire Gu, Samuel Haig, Jason Levin, 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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