🦄 Recap: DeFi Week of May 29
Hello Defiers! Happy weekend! The reckoning continues… The news this week was filled with stories of reboots and repositionings as the crypto bear tightens its grip. Aleksander Gilbert, The Defiant’s newest writer, wrote a deep dive on how the end of easy...
Hello Defiers! Happy weekend!
The reckoning continues… The news this week was filled with stories of reboots and repositionings as the crypto bear tightens its grip. Aleksander Gilbert, The Defiant’s newest writer, wrote a deep dive on how the end of easy money is forcing crypto founders and venture capitalists to pursue more disciplined approaches to DeFi projects. It’s a great take on the importance of building solid platforms with ace teams, and resisting the urge to cut corners.
Likewise, Sam Haig covered Rune Christensen’s cri-de-coeur on the problems assailing MakerDAO, a blue-chip DeFi project that’s defied the malaise striking the space in the wake of Terra’s implosion. At least until now… Never one to mince words, Christensen lamented the “complexity and opaqueness” of Maker’s governance structure, as well as financial losses and apathy in its member ranks. Sam reported on Rune’s plan to turn this situation around.
Meanwhile, the mystery of Terra’s demise deepened with the news that crypto lender Celsius may have played a role. Jason Levin reported on Nansen’s findings that UST’s depeg was linked to action in seven big crypto wallets. And OpenSea made cringe-inducing headlines when a federal grand jury handed down an indictment of Nate Chastain, the NFT marketplace’s former head of product, alleging he committed insider trading last year. Owen Fernau covered the news and the hype that engulfed the space during those heady days in the summer of 2021.
In more inspiring news, Robin Schmidt landed an interview with the indomitable pplpleasr fresh from her star turn at the Cannes Film Festival. The NFT artist shared the story of her rise in the space in a poignant reminder of the creativity and innovation brimming in crypto.
By the same token, Camila Russo spoke with Yoni Assia, the force of nature behind eToro, the trading platform that embraced crypto in its early days (and gave Vitalik Buterin a working home for a spell at the dawn of Ethereum). Yoni described how eToro has steadily grown into a breakthrough player in the retail securities industry with its social media-driven content model. A must-listen!
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Curve on Optimism + Gearbox Credit Accounts
🎙Yoni Assia on the Rise of Active Trading in a Blockchain-Based World and Building a 27M-User App
Yoni Assia is the founder and CEO of eToro, one of the most successful crypto and stock buying apps with over 27 million users in more than 100 countries. Originally founded in 2007, it was one of the pioneering companies to incorporate crypto as early as 2013. Yoni speaks about what led to being so early and where the idea for Etoro stemmed from. He also dives into the importance of the user experience in creating a mainstream crypto trading app, and how including a social aspect to the product early on helped in accelerating growth.
We talked about the next phase for eToro and the role NFTs and DeFi will play in the platform, as he looks to integrate both. Yoni is convinced finance will become increasingly digital, and believes eToro’s role is to help investors diversify their holdings. He sees a change in investment attitudes as the younger generation is interested in taking a more active role with their assets, and trading is becoming a more social experience. Finally, we talk about some of the lessons he has learned about entrepreneurship and taking big risks.
📺 The Defiant Weekly: GoblinTown is the PFP we deserve. But is it all just a big joke?
📺 Defiant Interview: Struggling artist to $525,000 NFT mega sale; the story of pplpleasr
📺 Hot Stuff: Have sex. Get paid. Move to earn is officially topped... (narf narf)
📺 Tuesday Tutorial: Do Kwon's folly - Dai was never going to die. Here's why
📺 Quick Take: New Terra Launches - LUNA Dumps, LUNC Pumps
😬 Crypto Founders Scramble as ‘Outlandish’ Era of Easy Money Ends
VCs are Choosier About Investments in Bear Market
In which Aleksandar Gilbert delves into the changing funding picture…
Last year, crypto founders had it easy: all they needed was an idea and a mediocre team that could put together a semblance of a crypto project. Then bam! Startups could raise $10M in seed rounds and notch $100M valuations, even before they had an actual product.
“The VC market for crypto was ridiculously red-hot, and so you saw outlandish valuations, outlandish seed rounds,” Corbin Page, the former head of fintech products at Consensys, told The Defiant.
That world is now a distant memory. A sell-off in crypto that began late last year turned into a free-fall in May, with bearish investors vaporizing $1.6T in market capitalization over the last six months. The sudden shift has forced crypto entrepreneurs to adapt to a new reality — the days of easy VC money are over.
Venture capitalists that were so quick to cut checks over the past two years are now becoming far more careful when choosing where to invest their money, according to interviews with VCs. Funding rounds that used to close in weeks will probably now take months. Devs won’t land deals with just an idea. They will have to show they have a functioning product that people will pay to use.
🌪 Optimism Airdrop Turns ‘Turbulent’ After Demand Overload
In which Samuel Haig explores the perils of demand.
The first phase of Optimism’s debut airdrop took place on May 31, but it was overwhelmed by demand and the project scrambled to fulfill claims on a “turbulent” day. Optimism, an Ethereum Layer 2 scaling solution, set up the airdrop to distribute OP tokens to reward users that have helped it to grow and to entice newcomers to join the network.
But some onlookers were not convinced Optimism is worth the trouble. “I see no reason for [$OP] to exist apart from it being a farm token for ecosystem rewards,” said Wangarian, an angel investor and former principal with DeFiance Capital.
Optimism doled out tokens to 248,699 wallet addresses across the Ethereum and Optimism networks. Eligible users had to meet a variety of criteria, including being on the Optimism chain, voting on proposals or signing multisig wallets for top DAOs within the Ethereum ecosystem, and Gitcoin donors.
- Christensen Drops Radical Plan to Remake MakerDAO and Address ‘Fundamental Problems’Plagued by financial losses and apathy by its members, MakerDAO Founder Rune Christensen proposed on May 31 a radical new restructuring plan for the blue chip DeFi project.
- ENS Domain Registrations Surge Even as Token PlummetsMay was a record-breaking month for Ethereum Name Service domains.
- Algorand Woos LUNAtics with New Fund and Migration ToolThe Algorand Foundation on Thursday announced the creation of a fund and “automated platform” intended to lure Terra developers stranded by the blockchain’s recent collapse.
- The Graph Poised to Expand to Arbitrum in Layer 2 WinMore and more of Ethereum’s top protocols are looking to migrate onto Layer 2.
- CFTC accuses Winklevoss-owned crypto exchange Gemini of misleading statements in new lawsuit: The Block
- Update on Hiring Plans: Coinbase
- Top 5 Airdrops (and How to Get Them): Bankless
- Find @ArtOnBlockchain next Thursday at the Creator Summit, followed by happy hour at Central Machine Works at 6pm: Art Blocks
- OpenSea’s Former Head of Product Arrested by the FBIIt was one of last year’s largest scandals — Nate Chastain, the former head of product at OpenSea, left under a cloud after it was discovered that he purchased NFTs before they were featured on his former employer’s homepage and subsequently sold them as the increased exposure led to higher prices.
- Flurry of Metrics Show Signs of Potential Recovery for ETHIs the worst over for ETH? The Ethereum markets are giving mixed signals, with on-chain data indicating accumulation is underway in spite of bearish price action.
- Velodrome AMM Launches Airdrop on OptimismOn June 1, automated market maker Velodrome launched an airdrop of its $VELO governance token on Optimism. The move comes a day after Optimism, a layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum, kicked off the first phase of its own $OP airdrop.
- Users who sold the initial OP airdrop should become ineligible for all future airdrops: Optimism
- Chipotle will now accept cryptocurrency in US stores: The Block
- Debunking the Crypto Critics Letter: Preston Byrne
- OUT NOW! Listen to @drebaglioni and I explore the @solanaecosystem and @SolanaFndn
- Liquid Staking Derivatives Pose ‘Significant Risks’ to Ethereum 2.0: ReportProtocols that offer liquid staking derivatives, like Lido and Rocket Pool, could undermine the integrity of Ethereum after its transition to proof-of-stake, according to a researcher at the Ethereum Foundation.
- DeFi’s TVL Fell 40% in May But Bright Spots EmergeShould we even look? DeFi protocols recorded a May to forget. The Total Value Locked (TVL) across the sector plummeted more than 40% in the month to $111.4B, according to data from DeFi Llama.
- El Salvador Struggles to Adopt Bitcoin Despite Government PushEvery country does crypto differently. El Salvador’s government incentivized Bitcoin usage whereas Argentina’s crypto boom has been largely organic. The two routes – top-down and bottom-up – are quite distinct in their approaches and outcomes.
- $OP is Live! A Guide To Claiming the AirdropLayer 2 season is upon us. Optimism’s OP token is live and eligible users can claim the first phase of the airdrop. Optimism is an Ethereum scaling solution based on optimistic rollup technology. The official token contract was unearthed by Crypto Twitter sleuths last week.
- Dogecoin’s parents are fighting: Musk and Jackson Palmer exchange barbs: CoinTelegraph
- Marc Andreessen & Chris Dixon of a16z | Reinventing the Internet: Bankless.
- FTX says farmers don't need to worry about its US derivatives proposal: The Block
- @eBay launches their first-ever NFT collection hosted #onPolygon, in partnership with @OneOfNFT: Polygon
- Crypto Markets Rebound After Bitcoin’s Record Losing StreakCrypto bulls went to work as U.S. financial markets remained closed for Memorial Day.
- New LUNA Coin Surges While Terra Controversy EscalatesThe Terra token has approximately doubled in price two days after its launch, even as controversy surrounding Terra and the activities of its founders continues to grow.
- Eth2 Beacon Chain Launches on Ropsten Testnet, Paving Way for MergeVenture capital firm a16z has raised $4.5 billion for its fourth crypto fund, the firm announced Wednesday morning.
- Crypto Lender Celsius Partly Responsible for Terra Collapse, Says NansenBlockchain analytics company Nansen linked the de-peg of Terra’s US dollar stablecoin to seven large crypto wallets, among them a wallet associated with crypto lending platform Celsius, whose massive sales of UST triggered a stampede for the exit.
- BTC Tracks Nasdaq as Crypto Faces Its First RecessionThe Crypto market cap is down 57.7% from its Nov. 8 highs, and economists say we could be on the cusp of the first global recession since the 2008 financial crisis. That revives the undying question: is crypto tethered to the stock market?
- Welcome to Goblintown“F@#king enter already.”
- Morgan Stanley Says Record Crypto Venture Capital Investment to Slow: CoinDesk
- Singapore regulator announces plans to explore blockchain use cases: The Block
- Prada Joining Top Luxury Brands in Web3 With Ethereum NFTs: Decrypt
Thanking all the amazing Defiers for the support and love this week (and always)!
Messari @MessariCrypto.@kunalgoel's recent report on the valuation of @optimismPBC was linked in an article from @DefiantNews on claiming the $OP airdrop. Check out the full article below:
thedefiant.io$OP is Live! A Guide To Claiming The Airdrop - The DefiantA step-by-step guide to claiming Optimism’s $OP airdrop.8:15 PM ∙ Jun 1, 202221Likes5Retweets
ClegFX RTFKT @clegfxGM! Check out this interview I did with @IamSuperMassive of @DefiantNews 🙏 youtu.be/7LOpsglvl-8
youtu.beChris Le (RTFKT) - The Crown Prince of NFTs - exclusiveThis is a big one. Chris Le, the creative director of RTFKT and now listed as a senior director of design at Nike. Clegfx as he’s know in the skins world is ...3:36 PM ∙ Jun 1, 202272Likes17Retweets
taterdao @taterdao"Their heads resemble potatoes that have been left in the pantry too long". I think pantry taters are hawt personally
thedefiant.ioWelcome to Goblintown - The DefiantGoblintown has taken OpenSea by storm with over 10K ETH in secondary sales.5:40 PM ∙ May 31, 202212Likes1Retweet
DeFi Dad ⟠ defidad.eth @DeFi_Dad🤌 Most will never have enough ETH so there’s an endless pursuit to earn more yield with your ETH. 🌽 Learn about one of the most popular @iearnfinance ETH vaults in the latest DeFi Alpha edition of @DefiantNews.
yearn @iearnfinancethanks @DeFi_Dad @yyctrader1 @DefiantNews for bringing the 🔥 in this week's DeFi Alpha with a step by step tutorial on earning yield in our stETH-WETH vault: https://t.co/zkVpbjUXaj2:31 AM ∙ May 23, 202278Likes11Retweets
Diego ✊ @DiegoCabralETHWe are celebrating Bitcoin Pizza Day on the last day of @bitconfBR. 🍕 I'm excited to see how people respect the work @DefiantNews has been doing for crypto and DeFi spaces. ✊ It's always good to meet some #defiers in real life!
5:47 PM ∙ May 22, 202230Likes4Retweets
Maciej Zurawski @mmzurawskiThe blockchain is stronger and more robust than ever: “The hash rate for Ethereum hit an all-time high on May 13, when it topped out at more than 1,126 terahashes per second…” Full story: thedefiant.io/bitcoin-eth-ha… from @DefiantNews
thedefiant.ioBitcoin and Ethereum Hash Rates Hit All-Time Highs Despite Bear Market - The DefiantCryptocurrency miners continue to pump computing power into the Ethereum and Bitcoin networks despite their tokens’ recent price drop.10:13 PM ∙ May 21, 202213Likes2Retweets
yearn @iearnfinancethanks @DeFi_Dad @yyctrader1 @DefiantNews for bringing the 🔥 in this week's DeFi Alpha with a step by step tutorial on earning yield in our stETH-WETH vault: thedefiant.io/-defi-alpha-…
newsletter.thedefiant.io⍺ DeFi Alpha: Earning Yield on ETH with Yearn’s stETH VaultDeFi 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…2:15 AM ∙ May 21, 202286Likes15Retweets
Offshift @OffshiftXFTIf you haven't already, read up on @AlexShippXFT's recent Op-Ed in the @DefiantNews: "Web3 DEVs Must Heed the Lessons of Past Tech Bustups" It'll save you a few years of headaches - trust us.
thedefiant.ioWeb3 DEVs Must Heed the Lessons of Past Tech Bustups - The DefiantThirteen years out from its conception, cryptocurrency stands in a peculiar place — several iterations of creativity and sophistication beyond its original form.9:34 PM ∙ May 20, 202228Likes8Retweets
Diego ✊ @DiegoCabralETHI'm proudly representing @DefiantNews today at @bitconfBR. ✊ It's good to meet people who are working to buildshe crypto space!
6:25 PM ∙ May 20, 202233Likes2Retweets
The Graph @graphprotocolWant to know how #web3 protocols are reshaping the internet? 🌐 @CamiRusso, founder of @DefiantNews, is joining #GraphDay2022 to lead a discussion on the impact of protocols in the web3 revolution, June 2 in SF! Tickets here: thegraph.com/graph-day/2022/
4:45 PM ∙ May 19, 2022122Likes20Retweets
ORIGYN Foundation @ORIGYNTechAn insightful primer on elite fashion brands entering the #Web3 space from @iamjasonlevin for @DefiantNews. Read more for the story of how @ORIGYNTech tackles provenance through utility #NFTs.
thedefiant.ioElite Fashion Brands Continue Building in the Metaverse - The DefiantTrends in Fashion NFTs and the Metaverse12:11 AM ∙ May 19, 2022124Likes66Retweets
nyvrea @TheTarnished6The Infinite Machine 📖 Ξ A MUST READ! ⚡️ Most people aren't familiar with the history of how Ethereum was created, and all the drama that happened in the early days. It makes you appreciate where ETH is today. 💯 #DecentralizedAutonomousOrganization ⚖️
8:31 AM ∙ Jun 1, 202255Likes7Retweets
Stephen Graves @stephengravesMy chat with @DefiantNews editor @CamiRusso about the forthcoming film adaptation of @ETHMovie at @Festival_Cannes is now live on @TheDecryptDaily: open.spotify.com/episode/1w4wDP…9:12 PM ∙ May 30, 202227Likes4Retweets
Film3 Events @Film3EventsIncredibly fortunate for @CamiRusso dropping in to our Cannes event to chat to @stephengraves - if you missed it 👇🔥
Stephen Graves @stephengravesMy chat with @DefiantNews editor @CamiRusso about the forthcoming film adaptation of @ETHMovie at @Festival_Cannes is now live on @TheDecryptDaily: https://t.co/TzIkJEaOlg7:13 PM ∙ May 31, 20228Likes3Retweets
🧑💻 ✍️ Stories in The Defiant are written by Owen Fernau, 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.
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.