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The Defiant

🪨BlackRock Swoops In: DeFi Week of June 18

The Defiant

Weekly Recap

Happy weekend Defiers!

This week saw major TradFi players enter the crypto space, with a new custodial crypto exchange backed by legacy incumbents Citadel Securities and Charles Schaub, plus a spate of filings for Bitcoin ETFs, including one from the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock.

The markets pulled off a bullish turnaround after the previous week’s regulatory actions from the SEC targeting centralized exchanges. But critics are now slamming the U.S. regulatory crusade against crypto for clearing the way for legacy financial institutions to position themselves to profit from the next bull cycle.

The digital asset markets received an additional bullish boost on Wednesday when Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said crypto has “staying power as an asset class.” Bitcoin has surged 15% over the past seven days, while Ether gained 10%. Bitcoin now boasts a crypto market dominance of more than 50%, its highest level since April 2021.

In other news, Optimism launched its third retroactive public goods funding, which will distribute 30M OP tokens to builders providing value to the Optimism ecosystem. Optimism’s RetroPGF rounds offer an alternative to venture capital funding for early-stage developers.

BNB Chain launched a public testnet for its opBNB, a Layer 2 network based on Optimism’s OP Stack. BNB Chain said the network can process 4,000 transactions per second with fees below half a cent.

Polygon published a proposal to transition its PoS sidechain into a zero-knowledge-powered Validium. The PoS Chain is the largest network in Polygon’s ecosystem with $960M in TVL but currently lacks the cutting-edge technology underpinning Polygon’s L2s.

NFTs are enjoying a small resurgence on Solana, with daily transactions pushing above 60,000 for the first time since January. The news follows a tough spate for both NFTs and Solana, with many popular nonfungibles giving back their 2023 gains in recent months while Solana reels from the fallout of FTX’s collapse.

Gods Unchained, an NFT-based card game, launched on the Epic Games Store to its 230M users this past week. Epic Games Store is expanding its blockchain game catalog, positioning itself as an ally to the sector in contrast to Steam’s decision to boycott the sector in 2021.

And in this week’s podcast, Coinbase’s head of cryptography, Yehuda Lindell, shares advances in wallet technology he believes could be the key to unlocking mass adoption of web3.


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