Recap: DeFi Week of Sept. 21 ?

Hello Defiers! Hope you’re having a great weekend. Summing up: The past week NFTs were in the spotlight as sales picked up and venture funds invested in non-fungible tokens and/or companies behind them. MEME rallied as the rest of DeFi tokens slumped, driven by demand for NFT art tokenholders can farm. Ian Lee of IDEO…

Hello Defiers! Hope you’re having a great weekend.

Summing up: The past week NFTs were in the spotlight as sales picked up and venture funds invested in non-fungible tokens and/or companies behind them. MEME rallied as the rest of DeFi tokens slumped, driven by demand for NFT art tokenholders can farm. Ian Lee of IDEO CoLab Ventures wrote an opinion piece on how NFTs become a lot more interesting when they’re experiences.

The week was also big on Bitcoin to Ethereum developments, with tBTC and Liquality launching on mainnet. Synthetix said it’s taking its first step towards moving to an Ethereum Layer 2 solution Optimistic Ethereum. The week had its share of drama, as a Telegram chat was leaked which showed DeFi influencers appearing to plan a pump and dump scheme (which didn’t actually happen). Yam Finance had its first successful rebase, and this week’s podcast episode is with Dan Elitzer and Clinton Bembry, who were part of YAM’s founding team and tell the project’s backstory.

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? Together with Zerion, a simple interface to access and use decentralized finance, Perpetual Protocol, which provides decentralized perpetual contracts for any asset, and HackAtom V, a two-week virtual hackathon organized by Cosmos.



“It Was Exciting But Also Terrifying:” Yam Finance’s Backstory

n this week’s interview, I spoke with Dan Elitzer and Clinton Bembry, who were part of the founding team of Yam Finance, DeFi’s original fair launch food meme-coin project. Dan and Clinton tell me the back story of how this crazy project was created, how the group loosely coalesced in a chat group and from there it was just 10 days until launch. They talked about how the project blew past all their wildest expectations, and about the absolute terror of having hundreds of millions of dollars flow into the unaudited code they had pushed into the world.

They talked about the bug they found right after launch and how incredible it was to see a community that didn’t exist days earlier, rally to help save YAM. The only reason why the project exists, they say, is because the community’s response was so strong. It’s unclear what exactly the takeaways from projects like YAM will be, whether it’s the gamification of finance, elastic supply tokens, the power of incentive mechanisms or all of the above. But whatever it is, the measure of success is that something that initially looked like a joke will likely end up having a lasting and profound impact in DeFi as a whole.

?Listen to the interview in this week’s podcast episode here:



NFTs Should Be Experiences, Not Just Products: IDEO CoLab’s Ian Lee

NFTs —non-fungible tokens meant to serve as representations of things rather than currency— are having a moment. But Ian Lee of IDEO CoLab Ventures says they’re not very interesting, At least not in the form they’re usually presented, that is, as products: tokenized art, tokenized game assets, etc.

NFTs are a lot more interesting when they become experiences. Lee proposes a few examples of what those experiences may look like: ownership which helps shape a person’s identity and reputation, badges to enable community membership, a way to help find a network of individuals with similar interests, a way to compose unique assets using an array of products.

? Check Out The Pilot Episode of The Defiant’s DeFi 101 Series!

DeFi 101 will serve as an introduction into decentralized finance, with 30 planned episodes. This is not intended to be the first episode of the series but rather a standalone episode to test the ground for the future of this series. So feel free provide feedback. The video was produced in partnership with Alp Gasimov, Robin Schmidt of Harmony Protocol and DeFi Tutorials with DeFi Dad.



  • Maker Votes to Not Compensate Black Thursday Victims: MakerDAO traders who had their collateral wiped out during DeFi’s so-called Black Thursday, received bad news from the protocol’s decentralized court this week: they won’t be getting a penny (or gwei) back. Their only hope now lies in traditional/centralized courts.


  • Synthetix Takes First Step in Move to Ethereum Layer 2: Synthetix said it’s planning to move to Optimism’s Layer 2 scaling solution, with the first phase of the transition starting today.
  • Privacy-Preserving DeFi is Being Built on Secret Network: Secret Network, a proof-of-stake blockchain built on top of the Cosmos SDK, yesterday released its DeFi roadmap, detailing how it hopes to become the rails of a privacy-preserving open financial system.
  • Fairmint Launches Continuous Equity Offerings: Fairmint, a platform for innovative funding mechanism, yesterday released its blueprint for Continuous Agreement for Future Equity, or CAFE.
  • Liquality is Latest Bitcoin to Ethereum Bridge: ConsenSys-backed Liquality launched on mainnet yesterday, enabling users to hold balances across BTC, ETH, and ERC20s and swap between those pairs without going through KYC and always maintaining control of their private keys and funds.



  • Few Understand This Shows DeFi is Loosig its Footing: A leaked Telegram chat has the DeFi community decrying that some of the space’s most well-known influencers were orchestrating a pump and dump scheme around a token called $FEW, an accusation the crypto personalities involved deny.


  • Set Releases Yield Farming Strategy: Set Protocol has rolled out the first of many automated yield farming strategies, starting with an ETH USD Yield Farm.


  • Key Insights Behind UNI’s Distribution: IntoTheBlock highlights three key insights that show the magnitude of Uniswap’s UNI distribution.



  • Here’s Why a Meme Coin Rallies Amid a Market Sell-Off: It was a sea of red in the market yesterday. But while Ether slid by almost 10% and all DeFi tokens plunged even deeper, one project astonished the crypto world accelerating the 10x increase it had seen in the last seven days: $MEME.


  • YAM Finally Finds Fertile Ground After Succesful Rebase: Yam Finance’s first successful monetary exercise yesterday marks a new start to DeFi’s original food-based token.
  • Bitcoin-on-Ethereum Token tBTC Launches Once More: Bitcoin-backed Ethereum token tBTC shut down four months ago because of a bug. Today, it announced the protocol ( is ready to be used again by BTC holders who want to access Ethereum applications.

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 at $10/month or $100/year, while free signups get only part of the content.

About the founder: I’m Camila Russo, author of The Infinite Machine, the first book on the history of Ethereum. I was previously at Bloomberg News in New York, Madrid and Buenos Aires covering markets. I’ve extensively covered crypto and finance, and now I’m diving into DeFi, the intersection of the two.