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🕵🏻‍♂️ With Privacy Under Threat DeFi Community Rethinks Frontend Design

Hello Defiers! Here’s what we’re covering today:

Deep Dive
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DeFi Explainers
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DeFi Privacy

🕵🏻‍♂️ With Privacy Under Threat DeFi Community Scrambles to Rethink Frontend Design

Tornado Cash Sanction Prompts User Bans and Backlash

By Owen Fernau

UNCENSORABLE Crypto was supposed to be unstoppable. But when the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned the privacy-preserving protocol Tornado Cash on Aug. 8, the conception of crypto as an uncensorable financial network came into doubt.


Crypto Regulation

🏛 U.S. Doubles Down on Crypto Regulations As Industry Pushes Back

Coinbase Backs Lawsuit Seeking To Overturn Tornado Cash Sanctions

By Aleksandar Gilbert  

FLURRY U.S. policymakers hinted at tightening regulation of digital assets in a flurry of statements and reports Thursday morning. A 46-page report on crypto’s environmental impact published by the White House recommended legislative or executive action to “limit or eliminate” energy-intensive proof-of-work technology that secures Bitcoin and a handful of other cryptocurrencies. 


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DAO Votes

🗳 Aave DAO Votes To Pay Developers $15M

Retroactive Funding Will Cover Development and Audit Costs of Aave V3

By Aleksandar Gilbert    

VOTE Aave, the largest DeFi lending protocol with over $6B in total value locked (TVL), has voted to give its developers $15M in retroactive pay for their work building Aave V3, the latest iteration of the money market.


DeFi Fundraising

💰 Layer 1 Blockchain Sui Raises $300M At $2B Valuation

Series B Was Led By FTX Ventures

By Tarang Khaitan    

FUNDING Mysten Labs, the developer of the Sui layer-1 blockchain, has raised $300 million in a Series B funding round that values the company in excess of $2B.


DeFi Fundraising

🔬 Rated Labs Raises $2.5M To Solve Validator Reputation Dilemma

Independent Ratings Will Aid Tokenholders In Delegation Decisions

By Tarang Khaitan  

Rated Labs, a Web3 infrastructure project, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding from 1confirmation, Semantic, Placeholder and other prominent investors.


Defiant Video

📺 The Defiant Weekly: Why Solana NFTs Are Taking Over


Defiant Amplification: Zebu Live Headline Sponsor

Following the success of last year’s Web3 conference – conceived and executed by leading Web3 marketing agency Zebu Digital – this year’s Zebu Live event is a showcase of the talent and innovation that is taking place in the nascent Web3 space. The Web3 conference has announced their headline sponsor for this year- Dancing Seahorse, an innovative Web3 business that aims to disrupt the music industry.

DeFi Explainers

🧐 What Is USDC?

A Step-by-Step Guide to One of DeFi’s Most Important Stablecoins

By Rahul Nambiampurath  

USD Coin (USDC) is a stablecoin vying for market supremacy with Tether, the No. 1 such offering in terms of market capitalization. 



🔗 Defending Privacy in Crypto: Coinbase

Tl;dr: Coinbase is funding a lawsuit brought by six people challenging the U.S. Treasury Department’s sanctions of the Tornado Cash smart contracts and asking the Court to remove them from the U.S. sanctions list.

🔗 Enthusiast Gaming taps Coinbase to help build its web3 game offerings : The Block

Enthusiast Gaming will build out a browser-based first-person shooter game called EV.IO that rewards a player’s achievements with cryptocurrency.

Trending to The Defiant
  • Artists Say NFT Markets Betray Web3 by Nixing Royalty Payments On a hot and humid Tuesday night, collectors flocked to a sweltering art gallery in Lower Manhattan. It was their one opportunity to snag a physical copy from Justin Aversano’s “Cognition,” a series of 364 mixed-media pieces the grieving artist created in 2014 after the death of his mother.
  • Curve Releases Interface Code For Stablecoin Curve Finance was the epicenter of the stablecoin wars in 2021. Now it’s getting ready to launch its own stablecoin even as the cryptocurrencies have come under intense scrutiny in the wake of Terra’s failure in May and a looming regulatory crackdown.
  • ETH/BTC Ratio Soars To Nine-Month High Ahead Of The Merge Ether is up 6% in the past 24 hours as traders remain optimistic ahead of Ethereum’s transition to proof-of-stake consensus, now just a week away. Global markets rallied on Wednesday as a weaker U.S. dollar saw the Nasdaq and S&P 500 post gains of nearly 2%.

🧑‍💻 ✍️ Stories in The Defiant are written by Owen Fernau, Aleksandar Gilbert, Samuel 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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Defiant Premium Story for Paid Subscribers

🏃Binance Enters Zero-Knowledge Race With zkBNB

BNB Chain Is The Third-Largest Smart Contract Network

By: Samuel Haig

Binance’s recently rebranded BNB Chain is the latest smart contract network to throw its hat in the ring to deliver smart contracts powered by zero-knowledge (ZK) proofs.

On Sep. 8, the world’s largest crypto exchange announced zkBNB, a Layer 2 (L2) rollup network built on top of the BNB Smart Chain using ZK proofs. Binance launched a testnet for zkBNB on September 2, open-sourcing its code in the process.

zkBNB functions as a rollup sidechain, meaning it bundles multiple transactions together and submits them for validation as a single transaction on the BNB Smart Chain Layer 1. Transactions are rolled into a zero-knowledge proof called a succinct non-interactive argument of knowledge (SNARK).

Binance said the new L2 will enable increased speed while also reducing transaction fees, estimating that the chain can host 100M addresses and process between 5,000 and 10,000 transactions a second. 

The BNB Smart Chain is currently the third-largest smart contract network by total value locked (TVL) with $5.5B, according to DeFi Llama. Binance’s BNB token is also the fifth largest crypto asset with a $47.4B market cap.

First Mover

Binance Smart Chain was the first low-cost Layer 1 to gain serious traction amid Ethereum’s escalating gas crisis in 2021. Its combination of low fees and familiar EVM framework enticed many developers and users in early 2021. The network peaked at $21.7B in TVL in May 2021. 

However, many rival Layer 1s experienced their own boom cycles on the promise of low-cost smart contract execution, crowding out Binance’s relative dominance. BNB Smart Chain’s TVL has since shrunk by three-quarters, with Binance now hoping its foray into ZK-powered processing can give it a competitive edge.

Optimistic Rollups

Ethereum’s Layer 2 scaling ecosystem is currently dominated by Arbitrum and Optimism, with the two projects representing 81% of the sector’s TVL combined, according to L2beat.

Both projects provide fast and low-cost transactions by leveraging optimistic rollups. Optimistic rollups assume that transactions submitted by block proposers are accurate and honest, but a seven-day window is allowed for network participants to identify and challenge fraudulent transactions. Block producers also post significant collateral and are penalized if inaccurate transactions are identified.

Enhanced Speed And Privacy

In contrast, zero-knowledge rollups do not require a delay in the submission of transactions to the mainnet, and offer enhanced speed and privacy when compared to Optimistic rollups. Just the time and date at which a ZK-powered transaction occurred is published to the blockchain, with only the counterparties able to access further data regarding the transaction. 

Built-In Tools

zkBNB offers a built-in naming service, automated market maker, NFT marketplace, and API services for developers to leverage, with Binance also emphasizing the chain’s performance for web3 gaming applications.

The rollup leverages the BNB Application Sidechain framework, which launched in March 2022 and enables the creation of sidechains on top of the BNB Smart Chain.

The zkBNB announcement follows a spate of news from leading teams working on ZK-powered Layer 2 scaling solutions in July. Polygon, Scroll, and Matter Labs have all announced upcoming rollups powered by zero-knowledge proofs that offer full Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatibility.

The EVM is the core computational engine that facilitates the execution of smart contracts built using Solidity, Ethereum’s native programming language. Currently, zero-knowledge-based rollups do not support Solidity, requiring developers to write custom code from scratch to deploy contracts on the networks.

By contrast, Polygon and Scroll’s respective ‘zkEVM’ chains and Matter Labs’ zkSync 2.0 will support Solidity, allowing developers to seamlessly port code from the Ethereum mainnet. This is likely to facilitate rapid expansion in the number of dApps and services available on their respective offerings once launched.



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