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🦄 Recap: DeFi Week of Oct. 16

Hello Defiers! Happy weekend!

It’s been six weeks since The Merge, which is just enough time to take stock of how Ethereum’s shift to Proof of Stake consensus is unfolding and how it’s changing DeFi’s primary network.

DeFi, NFT & Web3 Insights – The Defiant is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

Sam Haig reported two insightful stories on that score. In the first, Sam covered how the Goerli testnet is running short of tokens as faucets close post-Merge. This is putting a squeeze on devs looking to build apps for a PoS Ethereum. Sam then analyzed how ETH issuance has gone negative, delivering on a key promise of The Merge: deflation. That’s a bullish signal, so it’s little wonder institutional investors such as Fidelity and neobanks such as N26 are now embracing Ethereum.

This week we also welcomed back Alekandar Gilbert from Devcon Bogota. Aleks did a cracking job covering the ins and outs of Ethereum’s confab. Aleks reported on Lido Co-founder Vasily Shapovalov’s provocative comments that at-home staking is for ‘hobbyists.’ And Aleks produced a feature on how Colombians outside the conference view Ethereum’s utility in their everyday lives. It’s a wonderful read that reminds us how critical mass adoption is for the future of crypto.

Speaking of great reads, be sure to grab a cup of coffee and spend 15 minutes with Owen Fernau’s Dive on jokedao, a public goods project seeking to use fun and humor to improve decisionmaking in DAOs. Governance has become one of the most important issues in DeFi in 2022 and Owen pulls the curtain back on how MakerDAO, Polygon, and Aave are tapping jokedao to help solve the riddle.

Meanwhile, exploits continue to roil DeFi. Tarang Khaitan delved into the strange case of the Mango exploit and the fascinating exploiter who seems to be changing black hats and white hats at will. Tarang wrote a probing piece on the original exploit and then a follow-up on the exploiters observation that Aave could be vulnerable to the same type of attack.

Be sure to check out the latest NFT Roundup by yyctrader — Bored Ape news — and the Quick Takes on The Defiant YouTube channel. This week we covered Aptos’ embattled debut and Vitalik’s accidental “THE” token.


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🎙️a16z’s Ali Yahya Says We’ve Entered The Golden Era Of Blockchain Applications

This week on The Defiant Podcast we speak with Ali Yahya, General Partner at a16z, also known as Andreessen Horowitz. a16z is an investment giant – they’ve raised $6.7B between their crypto funds in the last two years and are the largest crypto-dedicated fund in the world.

We start by discussing how a16z got its start in crypto – their first investment, where they channelled their focus, and how they evolved to where they are today.

According to Ali, we’re entering the Golden Age of blockchain applications. We talk about how building in the middle of the bear market is laying the foundation for the next bull run.

Ali notes several key developments he’s observing in blockchain that span from networking to usability at the application layer. These include innovations in privacy, programming languages, proof-of-stake, consensus algorithms, zero-knowledge proofs, scalability and interoperability.

An important takeaway from our conversation is that Ali believes in a future of multiple blockchains that coexist with each chain serving a particular purpose.

Will we see today’s biggest players maintain their dominance in the future? Or are the next generation of blockchains yet to launch?

Defiant Video

📺 Quick Take: ‘Solana Killer’ Aptos (APT) is Crypto’s New Controversial Chain

📺 Quick Take: Vitalik Accidentally Created “THE” Protocol

📺 Quick Take: Sad Milestone – More than Half of Ethereum is Being Censored

📺 Quick Take: Why Uniswap Deploying on zkSync is a Big Deal

Deep Dive

🃏 Governance Project Uses ‘Contests’ to Help DAOs Improve Decisionmaking

Maker, Polygon and Aave Test Jokedao’s Humorous Approach to Governing

In which Owen Fernau explores an intriguing, and fun, effort to manage DAOs.

Managing DAOs may be one of the most serious issues in decentralized finance. Yet an outfit called jokedao is betting its unorthodox approach, and a dash of humor, may be just the trick.

Jokedao, a three month-old project co-founded by entrepreneurs David Phelps and Sean McCaffey, has developed a software tool to help DAO members decide on the best course of action in advancing their causes. In a nutshell, it runs a “contest” to solicit ideas from members who get to vote on potential decisions.


👀 Defiant Premium: Ethereum 2.0

🚰 Shortage of Goerli Testnet Ether Puts the Squeeze on Devs

With Ethereum Testnets Closing After The Merge Faucets Are Running Dry

In the first of two post-Merge articles this week, Samuel Haig looks at testnet tokens and their impact on devs…

Developers are hoarding Goerli testnet Ether, resulting in a widespread shortage of the coin, according to data from websites that distribute tokens.

As a result, developers must pay a premium to access what are intended to be freely distributed coins. Without Goerli ETH, devs cannot experiment on the test network, posing a threat to innovation on the Ethereum blockchain.

To read the full story subscribe to The Defiant newsletter.

🔥 Ether Issuance Goes Negative as Merge Delivers on Deflationary Promise

Shrinking Supply is Attracting Institutional Investors

In his second story on Post-Merge Ethereum, Samuel Haig spotlights the deflationary effect on Ether…

It was one of the great promises of The Merge — the Ethereum network would become deflationary.

Now six weeks after Ethereum shifted to Proof of Stake it looks like that promise is becoming reality. The network is producing negative issuance over the past 30 days, according to data from Ultra Sound Money.

To read the full story subscribe to The Defiant newsletter.

News Analysis

😮 Aptos Ruffles Feathers As It Enters Crowded Layer 1 Race

Announces $140M Airdrop For Testnet Participants

In which Owen Fernau unpacks the tumultuous reception to Aptos’ debut this week…

Aptos, a much-hyped Layer 1 blockchain, went live yesterday to a chorus of doubt. Despite a 47% drop on the first day of trading, Aptos’ APT token already stands at a $971M market cap, according to CoinGecko.


Weekend Read

🔎 Outside Devcon Colombians Search For Pragmatic Ways to Use Crypto

Colombians’ Experience Shows the Promise and Challenge of Ethereum’s Adoption

In this dispatch from the Bogota, Aleksandar Gilbert reports on the gap between the crypto industry and the mass market…

One evening last week, three students from the Universidad Sergio Arboleda arrived at a cultural center in Bogota’s chic Chapinero district to learn about cryptocurrencies.

They were there to attend an event called “Integracíon,” and it promised to teach them the basics: how to create a wallet, bridge and swap tokens, claim NFTs, and register ENS usernames.

John Diego, 20, and Luis Carlos Cabrera, 18, were pursuing degrees in finance; John David, 18, in computer science. Asked how many of their friends and family were familiar with cryptocurrencies, Cabrera pointed to himself, then to his two friends. “One, two and three,” he said with a laugh.


Special Report: The Mango Exploit

👀 Mango Markets Exploiter Says Aave Could Be Vulnerable To A Similar Attack

Proposed ‘Trading Strategy’ Would Require Hundreds Of Millions In Capital

Tarang Khaitan goes deep on the strange case of the loquacious exploiter…

Avraham Eisenberg, the trader who has claimed responsibility for the recent $116M Mango Markets exploit, has publicly revealed a potential way for highly capitalized entities to exploit the REN market on Aave V2.



🏦 How Key CBDC Plan Threatens to Betray Crypto’s Founding Principles

Bank of International Settlements’ Plan to Improve ‘Process Efficiency’ May Do the Opposite

Guest writer Alex Shipp argues that the influential institution’s digital money plan misses the mark…

There was a lot of fanfare when the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) announced the launch of Project Icebreaker in September. A primer for Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) implementation, it laid out how the central banks of Israel, Norway, and Sweden would use blockchain technology to address friction in the cross-border payment system and utilize CBDCs in remittances.


DeFi Research

🧐 Polygon’s Embrace of ZK Testnet May Usher in Vibrant Season for Crypto

ZKSync’s Coming Mainnet Launch Underscores Mounting Activity for the Technology

IntoTheBlock analyzes an important development in DeFi.

On-Chain Markets Report by Gabriel HalmIntoTheBlock

Polygon announced their zkEVM testnet with a bang on Oct 10th. Both Aave and Uniswap are  deploying their dApps alongside Lens protocol and the gaming studio Midnight Society.

Spotlighting influential DeFi protocols such as Aave and Uniswap help to convey that Polygon intends to be a serious contender in the zk-chain space. This news could also show why there was a  surge in transaction volume for Polygon’s MATIC token the same day the testnet was announced.



👀 Defiant Premium Story for Paid Subscribers (📜Scroll to the end!)
NFT Roundup
DeFi Explainers
  • What Is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is the world’s first peer-to-peer (P2P) digital payment network, producing a restricted supply of BTC cryptocurrency.


Devcon Journal


DeFi Explainers
  • What Is Cryptocurrency? The 21st century arguably changed course with the advent of blockchain technology. One of its key features, of course, is cryptocurrency,  the digital money powered by blockchain’s peer-to-peer (P2P) mechanics.



💜Community Love💜

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

🧑‍💻 ✍️ 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 Alp Gasimov. Podcast was led by Camila, edited by Alp.

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