Let the countdown begin…
It’s peak Merge anticipation time, with the historic upgrade to Ethereum expected to commence the evening of Sept. 14, Eastern Time. This week, the network cleared its final hurdle with the rollout of Bellatrix. Sam Haig reported on the implications of the hard fork going live.
Ether has been swinging wildly as investors move in and out of the token. Check out yyctrader’s eye-opening report on how the ETH/BTC ratio hit a nine-month high this week. And Robin Schmidt and his crew produced a must-watch segment on trading Ether ahead of The Merge.
Meantime, Sam Haig continues his groundbreaking coverage of the drama at MakerDAO, one of the stalwarts of DeFi. Sam reports how a surprising proposal from Coinbase has shaken up the Maker community and may derail Rune Christensen’s radical plan for the lender.
Owen Fernau delivers a superb report on how technologists and founders are scrambling to rethink DeFi protocol frontend design to protect privacy from government intervention in the wake of the Tornado Cash case.
And don’t miss our Weekend Read on the debate roiling the NFT market — royalties. Aleksandar Gilbert delved into the push by NFT marketplaces like X2Y2 to attract more sales volume by letting collectors waive royalty fees. That revenue stream, of course, is the lifeblood for creative artists, and many feel the move betrays the spirit of web3.
As ever, give a listen to Camila Russo’s latest podcast: this week she has a scintillating conversation with Stani Kulechov, founder & CEO of Aave, about his new web3 social network project.
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🎙 Stani Kulechov on Building a Social Network for Web3 so Users are Not the Product
This week on the Defiant Podcast we speak to Stani Kulechov, founder & CEO of Aave, one of the first lending protocols in the DeFi space. He has been around since the inception of DeFi, now Aave Labs is the leading force in this completely new side to the web3 universe; social media.
Lens aims to reimagine how social networks are built, providing an open protocol for applications to flourish, and giving users the freedom to own their information and take that data with them when they move from one app to the next. Creators and influencers would monetize their content by reaching their audiences directly, and applications would gain revenue from these transactions, rather than relying on ads.
We discuss the benefits and the risks of this model. While it provides more choice and should incentivize platforms to provide a better service, is there potential for some users to be priced out of that content behind token-gated paywalls? The norm in web2 is free-to-view content. Are added incentives of decentralization and data control enough of a carrot to justify the added cost? Stani also dives into user stats in the first two months since Lens launched, and discusses what’s next for the protocol.
📺 The Defiant Weekly: Why Solana NFTs Are Taking Over
📺 Tuesday Tutorial: Trading The Ethereum Merge – NFA
📺 The Defiant Weekly: AVAX Conspiracy Explained!
📺 Quick Take: MAJOR CARDANO UPDATE + SAYLOR BUSTED?!
🖼 Artists Say NFT Markets Betray Web3 by Nixing Royalty Payments
X2Y2’s Move to Make Royalties Optional Triggers Outcry and Soul-searching in NFT Land
In which Aleksandar Gilbert delves headlong into the debate roiling the NFT community…
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.
Tornado Cash Fallout
🕵🏻♂️ With Privacy Under Threat DeFi Community Scrambles to Rethink Frontend Design
Tornado Cash Sanction Prompts User Bans and Backlash
Owen Fernau dives into the privacy rabbit hole to learn how technologists are laboring to protect one of crypto’s most important values.
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.
😲 Coinbase Surprises MakerDAO with Pitch to Load Up on USDC
Proposal Could Change Christensen’s Bid to Lessen Reliance on Centralized Revenue
Samuel Haig writes the latest installment in MakerDAO’s push to change its model.
Coinbase has thrown a wrench into MakerDAO’s plans to lessen its reliance on USD Coin collateral, and it may force the DeFi stalwart to change major elements of its strategic growth plan.
🧮 Curve Releases Interface Code For Stablecoin
crvUSD Is Likely To Launch After Ethereum’s Merge
Owen Fernau reports on Curve’s rather audacious move to bring out a new stablecoin at a time of great scrutiny.
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.
- With Privacy Under Threat DeFi Community Scrambles to Rethink Frontend Design 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.
- U.S. Doubles Down on Crypto Regulations As Industry Pushes Back U.S. policymakers hinted at tightening regulation of digital assets in a flurry of statements and reports Thursday morning.
- Aave DAO Votes To Pay Developers $15M 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.
- Layer 1 Blockchain Sui Raises $300M At $2B Valuation 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.
- Rated Labs Raises $2.5M To Solve Validator Reputation Dilemma Rated Labs, a Web3 infrastructure project, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding from 1confirmation, Semantic, Placeholder and other prominent investors.
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- Binance Enters Zero-Knowledge Race With zkBNB 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.
- What Is USDC? USD Coin (USDC) is a stablecoin vying for market supremacy with Tether, the No. 1 such offering in terms of market capitalization.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ethereum Repels Rival Layer 1s as Merge Looms Ethereum remains the dominant Layer 1 smart contract network by a wide margin during the 2022 bear market, raking in 90% of L1 protocol revenue since mid-March.
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- Arbitrum Transactions Quadruple After Upgrade Activity on Arbitrum, Ethereum’s leading L2, quadrupled after its Nitro upgrade, with daily transactions hitting all-time highs during consecutive days this week.
- What Is Solana? As Ethereum cultivated its ecosystem of decentralized applications (dApps) in recent years, Solana popped up on the blockchain scene and became one of its top challengers.
- Coinbase Surprises MakerDAO with Pitch to Load Up on USDC Coinbase has thrown a wrench into MakerDAO’s plans to lessen its reliance on USD Coin collateral, and it may force the DeFi stalwart to change major elements of its strategic growth plan.
- 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.
- Bellatrix Euphoria Short-Lived as Markets Slide For a second there, Layer 1s were pumping like it was 2021. Smart contract platforms, also known as Layer 1s, started the week with a bang as Ethereum’s ETH, Solana’s SOL, Avalanche’s AVAX and others were all up more than 3% as of midday New York time.
- What Is SushiSwap? SushiSwap is Uniswap’s jealous twin. After Uniswap pioneered decentralized exchanges (DEXs), it triggered a DEX race. SushiSwap was one of those race contestants.
- Binance to Delist Three Stablecoins and Fold Balances into BUSD Binance, the top centralized exchange by trade volume, announced it will delist three popular stablecoins and convert users’ balances into its own BUSD stablecoin.
- Web3 Workers Outside The U.S. Prefer Payment In Crypto, Study Shows Most crypto employees outside the United States are paid in stablecoins, according to a recent survey of one major venture capital firm’s portfolio companies.
- LG Launches NFT Marketplace For Smart TV Owners In The U.S. Despite the NFT markets being in the doldrums, LG, the consumer electronics giant, is launching an NFT marketplace for its premium smart TVs.
- XMON Rallies Ahead Of SudoSwap Airdrop SudoAMM, an automated market maker for NFT trading, will be launching a token. Sudoswap outlined its plans to distribute a governance token for sudoAMM in a Sept. 1 post. SUDO will launch with an initial supply of 60M tokens.
- Terra Launches Second LUNA Airdrop to Repay Holders LUNA is back from the dead. Sort of.Claims are now live for Terra’s second airdrop for its new LUNA token four months after the DeFi ecosystem failed and vaporized more than $60B in market capitalization.
- Markets Rise As U.S. Unemployment Rate Ticks Up To 3.7% Markets surged after the release of economic data Friday morning that suggests inflationary pressures may be easing in the United States.
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- Bellatrix Fork Goes Live and Clears Way for Merge The Bellatrix hard fork executed on the Eth2 Beacon Chain on Tuesday and completed the first half of Ethereum’s long-awaited chain-merge and transition to Proof of Stake consensus.
- What Is NEAR Protocol? Many developers have earned valuable blockchain experience by working on Ethereum. Some moved on to Cardano and others to NEAR Protocol.
- What Is Cryptocurrency Circulating Supply? Cryptocurrency circulating supply is equivalent to outstanding shares of a publicly traded company.
Thanking all the amazing Defiers for the support and love this week (and always)!
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🧑💻 ✍️ 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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