Recap: DeFi Week of April 20 🦄

Hello Defiers, hope you’re having a good weekend!

Summing last week up: dYdX launched the first decentralized perpetual futures contracts, and Futureswap launched shortly after with similar assets, attracting so much attention it had to warn users its software hadn’t been audited. Speaking of untested software, Hegic is another exciting project that launched this week, releasing a decentralized options market, but its developers found a bug in the code with the potential of locking up users’ funds. Coinbase released price oracles for DeFi apps, Zerion built an SDK to connect DeFi protocols, and PoolTogether now allows users to link their lottery tickets and increase their chance of winning.

Analyst Andrew Kang wrote about the different Bitcoin-to-Ethereum efforts, Covalent’s Ganesh Swami crunched numbers to find how Ethereum tokens’ market caps have grown over time, and @DeFi_Dad’s tutorial this week explains how to get paid (or pay for) Zoom calls with ETH and 2Key Network. Aave engineer Emilio Frangella breaks down DeFi’s biggest hack yet, and MEW founder Kosala Hemachandra in this week’s exclusive interview and podcast says volume is surging amid the coronavirus pandemic.

🐦Reminder to follow @DefiantNews on Twitter if you haven’t!

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🙌 Together with Ampleforth, a digital asset protocol for a base money which doesn’t require collateral and is uncorrelated with the rest of crypto.


“Volumes Have Almost Tripled; Crypto Was Made for This,” MEW’s Kosala Hemachandra Says

This week’s interview is with MyEtherWallet founder and CEO Kosala Hemachandra. As the head of one of the most popular Ethereum interfaces, Kosala has a unique perspective on how the global pandemic has impacted activity. He also talks about how crypto was built for crises, about the importance of building a decentralized product —if it’s custodial, it’s not worth it— and what he believes the future of digital wallets will look like. Lastly, he told me about MEW’s next big project: a DEX.

🎙Listen to the interview first hand on this week’s podcast. 


The Cross-Chain Pegging Dilemma

Builders are creating Bitcoin-backed Ethereum tokens and concocting “bridges” connecting the two chains in so many different projects that it’s hard to keep track. Andrew Kang, a venture investor and analyst deep in the crypto space, has compiled these efforts in a Bitcoin-to-DeFi primer. You’ll get the pros and cons of Bitcoin tokens and bridges including by Ren, Synthetix, Keep, pTokens, and TokenIon. And see where the fall in the decentralization and scalability scale.

Ethereum is a True Platform for Fintech Innovation

Ethereum’s market capitalization has been sliding sideways for the last couple of years at around 20 billion dollars. That’s a grim picture, but in reality, innovation on Ethereum is at all time high. Bill Gates once said, “A platform is when the economic value of everybody that uses it exceeds the value of the company that creates it.”  Ethereum is starting to prove itself as a platform for fintech innovation as the market cap of tokens built on top of it grows, Covalent cofounder Ganesh Swami writes.



  • Coinbase Launches Price Oracle for DeFi: Coinbase launched a price oracle for decentralized finance applications. The price feed for BTC-USD and ETH-USD markets is sourced from Coinbase Pro API, signed by Coinbase’s private key, and updates each minute.


  • Hegic Launches Decentralized Options Market: The DeFi hedging market is maturing. Hegic, a non-custodial protocol, which is open to anyone launched a market for ETH put and calls.

  • Futureswap Warns Users: Traders are jumping on Futureswap, an untested platform offering 20x leverage on perpetual futures contracts.


  • How To: Use Money Legos to Get Paid for Zoom Sessions: In light of the seismic shifts in society brought on by COVID19, an Israeli-based team developing solutions on Ethereum called 2key Network recognized a way that their technology could be used to empower small businesses and entrepreneurs with a launch-ready paywall for Zoom, requiring no code called Zoom SmartSessions, DeFi Dad writes.



  • KNC Fundamentals Strengthening: Kyber Network’s KNC token is growing by number of active addresses and number of new addresses, but there’s risk of collusion as it’s highly concentrated, according to on-chain data analyzed by IntoTheBlock.


  • dYdX Launches First Decentralized Perpetual Contract: Perpetual contracts, the most widely traded product in crypto, will now be tradable in a decentralized, non-custodial platform. dYdX this week launched perpetual bitcoin contracts and plans to later roll out ether and Dai contracts.

  • You Can Now Send Money to Any Twitter Handle: Crypto lender Dharma launched a feature that enables users to send the dollar-pegged stablecoin Dai to anyone in the world using their Twitter handle.

  • Zerion Launches a Tool to Connect DeFi Apps: The team at portfolio tracker Zerion wants to make it easier to connect money legos and built an open source SDK, or software development kit, that will make it easier for developers to integrate DeFi protocols.

  • PoolTogether Allows Users to Group Their Lottery Tickets: PoolTogether, the “no-loss” lottery, now allows users to link their tickets, increasing their chances at winning.



  • Hackers Steal $25 Million in Hours and Then Return the Funds: A Breakdown: A hacker was able to drain $25 million from lending protocol Lendf.Me —almost all of the funds it held— in just under four hours, by exploiting vulnerabilities in the imBTC token and in the protocol itself. Emilio Frangella, engineer at lending protocol Aave, breaks down the attack and how to avoid it.

💜Community Love💜

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

Emilio Frangella @The3D_

Had the honor of writing an article for @DefiantNews about the attack. Thanks @CamiRusso, keep up the good work!

The Defiant @DefiantNews

In today’s Defiant a breakdown of DeFi’s biggest attack yet by @The3D_ Hacker steals $25m from lending protocol with same exploit as DAO attack ––and gives it all back. 🍿Could inspire a Hollywood film. But DeFi shouldn’t count on another happy ending.

April 21st 2020

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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.

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About the author: I’m Camila Russo, a financial journalist writing a book on Ethereum with Harper Collins. (Pre-order The Infinite Machine here). 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.

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