Recap: DeFi Week of July 20 🦄

Hello Defiers! hope you’re having a great weekend!

Summing up this past week: yEarn’s YFI governance token has dominated DeFi, soaring from just over $30 to more than $4,000, driving more than $300 million to the platform and spurring seven on-chain votes, in just one week. Value locked in DeFi pierced through $3 billion, two weeks after crossing $2 billion, but not happy with that, it made the $4 billion milestone a couple of days later, thanks to the addition of yEarn to DeFi Pulse’s leaderboard and the surge in the price of ETH. mStable added some drama by backtracking on its MTA token drop to early investors. UMA launched a fixed-rate stablecoin and Gemini will custody of .crypto domains. And speaking of custody, US regulators said banks can now custody digital assets. MakerDao raised the Dai debt ceiling as demand for the stablecoin continued to climb.

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Developers Will Wake Up to the Fact That There’s a Toolkit to Build Full-Fledged Customized Chains: Bette Chen

In this week’s interview, I speak with Bette Chen and Ruitao Su, who are building DeFi on Polkadot. While most of DeFi is being built on Etheruem, here is the team creating an entirely new financial infrastructure on the decentralized network built by the Web3 Foundations and Parity Technologies —which was founded by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood. Their project called Acala has been mostly known for its stablecoin, but they’re also building staking derivatives —a token that’s a derivative of staked DOT tokens and can be used in DeFi— and a DEX. Each one of these pieces is a huge undertaking on their own, but this ambitious team is making all of them at the same time. 

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



  • YFI Surges +70x Pushing Governance Limits: In one week since it launched, yEarn Finance’s YFI has gone through a parabolic price increase, eye-popping returns for yield farmers, hundreds of millions deposited into the platform’s liquidity pools and —this is likely the most unique aspect—seven on-chain votes.




  • mStable Backtracks in Early Investors’ Token Drop: mStable MTA token distribution has raised the question of whether DeFi token listings are actually an improvement on VC rounds and ICOs.

  • US Banks Can Now Hold Crypto –– How Un-DeFi-Like: So banks can now hold your keys. That’s pretty much the opposite of what decentralized finance is trying to accomplish. But that doesn’t mean this isn’t good news —it’s great news for crypto.




  • Farmers Scramble to Get Latest DeFi Token’s 1,000% Yield: This is the state of DeFi: a token called “valueless” by its issuers drove $150M of deposits, while the token itself soared by more than 80x to as high as $2,500 practically overnight, as “farming it” has yielded annual returns of 1,000% for some traders.


  • There is Now $3 Billion Held in DeFi: Value held in DeFi reached a record $3 billion today, highlighting decentralized finance is growing at breakneck speed.

  • DeFiDollar Stablecoin Adds Token Rewards: The team behind DeFiDollar will now use Curve Finance pools to collateralize its stablecoin, enabling liquidity providers to earn token rewards.  

  • Recapping mStable’s MTA Distribution: mStable launched its MTA governance token using a batched auction on the Gnosis Protocol-based DEX, Mesa on Saturday, after delaying the listing by 4 days.

  • Balancer Launches First Governance Polls: Balancer’s BAL token holders were able to participate in the platform’s governance for the first time. 

  • Mastercard Announces Expansion of Cryptocurrency Efforts, Inks Card Deal With Wirex: The Block

💜Community Love💜

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

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 founder: I’m Camila Russo, author of The Infinite Machine here), 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.

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