Recap: DeFi Week of May 18 🦄

Hello Defiers! Hope you’re having a good weekend! And a long one if you’re in the US, like me 🙂

Summing up the past week: Bitcoin holders are increasingly tokenizing their coins to use them on Ethereum. While the amount of wBTC surged by 5x in one day, tBTC had a false start and was paused shortly after launching because of a bug in the code. Rising gas fees continued to be a common gripe among Ethereum users. Lots of protocol upgrades and launches, with Uniswap releasing its long awaited V2, Argent including more DeFi integration, Gnosis releasing a desktop app and a way to interact directly with Ethereum smart contracts, and IdleFinance upgrading to give users more control over investments. This week’s interview was with the Winklevoss twins: The Defiant broke news that the Bitcoin billionaires are also Ethereum whales.

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Winklevoss Twins Say Stablecoins Are Still Missing Their “Facebook Moment”

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, CEO and president of the Gemini exchange, respectively, sat to chat with The Defiant about everything from crypto in the pandemic, to Libra and stablecoins, to DeFi and their ETH holdings. They say the stablecoin race hasn’t really started yet and they’d rather see greater adoption when there’s finally a crypto app that breaks into the mainstream and needs a stablecoin for payments, than compete with coins inflating their balance sheets. The twins said it may very well be that Facebook’s stablecoin Libra will be the global, digital means of exchange, and if that’s the case, they’d be happy to welcome it on Gemini.

As for their ether holdings, the Winklevoss brothers, who have a book about them who are known “Bitcoin billionaires,” disclosed they have “a material amount” that’s “in the same galaxy” as their bitcoin holdings.

🎙Listen to this week’s podcast: Interview with the Winklevoss twins



  • Ethereum’s Popularity Problem: Fees are Surging: There’s a common gripe among Ethereum users these days —gas is too damn high. Transaction fees are surging as Tether continues to move to the second-largest blockchain network.

  • Bitcoin in DeFi Surges by 5X in One Day: It looks like bitcoin “hodlers” are getting tired of just holding. They’re increasingly locking up their coins in exchange for Ethereum tokens which can be used in DeFi.

  • Over Half of ZRX Holders Are Making Money After Rally: Almost 51% of all ZRX holders bought the token at over $0.36, so if all ZRX holders sold today, over half would make a profit, according to IntoTheBlock.




  • dYdX’s BTC Perpetual Swaps are Mooning: DeFi traders are snatching up dYdX’s BTC derivatives, pushing the non-custodial trading platform to surpass Uniswap and become the leading decentralized exchange by trading volume. [update: dYdX has slid to 5th in trading volume, Uniswap back at 1st]

  • DXdao Fundraiser Just Surpassed $1 Million: DXdao, an organization which has no hierarchy and is communally owned by more than 600 Ethereum addresses, yesterday crossed the $1 million mark in a decentralized fundraiser.


  • Idle Finance Upgrade Increases User Control Over Funds: Idle Finance, which automatically allocates user deposits across a number of lending protocols, has upgraded to give users more control over how their funds are invested.

  • Keep Releases Details on tBTC Deposit Pause: Keep Network released details of the bug which caused it to pause tBTC, an Ethereum token representing BTC deposits.

  • The Crypto Price-Innovation Cycle: a16z



  • Uniswap V2 to Boost Profitability for Traders and Protocol: Uniswap Exchange, the largest decentralized exchange by trading volume, was overhauled to improve profitability for liquidity providers, reduce price slippage for traders, limit attack vectors, and pave a path to sustainability.

  • Latest Bitcoin on Ethereum Project Was Cut Short: The team behind tBTC, an Ethereum token representing BTC deposits, paused the system after finding a bug. The project had gone live just two days earlier. 


  • Argent Upgrades to Include Full Suite of DeFi Apps: Argent, a non-custodial Ethereum wallet, upgraded so that users can access at least seven DeFi apps from the non-custodial wallet.

  • Gnosis Wallet Users Can Now Directly Talk to Ethereum: Gnosis Safe Multisig, a non-custodial Ethereum wallet, launched an interface to allow users to directly interact with Ethereum smart contracts.

💜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, 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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