Recap: DeFi Week of Nov. 16 🦄 The Defiant

Hello Defiers! Hope you’re having a great weekend.

Summing up: In the past several days DeFi has been hit with one flash-loan driven attack after another. We dove into the main ones that happened just in the past week, draining about $16M from DeFi protocols, and also explained the mechanism and main questions they bring up in a video. The crypto rally continued gaining steam with Bitcoin’s market cap touching an all-time high, while ETH crossed $500 for the first time since 2018; but the bull market has been relatively quiet so far.

Uniswap UNI rewards ended this week; IntoTheBlock looked at on-chain metrics to analyze the impact, while governance may seek to extend rewards. Aave token holders put forward two new governance proposals, and investors in the DPI DeFi tokens index were able to participate. In this week’s podcast episode, we spoke with Illia Polosukhin, cofounder of the Near Protocol and Fernando Martinelli, co-founder and CEO of Balancer Labs, who agreed ETH would likely flip BTC in the coming years.

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“I Do Believe Ethereum Will Flip Bitcoin in the Next Four Years:” Balancer’s Fernando Martinelli

In this week’s episode, I speak with Illia Polosukhin, cofounder of the Near Protocol and Fernando Martinelli, co-founder and CEO of Balancer Labs. Near is one of the up and coming Layer 1 chains, Balancer is a prominent DeFi protocol and application on Ethereum that will now also be on Near and other blockchains. As for Near being labeled an “Ethereum Killer” Illia says Near is “not trying to kill anybody.”

He thinks finance is just a stepping stone for all the use cases enabled by blockchains and that Near can be the place where those consumer apps are built. Fernando says DeFi will live on many different Layer 1s, but he sees the space expanding into less than 10, not hundreds of chains. He remains very bullish on Ethereum and is betting on a flippening with Bitcoin in the near future, which Illia agreed would be “totally possible.”

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


Flash Loans and Attacks Explained

After five attacks and millions of dollars lost, this week we’re diving into the mechanism behind what made this possible: flash loans. Some call them attacks other go as far as to call it art. But other important questions remain. One of them: Why do we keep seeing audited protocols in the victims’ list?



  • ETH Crossed $500 in a Most Quiet Rally: We are in the middle of a crypto bull market but you wouldn’t know it from social media trends, news headlines and anchors, and just all-around hype. The gap between BTC and ETH prices and mainstream interest, measured by Google search, is at the widest ever in a run-up.






  • Aave Governance Picks up Steam Ahead of Upgrade: Aave yesterday posted two new governance proposals for its lending protocol,  the fourth largest in DeFi with more than $1.3B in deposits, one of which may lead to an increased pool of assets to be managed by token holders.

  • DeFi Index Investors Can Now Vote in Governance Too: The DeFi Pulse Index (DPI) treasury is being put to work through the release of Index Co-op’s Meta Governance structure.

  • Vietnamese Dong Stablecoin Launches Today:, one of Vietnam’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, is launching a stablecoin that’s pegged to the Vietnamese Dong (VND) today.





  • Bitcoin Market Cap Climbs to Record High: Bitcoin’s market capitalization is at a record, crossing $330B for the first time ever, according to CoinGecko.

💜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 and editor: Camila Russo is the author of The Infinite Machine, the first book on the history of Ethereum, and was previously a Bloomberg News markets reporter based in New York, Madrid and Buenos Aires. She has extensively covered crypto and finance, and now is diving into DeFi, the intersection of the two.

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