Recap: DeFi Week of Oct. 19 🦄 The Defiant

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

Summing up: This week was devoted to more deep dives than the usual day-to-day news coverage (though of course, we did that too). We focused on the need for privacy-preserving blockchains on the podcast with Secret Foundation’s Tor Bair, who warned about how Web3 can devolve to enable surveillance capitalism, and in an essay by Rachel O’Leary about the different teams building a more anonymous crypto world.

We covered the recent rise of non-fungible tokens and digital art with a piece in the newsletter and a video that compiled all the most notable recent developments and includes a fun —and also kind of twisted— experiment. This experiment/game is going on right now (you can still participate if you’re able to recognize art when it’s right in front of you)— more on this next week.

The breaking news of the week was that PayPal plans to add BTC, ETH and other cryptos for payments. Uniswap’s first governance vote was rejected because it didn’t meet the minimum participation threshold, while yield chasers had their share of launches with Barn Bridge and Yield Protocol.

That was just one week. Subscribe to get the latest DeFi news and analysis straight to your inbox and you don’t miss a thing. Free-signups get partial content, paid subscribers get everything. Click here to pay with DAI (for $100/yr) or sub with fiat by clicking on the button below ($10/mo, $100/yr).

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🙌 Together with Zerion, a simple interface to access and use decentralized finance, Sorare, a fantasy football game with officially licensed cards on Ethereum, and Near, a high-performance proof-of-stake blockchain that interoperates with Ethereum. 


“Privacy Might Be the Only Thing Left That Makes Web 3.0 a Viable Alternative:” Tor Bair of Secret Foundation

In this week’s podcast episode I interview Tor Bair, the founder of Secret Foundation, an organization which promotes privacy-preserving technologies, with a focus on Secret Network.  Tor says that for Web3 to develop into the open and permissionless system its builders want, privacy should be at the core. His biggest fear is that in a Web3 future, intead of having single corporations control our data, governments will have the same access too. Without private blockchains, Web3 could devolve to enable surveillance capitalism, where auditability is weaponized. Tor talks about the technologies that are being built today to stop that from happening.

🎙Listen to this week’s podcast episode with Secret’s Tor Bair here:


The State and Future of Anonymous DeFi

If you heard this week’s podcast, you will know the urgency some in the crypto world are feeling for privacy-focused transactions and applications: The blockchain future we’re building may have some sinister consequences if Web3 enables not only corporations to mine our data, but governments too.

Today’s piece by Rachel O’Leary goes through the state of privacy solutions, from anonymous ERC-20 token swaps, to standalone general-purpose, privacy-preserving chains, to private interoperability solutions, and what an anonymous DeFi future would look like.



  • PayPal Move Shows Crypto is Bound to Become Mainstream: PayPal is putting crypto at the fingertips of its 346M customers, helping digital assets break away from speculation as their main use case, and drive a real economy where you can earn, save, invest and now spend.


  • Uniswap’s First Governance Vote Thwarted by Voter Apathy: Uniswap’s first governance proposal to reduce quorum thresholds failed due to the exact thing it proposed to fix.

  • Barn Bridge Keeps Yield Chasers’ Hopes Alive: Barn Bridge has soaked up more than $200M in assets for a tokenized risk management protocol giving yield farmers a second taste of glory.

  • Yield Protocol’s Fixed Lending Goes Live: Yield Protocol unveiled v1 of its fixed rate, fixed lending market with support for Dai.


The Defiant’s Guide to Digital Art & NFTs: As the yield farming craze cools off, non-fungible tokens are undoubtedly taking the blockchain world by storm, making us question our ideas about art and —as is often the case in crypto— greed.

Here is The Defiant Guide to Digital Art and NFTs, produced by Robin Schmidt in partnership with Harmony Protocol

The riddle for you while viewing is: can you recognize and seize art when it’s staring right at you across the screen?

💜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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