Good News: Arbitrum airdrop’s happening today.
Bad News: Credit Suisse went insolvent, the SEC serves Coinbase with alleged Crypto securities violation, and the SEC subpoenas DeFi OG SushiSwap
Here’s what we got today:
- Balaji’s crazy bet. He bets $1 million that Bitcoin will be >$1M in 90 days.
- Double Your DeFi. Early enrollment is open for May 2023 cohort.
- The DefiLlama drama. The fight over a token launch.
- Follow up on Euler Finance hack. North Korean hackers are trying to exploit Euler hackers.
- Around the Web. $ARB is ready for claiming
Reading time: ~9 minutes
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Here’s your Edge 🗡️!
📉 THE MARKETS
“If you don’t believe it or don’t get it, I don’t have the time to try to convince you, sorry.” – Satoshi Nakamoto
Balaji’s Million-Dollar Bet
“$BTC is going to $1MM in 90 days.”
If anyone had told me this before, I would’ve asked them…” so I’m guessing the Ayahuasca trip was that good?“
But Balaji is one smart mf’er and making an interesting case.
First, who is Balaji? He’s most known for being the 1st CTO of Coinbase. Besides that, a lot of his predictions about COVID came true. (Note: the January 2020 timestamp)
He’s also rumored to be one of the largest holders of Bitcoins in the world. He tends to make many wild predictions, many of which have come true. There’s a joke that the 3 scariest words are “Balaji was right.” Here’s his latest prediction about Bitcoin…
What happened? Balaji Srinivasan bet $1MM that Bitcoin would reach $1MM within 90 days with two different people.
So, when Balaji staked $2MM on $BTC reaching >$1MM in just 90 days, the news spread like wildfire.
The terms of the bet:
- Balaji will put up 2 million $USDC.
- Counterparties will put up 2 $BTC.
- If $BTC is >$1MM after 90 days, Balaji will win everything.
- If $BTC is <$1MM after 90 days, the counterparties will win everything.
What’s the thesis? Balaji has provided a rationale for this happening. Below is a simplified step-by-step model:
- Many banks are insolvent. The collapse of SVB was not special.
- As our society is online 24×7, this news is spreading rapidly.
- As more and more people become familiar with the news, a series of ban runs will happen.
- The Fed can’t allow the collapse of the banking system. So, they’ll likely print trillions to bail out the banks.
- As trillions of dollars get pumped into the system, hyperinflation will occur.
- And as soon as hyperinflation arrives, people will look for alternative currencies. Bitcoin will take on this role, and hyperbitcoinzation will be the result.
This is more of a bet on hyperinflation happening more than the intrinsic value of Bitcoin being $1m.
So why is Balaji doing this?
Theory #1: He has gone insane. Balaji has previously made crazy-sounding bets. He called the COVID pandemic in January 2020, when nobody was taking it seriously yet. So, calling him insane is a bit immature.
However, we can assume there’s probably somewhat of an “echo chamber” at work. Most of his close associates are likely to have similar views as him.
Theory #2: A pump and dump. If Balaji has $200MM in Bitcoin, he only needs a 2% move in the price of Bitcoin to break even on his bet. Balaji probably holds much more than that in Bitcoin.
However, Balaji has also explicitly stated that he wouldn’t sell any Bitcoin until hyperinflation arrives in the US.
Theory #3: A marketing move.
Balaji is an ideologically-motivated person. He strongly believes that the current financial system is doomed to fail and that Bitcoin is a better alternative. Current banking failures have made the TradFi system especially fragile.
Balaj is trying to take advantage of this fragility and bring attention to an issue that is important to him. He wants to expose the problems of the TradFi system and promote Bitcoin as a more suitable alternative.
And he already sees results. Everyone and their mother are talking about hyperinflation. Every podcast is inviting Balaji. Hyperbitcoinization is the talk of Twitter. And so on.
He is burning money for an ideological cause.
Early Enrollment for Double Your DeFi is Open
The most intense DeFi training in the world is back.
We’re happy to announce that we’ll be hosting the next Cohort in May 2023. (We’re letting you know early so you can clear your schedule for it if you’re interested in joining).
We’ve been spending the past few months improving the program based on feedback from our previous students.
Here are a few improvements we’ve made:
- We’re expanding the content from to 4 → 5 weeks
- The 1st week of training is called the bootcamp. It’s designed to get you more prepared for all the intense, live training and research sessions.
- New Modules: Onchain Analysis / Whale Wallets and Pumpamentals
- Expansion of Key Modules: Evaluating Protocols will go from 1 → 2 sessions
- New Bonuses: The Unofficial DeFiLlama Masterclass by Patrick and Mental Mastery by Edgy
- and so much more.
All this so that you can level up without the pain. And so that you can shorten the learning curve before the next bull run.
I wanted to give you early access to join because there’s a limit of 100 students per cohort. (If there are too many students, we can’t answer everyone’s questions. And it lowers the quality of the experience.)
We filled up at max capacity last time, so don’t procrastinate.
By the way, we’re doing an early bird discount of $250 to incentivize you to take action – this is only for the first 25 people who sign up.
The Arbitrum Airdrop Is Here
Today is the day for claiming $ARB, Arbitrum’s native token.
If you’ve dabbled in the ecosystem before, you probably have some free rewards waiting for you. Exciting.
Make sure that you are using the official website while claiming. Many scammers are hoping to lure you with their fake websites. Don’t fall into this trap.
Official Link: https://arbitrum.foundation/
(And also double check links from me too!)
I won’t get into price speculation with the airdrop happening in a few hours.
If you plan to trade the airdrop, gas fees might go bonkers. Check this out…
What I do find interesting is Arbitrum is airdropping protocols too, which should boost the ecosystem even further.
If your favorite protocol is missing, then it’s because, according to Arbitrum:
“Only projects on Arbitrum with a DAO & a community treasury were eligible to participate in this distribution. The only exception to this rule is the inclusion of the @ProtocolGuild, a collective of Ethereum core devs & contributors.“
The DefiLlama Drama
DefiLlama is arguably one of the most trusted brands across the crypto sphere. They’ve built the best DeFi data dashboard out there, and it’s 100% free.
On March 19th, 0xngmi (DefiLlama’s co-founder) tweeted the following:
“The DeFiLlama team is forking @DeFillama is undergoing a hostile takeover. There is an ongoing attempt to launch a token that does not represent us. We don’t want to be associated with it. Use llama.fi and @llamadotfi instead“
My initial impression was…” Did they get hacked?” After confirmation by several people (and a signed ETH message), this tweet was legit.
0xngmi and 0xLlam4 represent the two sides of this conflict.
0xLlam4 founded DefiLlama and funded it for a long time. 0xngmi joined later on as a co-founder. Due to his contributions, he became the face of the project. And he has also put in a significant sum of money to fund the project.
Key problem: DefiLlama.com doesn’t have significant revenue streams. They make some money from swap aggregator referral codes, but that’s not enough for any Llamas to own a Llambhorgini.
0xLlam4 thought that launching a token would be a solution to generate funds.
However, the team led by 0xngmi was against the token. Reasons include:
- DL is not a protocol and doesn’t inherently need a token.
- The project might be derailed by moonbois asking about prices.
- Other revenue sources, such as ads, subscriptions, etc., could be explored and introduced instead.
Because 0xLlam4 founded the company, he controls both the project’s Twitter account and website frontend. He vaguely hinted at a token in a thread and was even writing code without first getting approval from the team.
Once the token was live, there was no going back. So, 0xngmi tweeted that DefiLlama was undergoing a hostile takeover and forked the project.
There was a lot of back and forth. Andre Cronje chimed in support 0xLlam4.
Well, everything’s been solved now. This move actually worked. The token was dropped. And forking was canceled. The team will resolve further issues internally, as it should’ve been from the start.
It is inspiring to see a team taking such a principled stand in crypto when scams are everywhere.
So basically, continue using DeFiLlama.com as usual.
North Korean Hackers Try to Phish Euler Hackers
Last week, we brought you the story of how Euler Finance was hacked for $200m. The story’s getting even crazier.
We already covered the Euler Finance hack last week. But let’s recap:
- An attacker hacked Euler Finance for around $200MM.
- Euler gave the hacker a 24-hour ultimatum to return 90% of the funds.
- The attacker didn’t return the funds, and a $1MM bounty for information on the attacker was put in place.
The hacker started doing some weird things:
- After a victim begged, the hacker sent them 100 $ETH.
- The hacker sent 100 $ETH to the Ronin Bridge Exploiter, a group associated with North Korea.
- 3000 $ETH was then returned to Euler Finance’s contract.
The Ronin Bridge Exploiter is linked to the Lazarus Group. They, in turn, have ties to North Korea. If the hacker sends funds to that account, it could mean one of two things:
#1 Both hackers are part of the same association. Most analysts disagree with this take.
#2 The transaction constituted a rather sad attempt to misdirect investigations. However, this backfired big time. The hacker just added another serious offense to his record because you can definitely go to jail for sending money to the North Korean government.
The Euler hacker then stated on-chain that they have “No intention of keeping what is not ours.”
Euler replied with private communication channels – the interaction must have continued privately from there.
Meanwhile, the Ronin Bridge Exploiter sent an on-chain message to the Euler Finance hacker asking them to decrypt an encoded message via a GitHub link.
This could mean one of two things:
- North Koreans are trying to set up a deal with the Euler hacker(s).
- North Koreans are trying to phish the Euler hacker(s). This seems more probable as decrypting their message requires the hacker’s private keys. And many are saying there’s a vulnerability embedded in the decryption tool.
The Euler hacker(s) have messaged on-chain, saying that “We still want to do the right thing.” So apparently, they are ignoring North Korea.
That means there’s a chance that Euler might still recover the majority of its lost funds.
🌎 What’s Happening?
📰 Industry News
SushiSwap is subpoenaed by the SEC, and the head chef wants to raise $3m USDT for a legal defense fund.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis introduced a proposal that will prohibit the use of CBDC as money in his state. This could be a good push-back against potential totalitarianism.
Celsius custody account holders can get 72.5% of the crypto in their custody accounts if they accept a newly-approved settlement.
Immutable is partnering with Polygon Labs. The aim is to simplify the process of onboarding game studios and devs into Web3.
Sam Bankman-Fried and other key employees of FTX received around $3.2 billion in payments and loans. SBF is still not in jail.
Central Banks, including the US Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan, and others, are taking coordinated steps to boost dollar liquidity.
🍿 DeFi Bites
Aave presented the Aave Governance v3. It is their latest decentralized governance system. It is multi-chain native and minimizes voting costs.
GMX is discussing its deployment on the Base chain. This will be a win-win move for both the Base and GMX.
Camelot, an Arbitrum-native DEX, saw its TVL rise by over 50% and cross $100 million. This is in part due to Arbitrum’s token airdrop.
Convex Finance expanded its partnership with Frax Finance by adding support for $FPIS in its locking/staking mechanism toolbox.
Uniswap is discussing an alternative use-case for the Fee Switch. The proposal suggests that teams who launched a token should be the ones to propose and capture the fees collected.
Cosmos Hub completed the Lambda Upgrade. The replicated security is now live on the Cosmos Hub. This will allow consumer chains to use the security of Cosmos Hub.
Uniswap V3 is now live on the BNB chain. This follows months of infighting on how to deploy Uniswap on BNB.