The latest DeFi developments

Digital art of the eiffel tower.

By EdgyJuly 27, 2023

This week was pretty much a continuation of last week’s good vibes.

EthCC in Paris is running successfully. Everyone is excited about cool new tech and announcements. And even crazier, RFK Jr. wants to back $USD with Bitcoin. I didn’t see that coming.

Here’s what we got today:

  • Top Announcements. Updates from Uniswap, Mantle Network, & Lens Protocol.
  • DeFi Defense. My top three tools to keep your crypto tokens safe.
  • Around the Web. Aave shipped GHO stablecoin, Chainlink released CCIP, & more.

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Here’s your Edge ūüó°ÔłŹ!

In investing, what is comfortable is rarely profitable. ‚ÄĒ Robert Arnott

DeFi News

Top Announcements From EthCC Week

Ethereum Community Conference (EthCC) ends today.

‚ÄčDespite the bear market, Paris had been buzzing with crypto natives. Some of the enthusiasm has spilled over to Crypto Twitter as well. And many projects made essential announcements.
Here are the top 3 announcements from the Ethereum Ecosystem.

1. UniswapX Announcement

What is it? It is DEX aggregator. Instead of using a single DEX, aggregators use many liquidity sources to find the best prices.

‚ÄčIt has many benefits that vanilla Uniswap doesn’t have. Below are the three that¬†stood out¬†for me.

#1 Third-Party Fillers

When a user swaps on UniswapX, it isn’t directly conducted by the smart contract. Instead,¬†third-party fillers will compete¬†to fulfill that order. This will force fillers to give the best prices to the users.

‚Äč#2 Gas-free swapping

The users won’t be paying the gas fee. Fillers will be paying the gas fee. They’ll either price it into the swap fee for the user, or they’ll reduce it by batching multiple orders.

‚Äč#3 Cross-chain UniswapX

This isn’t life yet. But when it comes, degens will swap between chains within seconds. They’ll also be able to choose which assets they receive on the destination chain.

‚ÄčExciting stuff is happening at the¬†technical level, like “intent” and signed orders. But that’s beyond the scope of this newsletter.

‚ÄčBut there are also a few criticisms.

  • Firstly, they are kinda copying from 1inch and CoW Swap.
  • It is also said to increase the centralization of liquidity provision.

2. Mantle L2 is in Mainnet Alpha

Mantle Network Mainnet Alpha: Launch Highlights‚Äč‚Äč
Source: Mantle Network

It is now open to all users and devs.

‚ÄčWhat is it? It is an Optimistic Layer 2 chain. You can understand it as the second-best technical infrastructure to scale Ethereum.

‚ÄčThey already had massive adoption during their test-net phase.

  • Welcomed 48,000+ developers.
  • Saw 140,000+ smart contracts deployed.
  • Processed 14 million+ on-chain transactions.
  • Connected to 690,000+ unique wallet addresses.
  • Maintained a monthly active wallet address count of 157,000.

‚Äč#1 Built on OP Stack.

We’ve covered OP stack several times.¬†Read those. It has several advantages.

‚ÄčOpen-source.¬†They can use other’s code.

‚ÄčModular. Modules will be independent and interchangeable.

  • They’ll be able to convert to a zk-rollup in the future.
  • They are using EigenDA for Data Availability, which reduces transaction fees.

‚ÄčAnd more.

‚Äč#2 They are swimming in cash.

  • They have allocated $200 million for the ecosystem fund.
  • They recently merged with BitDAO. Their treasury has around $3.25 billion in liquid assets.
  • They are currently providing the highest grants in the market, ranging from $10k to $150k to develop on Mantle.

‚Äč#3 mntETH: Their upcoming LSD?

  • Their treasury already has ~270,000 ETH.
  • They can use it as a gas token on their chain.

‚ÄčThis isn’t the end of the bull case for Mantle. They have others as well, such as their close¬†affiliation with Bybit. The Mantle L2 can be the DeFi solution of Bybit, similar to what Base is for Coinbase.

3. Lens V2 Introduction

Lens V2 Image‚Äč‚Äč
Source: Lens Protocol

Twitter is having problems every other day. The Threads isn’t welcoming Crypto. (They even banned me after a few days for talking about Crypto. You guys know I’m like…the least Edgy dude online)

‚ÄčThere’s an opportunity for web3 social media. At least Crypto Twitter might move there. Lens Protocol is a strong contender from the Aave team. Here are the three things I noticed about the¬†Lens v2.

‚Äč#1 It has its own L3: Momoka.

Earlier, the Lens Protocol was built on the Polygon sidechain. But it wasn’t enough to scale a massive social media platform. That’s why they launched an L3: ‘Mamoka’. It offers fast finality and low cost.

‚ÄčAn L3 can be understood as an L2 on top of the real L2. This is in line with the Appchain thesis. The thesis is that each app would eventually build its own chain.

#2 Open Actions Give Freedom to Devs

Lens V2 has been optimized for open-source contributions. Now, devs can embed (almost) any external action within Lens.

‚ÄčFor example, through an OpenSea “mint” Open Action, users could click ‘mint’ on a Lens post, and it will mint an NFT via the OpenSea contract directly on Lens.

‚ÄčThis can create a much richer social media experience.

#3 Profiles powered by ERC-6551

Profiles have been improved in v2 from top to bottom. ERC-6551 allows NFTs to own assets and interact with dApps like any wallet.

With V2, the value from ‘mints’ and ‘collects’ will be accrued to profiles instead of their owner’s address. It gives NFTs their own social relationships, voice, and monetization opportunities.

‚ÄčA few more aspects caught my attention, like their system for collective value sharing. But those don’t make my top three.

‚ÄčThere are many more announcements that I’d have loved to go into more detail.

‚Äč‚ÄčGnosis, a sidechain to Ethereum, introduced a pair of new offerings:¬†Gnosis Pay¬†and¬†Gnosis Card. On the outside, it’ll be just another Visa debit card. Under the hood, it will be directly connected to the user’s on-chain account.

‚Äč‚ÄčChainLink introduced its Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP). As the name suggests, it enables interoperability between different L1s, from Token Transfer to Arbitrary messaging.

‚ÄčzkSync upgraded to a¬†new proving system called¬†“Boojum.” It is said to make it cheaper, performant, and decentralized.

‚ÄčAave launched their stablecoin $GHO. And it has already crossed $3 million in Market Cap.

‚ÄčThis article is already getting too long. There’s no way I can cover all the important announcements in this newsletter, let alone this article.

‚ÄčAll of the crucial talks can be seen on¬†YouTube.
Not gonna lie, I’m getting intense FOMO from not going to ETH CC. TBH, I’ve never been to a Crypto conference before, so I should get going to one.

‚ÄčTogether With

NFT Lending Now Live On GONDI.XYZ

NFT lending protocols enable NFT holders to borrow money using their NFTs as collateral. These opportunities are attractive to many blue-chip NFT holders. However, some are still hesitant, fearing liquidation due to market volatility.

‚ÄčThat is until today’s sponsor came to the market!

‚Äč‚ÄčGondi¬†is an¬†NFT lending protocol¬†that enables¬†continuous underwriting, refinancing, renegotiation of loans, no automatic liquidations, and much more ūüĒ•

‚ÄčGondi launched on 11th July and is backed by Pantera, Dragonfly, and other reputable funds to make a more competitive and efficient NFT lending market!

But what separates Gondi from the competition? ūü§Ē‚Äč‚Äč

For Borrowers –

  • Interest accrues only based on outstanding duration
  • Receive loan renegotiation offers from current/future lenders
  • Lenders automatically refinance loans with terms that are strictly better for you, giving you the best rates available

For Lenders –

  • Flexible loan renegotiations with customizable fees for any outstanding loan
  • Tranche refinancing to refinance just a portion of any loan
  • Create collection offers with specific loan capacities for better budget management

Their unique borrow/lend system has helped create new loan opportunities for both sides of the market! Take out a loan against your NFT using Gondi today!

‚ÄčTool Recommendations

Defense Against the Dark DeFi Arts

3 soldiers.

Crypto is full of scammers.

‚ÄčUsing DeFi without taking safety precautions is like riding a bike without a helmet – not the most brilliant move. Fortunately, plenty of tools can help prevent you from making costly mistakes.

‚ÄčHere are the top three apps to keep my wallet safe.

#1 De.Fi is like a super app for DeFi users. You can manage exchange accounts, earn sweet yields, and do more. But let’s focus on the star of this article: their “Scanner“!

‚ÄčLet’s keep it real: who among us can decode a smart contract? And, assuming we could, who has time to scroll through every line to ensure it’s not rug? “Scanner” is the lifesaver that does all the heavy lifting in just a few clicks!

‚ÄčHere’s how to use it:

  • Step #1: Head to‚Äč
  • Step #2: Type in the project, token name, NFT, or Contract address.
  • Step #3: Give it a moment, and boom! Their breakdown is ready for your eyes.

They’ll break down the

  • Liquidity
  • Contract safety
  • High-risk functions
  • Token distribution

So, basically, you get a pocket-sized smart contract audit. (And, between you and me, it’s probably better than Certik’s audits.)

‚ÄčWith Scanner, you can dodge like 95% of sketchy smart contracts. Cool, right?

#2 Wallet Guard

This app is like a¬†personal bodyguard¬†for your wallet. And like a pro bodyguard, it’ll never directly interact with your wallet. But it’ll still protect you in three different ways.

1. Phishing Protection

Generally, phishing is a trick scammers use to get your info, like passwords or credit card numbers. In Crypto, they’ll try to get your seed phrase and tokens. A scammer can create a fake Uniswap website and steal your tokens.

‚ÄčWallet Guard will protect you by vetting all websites you visit.

WG Screenshot.

2. Transaction simulation

‚ÄčEver wished your transactions came with plain English subtitles? Wallet Guard makes that dream come true! It tells you *exactly* what’s going down before you finalize it.

‚ÄčAny malicious transactions and signatures? It’ll shout a warning.

‚Äč3. ChatWeb3

‚ÄčPicture this: an AI buddy with all the crypto deets. Wallet Guard gives you one when you make transactions. Before making a transaction, ask it ANYTHING. It’ll break down all the techie terms and highlights stuff like sender and recipient addresses, token transfers, and even those annoying gas fees.

#3 DeFiLlama Extension

‚ÄčLast, but not least, say what’s up to the¬†DefiLlama extension. Like Wallet Guard, it’ll warn you about sus websites (keep an eye on that llama icon turning red!).

‚ÄčIs it real magic? Turbocharging your¬†Etherscan research!

‚ÄčSuperpower #1: Unmasking wallets and contracts on Etherscan! They’ve gone detective mode and tagged loads of addresses. So now you can peep at who’s behind those mysterious wallets.

‚ÄčSuperpower #2: Etherscan doesn’t show accurate prices for many exotic tokens. You don’t have to play a guessing game. The extension will give you the token prices.

Wrapping Up

Alright, champs! So there you have it. Top three apps for protecting my wallet.

‚ÄčWhen I was a beginner, security was always a headache. But with these apps, you have cheat codes to secure your tokens.

‚ÄčūüöÄ DeFi Catalysts

‚ÄčChainLink¬†released its Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol¬†(CCIP). dApps can use it to securely transfer tokens and send arbitrary messages across chains.

‚ÄčSynthetix¬†uses Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol for efficient, secure Synth liquidity transfers through¬†the Synth Teleporter.

‚ÄčCelo Blockchain¬†is considering¬†becoming an L2. They plan to leverage OP Stack as the architecture to become a Layer 2.

‚ÄčAave DAO has launched $GHO, their stablecoin, on the Ethereum main net. It can be minted using assets supplied into Aave Protocol V3 as collateral.

‚ÄčArkham Intelligence released a new product called Arkham Oracle. It is a ChatGPT-like AI assistant but for on-chain analysis.

‚ÄčRibbon Finance¬†and Aevo are discussing¬†merging together. Aevo would be the sole remaining brand. $RBN will be shut down, and a new $AEVO will be released.

‚ÄčCoW Swap released a new feature, CoW Hooks. Users can execute multiple actions – swapping, bridging, staking, depositing, borrowing, and more – in one single intent.

‚ÄčzkSync launched an upgraded proof system called Boojum. It is said to make zkSync cheaper, performant, and more decentralized.

‚ÄčBitDAO and Mantle Network released their $BIT to $MNT conversion tool. This is part of the merger of BitDAO and Mantle Network.

‚ÄčPendle¬†is introduced to the Pendle Earn. It will be a¬†streamlined experience¬†to help you earn without getting lost in mumbo-jumbo technicalities.

‚ÄčLybra v2 testnet is live on Arbitrum. Try it and claim rewards when you complete the tasks and give them feedback.

‚ÄčSolidi Labs has introduced itself to the Maker Community. They have presented their proposal to contribute to liquidity solutions for RWA, liquidity solutions to expand the usage of DAI, L2 strategy and bridge work, and automating governance with LLMs

‚ÄčūüĆé What’s Happening?

ūüďį Industry News

Robert F Kenney, a presidential candidate in the USA, said that he would use Bitcoin to stabilize the U.S. dollar and exempt Bitcoin profits from capital gains tax.

‚ÄčStarkNet unvieled “appchains framework“. As the name says, it is a framework for creating multiple application-specific chains.

‚ÄčArbitrum introduced phase 1 of the Arbitrum Foundation Grants. Phase one of the grants will be focused on dApps & infrastructure for Arbitrum Nova & Arbitrum One.

‚ÄčPolygon proposed a governance framework for Polygon 2.0. It includes three pillars: 1) Protocol Governance, 2) System Smart Contract Governance, and 3) Community Treasury governance.

‚ÄčCoinbase is pausing its retail staking service in four American states: California, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. SEC is suing Coinbase over its staking service.

‚ÄčEtherna, a Portugal-based startup developing internet-based savings bonds and stablecoin, raised $6 million in a seed round. Arthur Hayes backs it.

‚ÄčSolana introduced Solang. It is a compiler enabling developers to write smart contracts on Solana in Solidity, the primary programming language of Ethereum.

‚ÄčCelsius Network deposited $59.4 million of altcoins to the institutional crypto exchange FalconX. There could be heavy sell pressure for MATIC, LINK, & AAVE.

‚ÄčRipple¬†overtook BNB Chain to become the¬†fourth-largest cryptocurrency¬†by Market Cap. This move by XRP is mainly attributable to last week’s favorable court decision.

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