This week we continue the discussion of the shape of DeFi 2.0. We highlight Tokemak, a protocol that aims to aggregate and consolidate liquity across existing projects. Instead of having many different market makers and pools across the ecosystem, Tokemak could provide a clear meta-machine that optimizes rewards and rates across protocol emissions. This has interesting implications for overall industry structure, which we explore and compare to equities and asset management examples.
Last quarter, fintech funding rose to $30 billion, the highest on record. $14 billion of SPAC capital is waiting to take these companies public. Robinhood and Circle are about to float on the public markets, via SPAC and IPO. In this analysis, we explore the fundamentals of both companies, as well as the unifying thesis that explains their growth.
The most popular AMM, Uniswap, is annualizing to $1 billion in fees. That’s a chunky amount of value for its users.
The team has just released the third version of its protocol, and it is an innovation in the structure of the AMM logic. Instead of providing liquidity across the entire price curve, users are now able to specify pricing ranges for which they are participating in the curve. This protects market makers from the extreme price fluctuations which they may prefer not to fund. Because most trading also happens in narrower price bands, it is possible that capital is much more actively used in those bands, and generates higher fee returns comparatively.
This week, we look at:
M&A in decentralized finance, focusing on the Yearn protocol and its targets Pickle, Cream, Akropolis
The motivations behind such M&A, and where economic value collects
The importance of community and security, creating increasing returns to scale
This week, we look at:
PayPal and Square being larger than Bank of America and Goldman Sachs
The SoftBank $4 billion in tech oligopoly call options, and why people feel uneasy
Uniswap vs. SushiSwap, and Bitcoin vs. Litecoin, and why these forks felt wrong
How understanding signalling can help make better decisions
Decentralized finance is formulating new mechanisms to correct for the pitfalls of liquidity mining, yield farming, and other early token distribution approaches. This is happening both at the level of individual projects like Alchemix or Fei, and at the level of industry wide consolidation through Olympus DAO and Tokemak. We explore where this evolution is going, and potential outcomes. In this first part of the analysis, we look closely at Olympus DAO, the concept of Protocol Owned Liquidity, and whether the economics make sense.
In this conversation, we talk with Kevin Owocki, who serves as the CEO & Chief Roboticist at Gitcoin, about the evolution of the programmable blockchain space, how open software gets made, where value comes from and all sorts of other really cool futuristic things.
Additionally, we explore the nuances of being an early developer in shifting markets, idea mazes, the founding of and philosophy behind Gitcoin, the deep work being done towards the Open Internet, the building of community-driven grant mechanisms, early work on quadratic-funding, and the idea behind memes powering DeFi.
his week, we look at:
There are two very large revenue pools in the crypto asset class — (1) mining, and (2) trading. There are some large revenue pools in crypto-as-a-software, too, but those tend to be less sensational.
This analysis will establish a 2021 baseline for the most regulated of crypto exchanges, Coinbase, including a detailed financial model building a $100B+ valuation case
We then consider the valuations and multiples of capital markets protocols in Decentralized Finance of Ethereum, now making up over $60B in token value
Lastly, we look at Binance’s $1B in profits, its $35B BNB token, and the activities on Binance Smart Chain
This week, we look at:
PwC estimating that $900 billion has been wasted on digital transformation projects for enterprise, meaning finance is vulnerable
Chime is worth $15 billion in the latest round of valuation, same as $200B+ depository bank Fifth Third, which is quite the achievement
Decentralized exchange Uniswap distributing 60% of its token to the community, flipping the ownership and value accrual model
As a thought experiment -- today, if you want to save for a house, you may create a financial plan in Betterment and wait for the portfolio to accrue. Tomorrow, you may bring cashflows to a housing protocol which intermediates property markets, and build your portfolio directly into your desired goal of buying a house. Your stated selection and articulation of that goal, by choosing the housing protocol, generates value on its own through rewards, participation, governance, and various interest rate products.
The main driver of today's entry is the news -- which has largely percolated -- that ConsenSys acquired Quorum from J.P. Morgan, as well as received an investment from the bank in the company. There is a lot of jargon in the blockchain industry, and I want to try to pull this news apart to explain why it is interesting both to incumbent financial services players, as well as meaningful to the developing decentralized finance industry.