📌 An opinionated recap of the most interesting new products in crypto
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📢 Quarterly notes on European VC
(slightly tangential) PSA: if there were any doubts, we are pretty excited about the European tech scene. So we are going to be sending quarterly updates on the EU VC fundraising landscape with spotlights on all new funds raised, and the trends we're seeing in the space.
If that's something of interest to you (and it should 🤓) you can sign up here!
The Q2 note goes out early tomorrow.
Shorter edition as we're just back from the 4th edition of Unplug (the hottest to date, literally!), with amazing entrepreneurs (too long to list all) and investors from Version One, Cherry Ventures, Point Nine Capital, Libertus Capital, Berlin Innovation Ventures, Crane Ventures, Samsung Next who are joining alumni from Index Ventures, Hoxton Ventures, Placeholder, Balderton, Blueyard, Open Ocean / Fabric, Sunstone, Ventech, Axa, Otium, Anthemis, MMC, LocalGlobe, Project A, Fidelity and more.
Pics and recap soon enough, but in the meantime, if you want to be sure to hear about the next one, you should sign up here.
A platform built on decentralized financial infrastructure, that enables you to draw loans against conventional illiquid assets.
Tinlake is a new product by the folks at Centrifuge (disclaimer: we're investors with Semantic Ventures), that enables offline, real-assets to be used in the DeFi ecosystem. This works by issuing an ERC-20 token that represents a fraction of the collateral.
You can essentially borrow against a revenue stream from future royalties, unpaid invoices or a warehouse goods receipt.
This clearly only works if the "issuer" of the NFT is solid, so it isn't structurally trustless as say Compound or Maker - but it is way more useful into moving the defi space towards broad adoption.
A decentralized exchange protocol utilizing zkSNARKs to bring highly scalable, non-custodial trading.
Team Loopring have released v3 of their protocol, designed to address DEX scalability with the use of zero-knowledge proofs (we've recently seen Starkware releasing a design for this called Starkdex, using STARKs rather than SNARKs). Almost all data and computations are moved off-chain, with only the Merkle tree root being stored on-chain. The team claims it can scale 660 trades/sec without onchain data availability at the cost of <$0.01 per trade. Great to see more teams tackling DEX scalability.
A cross-blockchain DeFi platform built on Cosmos, enabling leverage and hedging using a multi-collateral CDP system and collateral-backed stablecoin (USDX).
Kava is live on a Cosmos Zone testnet. Kava allows to turnany asset supported by Cosmos, particularly those from chains that don't support smart contracts, into potential collateral to be used for decentralized leverage/hedging purposes (by minting a stablecoin a la DAI). It's interesting as thanks to interoperability it effectively can support multi-collateral right out of the gate, starting with XRP. Now whether XRP holders would actually be interested in something like this is a different question...
Not a new product or project per se, but a mention to a super cool defi integration where 0x enables a margin lending protocol (dydx) to trustlessly pull liquidity from a relayer (Radar) by leveraging CFL, contract-fillable liquidity (i.e. smart contracts programmatically swapping tokens by filling orders on decentralized exchanges).
"Contract-fillable liquidity is the bedrock of the Open Finance space and is one of the most important functions enabled by smart contracts on permissionless blockchains. It opens the door for capital to frictionlessly flow between crypto protocols to allow for the creation of markets that couldn’t exist in the traditional financial system."*
0x grand vision is slowly starting to materialize.
*Defi scented fumes will invade the room if you read that aloud.
A framework for creating synthetic crypto assets that track prices of traditional or digital assets.
Market Protocol goes live with they own dex and first position token (leveraged BTC/DAI), which allows traders to take long/short leveraged price exposure to BTC trustlessly on Ethereum by collateralizing DAI and minting synthetic assets. We are still trying to get our heads around the implications of the absence of forced liquidations, but overall the idea of allowing anyone to take synthetic exposure to *any* asset without counter-party risk is pretty damn exciting.
Cambrian Tech have unveiled their first product in alpha, which allows parties to trade future staking rewards. This is a great use case for stakers that want to hedge by monetizing rights to their future rewards, and for users that want to earn them without having to actually lock up their tokens or to take leveraged bets on staking rewards. In the alpha phase the staker side will be taken by Polychain Labs.
vest.io/#/faq (disclaimer: we are personal investors in 1Confirmation I, one of the backers of Cambrian Tech)