DeFi Shadow Conference in Miami! June 2 – 9

Last week, I made the mistake of being almost the only DeFi resident to actually go to Bitcoin 2021 in Miami.

Although I managed to catch up with a handful of builders and big brains at the convention center, it would be better to spend time watching degens at various satellite events, yachting parties and nightclub meetings – a “shadow conference” to take a DeFi place, while boomercoin maximists talked about the same points they parroted for the better part of the decade.

However, the little time I spent with DeFi people was extremely rewarding. I left interviews with representatives of SushiSwap, Yearn Finance, Balancer, Polygon, Digital Dollar Project and FTX, among others, with several useful cores of information on how decentralized financing could develop in the second half of the year. While full interviews are coming out next week, in the meantime, here’s a summary of the best I’ve gathered:

Risks and regulation:

Although it seems like institutional adoption just There has been a growing reason for years to believe that money from large investment banks may finally be spraying around DeFi pools for too long.

Currently, everyone I’ve spoken to has a unanimous view of companies that show a genuine interest in finding ways to get involved, but not everyone is sure what exactly it looks like or how to define it from a regulatory and binding perspective.

Decabillionaire Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX and Alameda Research (who, in particular, had no protection, despite the fact that bitcoins cost less than Saylor, who went with a mobile rugby scrum – or, wait, maybe Sam very good security in that I never noticed them?) described the dynamics as similar to a college couple, with one side “waiting” for the other.

Sam Bankman-Fried, who rode the winning lap between TSM and Heat aré … Darth Vader felt good.

“We will be ready, we will feel it, a lot of conversations, a lot of open conversations about our feelings and desires,” he joked.

From his point of view, FTX is ready to toggle the switch “on” and provide a gateway to all the services that institutions want. However, the work sounds more like an exercise of empathy than business: it involves long conversations about what the institutions want, more precisely – higher dollar yields, exposure and custody, some kind of raid to meet clients’ demands – but when clients say “We want to do cryptocurrency.” what does he mean by that and what is actually possible? Everyone has questions. Everyone is in their feelings. For the time being, the progress largely looks like the company went public and traded in some crypto.

DeFi people have expressed similar feelings. Pseudonymous Yearn Finance Security Specialist “Doggy B” formulated barriers to involvement as one of the unique, personal choices: whether or not an institution gets involved depends on the risk tolerance of the institution’s chief lawyer – a state of affairs that is absurd given the possible amount of money.

The problem is obvious here: the regulatory framework is a lot of sound and fury at the moment, which means nothing. Elizabeth Warren I sometimes said asinine thingsand someone at one of the acronym agencies Google DeFi and got upset. It’s the kind of thing that could – and maybe is specially designed – discourage lawyers willing to make the leap.

It is good to realize that regulatory winds are constantly changing, despite how turbulent they seem at the moment. Any real legislation would be subject to rounds of hearings and testimony, and if any drastic executive order were avoided, they would be given a chance to consider more level bosses, such as Chris Giancarlo.

In an interview with the former CFTC chairman, I thought I was sitting with the enemy. Instead of a straightforward rule-obsessed regulator, however, my impression of Giancarlo was that he was extremely agile and creative in his thinking.

He has regulated crypto regulation in view of the broader legislative trend that has been taking place over the last 30 years: lawmakers are trying to keep up with the Internet.

During our conversation about the future of cryptocurrency regulation, several yachts hovered behind Chris Giancarlo … a sanguine sign?

“The big point is that the Internet is a multi-generational evolution.” It started with information, decentralized information […] and now focuses on finance. Don Tapscott talks about internet values ​​and internet values ​​has many elements, but two of them are stablecoins and blockchain [currencies]and DeFi for financial institutions. “

Where the battle for decentralized information has come with integrated protection for the masses – there is no “ministry of information” because of the rights of first change, as Giancarlo states – the battle for decentralized finance will be tougher because there are dozens and dozens of regulators to deal with .

However, he called digital currencies “inevitable” – technology will advance and eventually win despite what may be antagonistic regulation in the end.

“You can’t stop the technology march in time, and if you do, you’ll become a backcountry.”

I am glad that he is conducting research on the American CBDC, and his evaluation is useful when he tries to evaluate these short-term cries and murmurs.

VCs continue to spend:

There is a poorly reported quality of this bear market, which makes me wonder if all the supercycle talks could be in place: even over 50% of the total recovery, VCs are still willing to spend big money on quality projects.

In 2018-19, the money simply disappeared. I’ve heard stories of eight-figure increases agreed in December that failed in January – perhaps because the funds themselves failed. Dozens, if not hundreds, of companies fell, and where a whitepaper could one day bring in millions, suddenly a full product with real users couldn’t grab an offer.

Jack and David from Rari Capital with an ape looking to the future.

However, checkbooks were not available in Miami. I spoke with Jack Lipstone and David Lucid of Rari Capital, as well as the “Tytan Inc.” of the upcoming NFTY labs about the current capital conditions, and both said they had to bounce back more than try to divulge it.

It is not only that the money sticks out, but also that both the funds and the projects in which they invest are more mature. Rari has reached a total value of $ 110 million locked in one place, and NFTY Labs has a working product – neat-sounding NFTs that allow subscriptions and access to the community. Meanwhile, the funds are reportedly increasingly focused on the future – dynamic and useful NFT and extremely bright teens at Rari, both betting on the future.

NFTY Labs’ Tytan Inc on the state of raising VC funds.

I don’t know if that means we’ll be back soon, but the builders are continuing to build and the funds are willing to support them this time. In terms of basics, DeFi is healthier than ever.

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