Buidl Mode On!

Buidl Mode On!
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After the catastrophe of CeFi capitulation from Celsius and BlockFi, there were some positive developments in the web3 ecosystem last week. From web3 going mobile with Solana Saga smartphone to Binance roping in the legendary footballer Ronaldo, Polygon launching a decentralized identity solution with Polygon ID to Uniswap acquiring Genie NFT marketplace, the builders overshadowed the negative sentiment. So let’s get started!

This week in web3 Wednesdays:

  • ⚽ Binance partners with Cristiano Ronaldo to release multiple NFT collections
  • 📱Web3 goes mobile with Solana Saga smartphone
  • 🆔 Polygon ID – zero-knowledge identity for web3
  • 🤯 dYdX, DeFi’s derivative platform leaves Ethereum for the Cosmos chain
  • 🧅 The DeFi onion – peeling the layers of DeFi
  • 📉 Hedge funds shorting USDT, Tether’s CEO killing FUD
  • 🤓Good Read: Bitcoin Whitepaper is the Internet's declaration of independence

⚽ Binance partners with Cristiano Ronaldo to release multiple NFT collections

Binance, the world's biggest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volumes, signed a partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo for the promotion of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on its platforms.

As part of this multi-year agreement, the Portuguese soccer star and Binance will create a series of NFT collections for sale on the company's platform, the cryptocurrency exchange said, adding that the first collection would be released later this year.

To be honest, if it wasn’t for a bear market, this announcement would have soared the crypto market to the sky. Nonetheless, this is a big push from Binance to attract soccer fans around the world to the world of NFTs.

📱Web3 goes mobile with Solana Saga smartphone

Anyone who has used a web3 wallet on a smartphone knows the struggle and pain of horrible UX and limitations of web3 on any other device except desktops and laptops. With a mindset to solve this problem and expand its ecosystem, Solana Labs introduced Saga, a flagship Android mobile phone with unique functionality and features tightly integrated with the Solana blockchain making it easy and secure to transact in web3 and manage digital assets, such as tokens and NFTs.

Along with the Saga smartphone, the company also revealed the Solana Mobile Stack (SMS) software kit, which provides tools for developing native Android mobile apps, walls, and games, and also includes a decentralized app store.

Will it become the iPhone moment for the web3 ecosystem? It’s too early to say anything. Only time will tell.

P.S: If you’re as frustrated as I am about web3 experience on a mobile device, you might wanna get on this waitlist.

🆔 Polygon ID – zero-knowledge identity for web3

In a push to build a decentralized world, the Polygon ecosystem has introduced Polygon ID – a self-sovereign, decentralized, and private identity for the next iteration of the Internet. Leveraging zero-knowledge (so-called Moon Math) Polygon ID will allow users to get a blockchain-native identity and on-chain verification system.

In the future, we’ll look back at the early 21st century as a cradle of innovation for building products and services leveraging blockchain technology, AI, and zero-knowledge proofs. These three key technologies will shape human civilization just like how electricity, the internet, and smartphones did. Just as blockchain revolutionized the transfer of values without a middleman, zero-knowledge proofs will revolutionize the identity solution.

With an ecosystem as large as Polygon, it will certainly have the first-mover advantage with its decentralized identity solution, but we will see many more such solutions coming from various web3 ecosystems in the coming months.

🤯 dYdX, DeFi’s derivative platform leaves Ethereum for the Cosmos chain

In a surprising turn of events last week, crypto derivatives platform dYdX, which is currently built on Ethereum layer 2, announced that it would be moving to a standalone blockchain based on the Cosmos SDK and Tendermint proof-of-stake consensus for its v4 update.

The platform cites the Cosmos blockchain's decentralization and performance as reasons for being a "best fit" for building dYdX for v4.

To learn more about what DyDx is, their decision, and the massive impact on both Cosmos & Ethereum roll-ups, check out this Twitter thread.

🧅 The DeFi onion – peeling the layers of DeFi

For a newbie, DeFi is as confusing as it can be. It feels like a labyrinth navigating various layer-1 and layer-2 chains, protocols, wallets, aggregators, and various other pieces of money lego. So, here’s a mental model to get a grasp of the DeFi ecosystem.

Onions have layers. De-Fi has layers. De-Fi is like onions!!! Ladies and gentlemen, presenting the onion theory of De-Fi:

If we look at DeFi as an onion with several layers, these layers can be separated as below

  1. At the center is the core of values. At the core of De-Fi are assets with hard financial value, such as layer-1 native coins and stablecoins. For example, ETH, SOL, USDC, USDT, etc.
  2. Layer 2 - Production. On the onion’s second layer, protocols put assets to use, producing yield. Example: Curve Finance, Balancer Labs, Dopex, etc.
  3. Layer 3 - Separation. At this layer, Protocols capture tokens, separating yield from governance. Example: Convex Finance, Aura Finance, Plutus DAO, etc.
  4. Layer 4 - Aggregation Layer. At this layer, protocols aggregate tokens across different protocols and layers. Examples: Pitch Money, Redacted Cartel, PrimeDAO

The onion theory of DeFi was shared by Hym Salomon on Twitter. Check out the complete thread here.

📉 Hedge funds shorting USDT, Tether’s CTO killing FUD

In a series of tweets, the CTO of Tether (the company behind USDT stablecoin), Paolo Ardoino has called out the attempts from some hedge funds that were trying to cause further panic in the market after TERRA/LUNA collapse.

Paolo claimed that there’d been a coordinated attack on USDT from various hedge funds trying to capitalize on the panic in market sentiments. He said, in more than one month, Tether processed 16B in redemptions (~19% of total reserves), proving that the stablecoin is fully collateralized and robust.

Further on, he added, Tether also reduced its commercial paper exposure from ~45B to ~8.4B and is set to phase it out in full in the coming months. All the expiring CP have been rolled into US Treasury bills, and Tether will keep going till its CP exposure will be zero.

Meanwhile, with such large redemptions, the market cap of USDT has massively shrunk from $80+ billion to $66 billion with cut-throat competition from another stablecoin, USDC, with a rising market cap of over $55 billion.

Will USDC finally replace USDT as the biggest stablecoin? Seems very likely.

🤓Good Read: Bitcoin Whitepaper is the Internet's declaration of independence

In this week’s good read section on web3 Wednesdays, we have a thought-provoking piece.

It took around ten years for web3 to form and stand up on its feet, but it’s now apparent: the Internet has declared its independence.

With the advent of permissionless money and web3 (with its DeFi, NFTs, and of course, DAOs), we’re seeing something we’ve never seen before: people earning money on the Internet without ever disclosing their real-life identity in meatspace.

Read the complete article to learn how web3 changes everything. From governance to employee relationships, contractual obligations, commerce, finance, and video games. Not only that, we’re seeing companies become projects, the investor cap table becomes the community, the customer base becomes users, and the office becomes the Discord server. Welcome to the web3 world.