Cointelegraph By Joseph Young
The appetite for DeFi is rising again as blue chips are rally and yield-earning strategy-sharing platforms, like Enso, are on the rise.
Enso, a platform where users can share yield-earning strategies, raised $5 million on April 13 from top United States venture capital firms including Polychain Capital and Multicoin Capital.
Synthetix founder Kain Warwick, Aave founder Stani Kulechov, Dfinity chief operating officer Artia Moghbel and other prominent angel investors took part in the round.
The high-profile fundraising round comes as Yearn.finance’s YFI token achieved a new all-time high above $50,000.
Why is the demand for yield-earning protocols rising?
Protocols like Yearn.finance are seeing significant demand once again as decentralized finance blue chips start to rally off the back of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) hitting record highs.
The appetite for high-risk, high-return plays is clearly increasing as the cryptocurrency market as a whole enters price discovery.
The term “price discovery” refers to a technical trend when the price of an asset or the valuation of a market hits a new all-time high.
From late February to mid-March, the total value locked (TVL) of DeFi asset management protocols dropped quite significantly, from $4.3 billion to $2.7 billion.
However, since late March, the DeFi asset management sector has begun to see renewed momentum, driving demand for protocols like Yearn.finance where users can earn yield on their assets.
Naturally, the resurgence of asset management and yield-earning strategies in DeFi has led to a spike in venture capital interest.
Enso, for example, recently raised $5 million from a round led by leading venture capital firms such as Polychain Capital and Multicoin Capital, which have assets under management worth severa billion dollars.
Enso allows users to access alpha yield farms, batch yield farms, batch automated market maker purchases, flash swaps, collateralization and restructuring, which allows users to maximize how they earn yield across various protocols.
Spencer Applebaum, associate at Multicoin Capital — which was praised by top fund managers like Three Arrows Capital CEO Su Zhu for being one of the top-performing funds in recent months — particularly emphasized how Enso allows users to easily tap into various DeFi yield-earning strategies.
“We’re extremely excited to back Connor, Gorazd, and the rest of the Enso team as they work to open up DeFi asset management by removing whitelists and curation, and enabling composability with all DeFi networks. Enso is fully customizable and enables anyone to become a fund manager with the click of a button.”
The rising interest in yield-generating protocols, like Yearn.finance, and yield strategy-sharing platforms, such as Enso, indicate that there is a large demand for yield in the current market landscape.
Has DeFi summer arrived?
Whether the growing demand for yield-earning platforms and protocols will mark the beginning of “DeFi summer” remains to be seen.
Atop the strong technical momentum major DeFi tokens have seen, the general sentiment around DeFi has been overwhelmingly positive as of late.
CITI explaining @MakerDAO and the benefits of DeFi to fund managers
Maybe this is why the boomer DeFi tokens went up +20% yesterday pic.twitter.com/t7AHnHXo4v
— Mira Christanto (@asiahodl) April 16, 2021
Citibank released a paper on April 16 titled “Future of Money,” which described the benefit of DeFi to other fund managers.
The recognition of the momentum and the necessity of DeFi by traditional financial institutions could be the catalyst to enable the second wave of capital inflow into the DeFi market in the next few months.
Gelato Network launches ‘G-UNI’ Uniswap v3 management token
Cointelegraph By Andrew Thurman
While Uniswap’s highly-touted v3 has been racing to the top of TVL charts as of late, the need for active management has kept some retail participants out of their pools — a problem that a new product from the Gelato Network is aiming to fix.
First teased in a community call last week, the Gelato Network has released today the details of their “G-UNI” Uniswap v3 management system. G-UNI aims to perpetually maintain a liquidity range of 5-10% within the current price of an asset pair, with an oracle network checking prices and rebalancing liquidity pool position ranges every half hour. G-UNI also automatically re-invests trading fees for compounding returns.
“Passive G-UNIs work by just providing very broad liquidity, similar to Uniswap v2 that never has to be changed,” an announcement blog post reads. “It thus can be completely free of anyone’s control as it does not require changes in its price range.”
While Uniswap v3 allows liquidity providers to earn more fees by concentrating their funds at specific prices, it opens them up to risk of impermanent loss if the prices of the trading pair moves beyond the provider’s specified range.
Update: REKT ☠️ https://t.co/0MF0gCd9sm
— ameen.eth (@ameensol) May 29, 2021
The blog post notes that G-UNI’s auto rebalancing brings the benefits of concentrated liquidity, but with the option of passively managing the position in a manner more in line with Uniswap v2.
“The advantage of this includes that users can sit back and relax as all the difficulties that come with monitoring LP positions are taken care of.”
Composability and incentives
While the new tool will be a boon to passive liquidity providers, the real benefits of G-UNI might be for other DeFi protocols.
A self-described “Legendary Member” of Gelato, Hilmar, noted that projects can now incentivize concentrated liquidity in “pool 2” liquidity pools. Pool 2 is a colloquialism for a native governance asset paired with a popular base asset, such as ETH or MATIC.
3) Having an ERC20 wrapper around Uni V3 LP positions is extremely powerful, as this enables teams like Instadapp to offer “Liquidity Mining” incentive schemes on top of G-UNI.
This means you can now incentivize your community to provide liquidity around specific ranges
— Hilmar X 冰淇淋 团队 (@hilmarxo) June 16, 2021
Projects often have to provide ample liquidity mining incentives for participants in pool 2s, as liquidity providers take on the risk of the native governance token collapsing in price. Concentrated liquidity rewards may help stabilize native asset prices to a more regular range.
Additionally, G-UNI is a ERC-20 token as opposed to a NFT, which opens it up to a broader number of possible applications in DeFi. Many lending platforms accept liquidity pool tokens as collateral, but aren’t yet widely prepared for positions represented as NFTs; G-UNI will allow them to onboard v3 liquidity positions faster. Likewise, yield vaults like Yearn.Finance, which has been planning to incorporate exchange positions for some time, may find it easier to integrate ERC-20s.
G-UNI will be used out of the gate as part of the launch of Instadapp’s governance token. The team is setting aside 1,000,000 INST tokens for INST/ETH liquidity mining, with 3/4ths of the rewards focused on a higher INST price liquidity range.
Per the Instadapp dashboard, the incentivized pools are currently live and offering 2,200% and 1,800% APY respectively.
Alchemix patches ‘Reverse Rug’ exploit, address $6.5 million shortfall
Cointelegraph By Andrew Thurman
It’s as miraculous as Aladdin taking off on a magic carpet: in a possible first, some of the users of a decentralized finance protocol were the ones to benefit today from an exploit, turning the concept of a ‘rugpull’ on its head.
A colloquialism for when liquidity is drained from a project (often an unscrupulous founder or developer draining the funds themselves), depositors and DeFi users are most often the ones holding bad debt and/or worthless tokens — left to hope for compensation plans that can take months or even years to fully vest.
In an exploit today, however, the users are the ones who got to pull at the seams for a change.
This morning, Alchemix announced that the contracts for one of their synthetic assets, alETH, had experienced an “incident.”
There has been an incident with the Alchemix alETH contracts. Together with the fantastic team at @iearnfinance, we have identified the error and are both working on a post-mortem and a solution to the problem.
Funds are safe.
— Alchemix (@AlchemixFi) June 16, 2021
In a incident report published later in the day, Alchemix developer “n4n0” said that “an issue with the deployment script of the alETH vault accidentally created additional vaults,” some of which the protocol used to incorrectly calculate outstanding debts, which in turn meant protocol funds were used to “pay off user debts.”
As a result, for a short window of time users were able to withdraw their ETH collateral with their alETH loans still outstanding — a rugpull by the community to the tune of $6.5 million.
Alchemix innovating again… this time with the reverse rugpull.. a ‘rugput’
Joking aside there was a little incident with the new alETH vault in which nobody lost any funds but some users actually gained@n4n084191635 with a great incident report herehttps://t.co/Vo3cWRnZPx pic.twitter.com/68G3y1s3x0
— ⟠ toast.eth (@intocryptoast) June 16, 2021
Per the incident report, the team paused the mint contract for alETH two and a half hours after the exploit was discovered. The report notes that no users lost funds as a result of the exploit, and that Yearn.Finance — whose yield vaults automatically repay Alchemix’s synthetic loans — suffered no loss as well. Additionally, a “conservative” initial debt ceiling prevented the protocol loss from being more extreme.
The team, including incident report author n4n0 appear to be taking the loss in stride:
— n4n0 (@n4n084191635) June 16, 2021
A trio of solutions is being deployed to cover the shortfall, including a temporary increase in protocol fees, a injection of ETH liquidity from Alchemix’s treasury, and a sale of DAI from the treasury for additional ETH. The team says they will be deploying an entirely new vault to address the flaws of the original.
Further changes may be on the horizon for the alETH asset as well. Alchemix currently has a alETH/ETH pool live on Saddle, a VC-backed fork of Curve Finance, following Curve reportedly turning down creating a pool for the synthetic Ether. However, in the past 48 hours the Curve social media account has been making overtures in an effort to bring Alchemix’s latest synthetic asset back.
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