Crypto bulls often gloat about DeFi disrupting banks and “eating Wall Street’s lunch.” Scrolling through Twitter, it’s not hard to find an opinion like the following:
Bravado is in crypto’s DNA, and we’re as bullish as anyone on DeFi hypergrowth. However, the sentiment can feel misguided.
First, the lunch worth “eating” isn’t Wall Street anymore. In reality, it’s the wave of Silicon Valley fintech that’s making banks nervous.
PayPal’s Venmo and Square’s Cash App are proving to be potent threats in North America. Both had humble beginnings as P2P payments apps. But they’ve evolved into superapps offering a full suite of financial services, including savings accounts, credit cards, e-commerce checkouts, as well as stock and crypto trading. Few understand (or at least acknowledge) these are the new incumbents.
They aren’t worthy of contempt, either. Along with now-public Coinbase, fintech players share a new commonality: they want a piece of the crypto pie. Roughly 40% of Coinbase users also trade on Square’s Cash App or PayPal, according to a recent Mizhuo survey. It’s a landgrab moment, and all are poaching former regulators to build out their crypto strategies. This translates to even faster adoption.
That said, we believe the next generation of superapps and ecosystems will be decentralized. (Just listen back to our interviews with Solana’s SBF, Terra’s Do Kwon, or Aave’s Stanli Kulechov for an idea of what that might look like.)
The market is also waking up to crypto’s standalone potential. Coincidentally, Ethereum “flippened” PayPal in market capitalization this week. (By our calculations, Ethereum settled more than 2X the value PayPal did last year, and it’s only 6 years old.) In addition, the macro picture is still very much in crypto’s favor, as Delphi’s Head of Macro Strategy explained to RIADAC’s Ric Edelman this week. Delphi subscribers can see the slides here.
For clients, we also published an update on Axie Infinity’s growth, a new analysis of 0x, and had a conversation with dYdX founder Antonio Juliano. Institutional clients can also watch our recent bi-weekly analyst call. Plenty of alpha to dig through over the weekend.
P.S. – This week we announced a partnership with Bitkraft Ventures, an e-sports and gaming-focused venture fund with over $400M under management. With Delphi’s help, Bitkraft will be investing at the intersection of crypto and gaming. Read more about it here, and reach out if you know a project that’s a fit.
Here were the highlights from this week’s research:
Pitching to the Next Wave of Crypto Investors by Kevin Kelly, CFA
- We are excited to team up with RIADAC (RIA Digital Asset Council) to further our mission in growing the awareness of bitcoin and digital assets for investors of all types.
- Earlier this week Kevin Kelly sat down with Ric Edelman, founder of RIADAC, renowned financial advisor and best-selling author, for a wide ranging conversation on investing and bitcoin for an audience of RIAs.
- Delphi Daily subscribers & clients can watch the webinar replay here.
0x protocol: An Old Pony With New Tricks by Ashwath Balakrishnan
- 0x is one of the oldest and most underappreciated DeFi projects in the space – it stands alone as the only orderbook-based DEX live on Ethereum with meaningful spot volume.
- In July 2020, the launch of Matcha, an in-house front end for 0x’s aggregation product, was a major growth catalyst and the turning point for the protocol – the number of trades 0x facilitated increased over 5x between June 2020 and January 2021.
- In this piece we highlight a few notable data points to pay attention to for 0x.
- Delphi Daily subscribers & clients can see the full brief here.
Yield Strats #9 by John Jimin Noh
- In this week’s edition, we cover yield farming opportunities for QuickSwap on Matic/Polygon.
- Delphi Insights subscribers & clients can see the full brief here.
Axie’s Growth & The Potential of Gaming Tokens by Paul Burlage
- Since March, Axie holders have grown by almost 40%, counting an impressive ~32k daily active users, with the cumulative volume for Axies and land recently hitting $30 Million.
- Up until recently, AXS’ value has primarily centered around both primary and secondary NFT sales, however with AXS staking set to come online in the following months, the AXS community can benefit from inflationary rewards as well.
- In this post, we provide an update on Axie’s recent growth and explain the unique impact tokens can have as games transition to being community-owned.
- Read the full brief here.
As mentioned, we will continue to iterate on the design of our Delphi Debrief based on your feedback—so please let us know which section you enjoy the most and what else you’d like to see!