What You Missed At Polka DeFiance

March 24, 2021
What You Missed At Polka DeFiance

Our latest virtual event was a great success.

We had a number of A-list Polkadot and DeFi players on hand at Polka DeFiance to share their ideas and help the audience make sense of the rapidly developing space. The next time someone tells you that crypto topics are too niche to matter, just tell them that more than 2,200 individual people tuned into Polka DeFiance, seeing a maximum simultaneous viewership of 1,300.

All told, the event programming constituted more than four hours of live programming and discussion. You can watch that full video playback over on Crowdcast in case you missed the event as it happened, or you can read further for our highlights and wrap up of the event. You can browse the full agenda on the Polka DeFiance site to see more detail on the topics, moderators, and keynote speakers of the day. We’ll focus on the four panels that made up much of the day’s discussion.

Outside of the four panels that we’ll get into below, Polka DeFiance viewers were also treated to a number of individual keynotes and fireside chats from major DeFi entrepreneurs. The day opened with a presentation by Parity’s Eric Wang, giving a bird’s-eye view of the Polkadot ecosystem. Attendees were also treated to a conversation between Equilibrium CEO Alex Melikhov and Dragonfly Capital partner Kevin Hu on how to solve the fragmentation problem in DeFi liquidity.

There were even a series of so-called “Lightning Talks,” something like crypto’s take on TED Talks, in which individual crypto developers and entrepreneurs take to the stage to present their

ideas. Interlay co-founder Alexei Zamyatin covered why Bitcoin matters for Polkadot DeFi. Former Huobi general manager and vice president, co-founder of AU21 and Cere, partner of HNT fund Kenzi Wang presented on how to bootstrap liquidity in DeFi. Cassidy Daly, head of token design and research for Centrifuge, was on hand to speak about bridging real-world and crypto assets.

At the end of the event, Peter Mauric closed everything out with a wrap up and goodbye. But we also had four heavyweight panels that deserve your closer attention. We attempted to capture the highest-impact ideas from each one below, so let’s get into it.

Interoperability: Making DeFi Liquidity More Powerful

Cointelegraph’s Benjamin Pirus facilitated a conversation between Reef Finance CEO Denko Mancheski, Manta Network COO Kenny Li, and Polkastarter co-founder Daniel Stockhaus. This panel was broadly aimed at discussing the fact that there are numerous DeFi projects out there, but they are not always compatible with each other because DeFi is so siloed.

Mancheski said, “Solving the liquidity problem in DeFi calls for a unique approach. Considering the rise of wrapped assets, multiple instances of the same asset everywhere creates silos. This is a less than intuitive solution, and dealing with multiple ecosystems is already a present-day reality for the crypto community. We believe the best approach is to add incentive layers to get people to shift their liquidity back and forth. This is what Reef is working on now.”

In response to a question about the issues that we see in DeFi today, Kenny Li said privacy must be one of them. “This is something that everyone is feeling but not everyone talking about it.”

Watch the full panel discussion here.

Big Projects Arriving to Polkadot

For a certain category of crypto user, Polkadot is just the most exciting development in the space since the release of the Bitcoin whitepaper. Polkadot holds such technological promise that DeFi projects well-established on one chain have been migrating to Polkadot for sake of serving more. This panel aimed to capture the essence of this trend.

It included Peter Mauric. Head of public affairs for Parity Technologies; Mirza Uddin, Head of BD at Injective Protocol; Brandon Iles, co-founder of Ampleforth; and Johann Eid, head of integration for Chainlink. They talked about Polkadot migrations, whether their own or someone else’s.

Iles gave a good background on Ampleforth, describing it as “a base money digital currency with an elastic supply,” meaning the supply can change every day based on demand while remaining non-dilutive in the same way Bitcoin is.

Eid talked about Substrate’s advantages of plug and play system design, letting you easily load whichever pallet you want to use when launching your chain. Chainlink can connect to Polkadot, for example, and be seen as a shard, something like owning your own layer 1 blockchain.

Watch the replay here.

Polkadot As A Solution To Scalability

Cointelegraph’s Andrey Shevchenko led a conversation between Plasm Network founder Sota Watanabe, the Web3 Foundation’s Joe Petrowski, and Moonbeam CEO Derek Yoo. This panel was aimed at covering how Polkadot might cover any transaction shortfall by being able to handle significantly more transactions than conventional blockchains.

Petrowski said parachains are the main avenue toward scalability. “This idea of shifting logic into parallel execution rather than sharing the same chain gives you linear scalability.”

Moonbeam’s Yoo said, “Layer two is just one approach. You may be able to achieve the same benefits across parachains. It’s all just different forms of multi-chain. Transaction throughput is great, but if it comes at the cost of interoperability, that’s a pretty steep price. Betting on Polkadot is a bet on sharing execution. In the context of Polkadot, it’s not EVM versus WASM.”

Check out the panel discussion recording here.

Polkadot Investment Landscape

With investment activity really starting to ramp up within Polkadot, our event saw Cointelegraph’s Rachel Wolfson in conversation with Joey Krug of Pantera Capital, Jacob Phillips of Polychain Capital, and Jingcheng Li of FBG Capital.

If there’s some “secret” to Polkadot’s investment activity lately, Phillips suggested it’s all about the associated developer community. “Polkadot has had an incredible run in terms of community development. Up to this point there’s been tremendous interest in and outside of Ethereum. It’s potentially the next great ecosystem to develop after Ethereum.”

While the number used to hover around 1%, Krug revealed that some 5% of pitch decks he encounters nowadays are for projects being developed on Polkadot. “I can’t say Pantera has a very large DOT position, but we’re bulling on it in the long term.”

You can find the video here.

Thanks everyone for joining and look forward to the next edition of Polka DeFiance!

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