Interest is the killer app

September 2, 2019 the first Market Monday
Ryan Sean Adams Ryan Sean Adams Sep 2, 20195 min read
Interest is the killer app

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Dear Crypto Natives,

It’s Market Monday! Every week I scan the open finance market to surface the best opportunities and insights for us.

Sometimes you’ll act on these. Other times the best action is to do nothing. By reviewing Market Monday on a weekly basis you’re leveling up.

Tomorrow I’ll send the first Tactical Tuesday. I’ve been excited to release this one for a while—it could save you thousands. Do not miss!


Binance launching lending. Everyone in DeFi building on Compound. Seems the crypto banks & money protocols all think interest is the killer app.


Scan this section and dig into anything interesting

Market numbers

  • ETH dipped to $171 from $190 last Monday
  • BTC down to $9,796 from $10,375 last Monday
  • Maker stability fees to 16.5% from 18.5%

Market opportunities

New stuff

What’s hot

Money reads


Check out a few opportunities I’m capturing right now with my crypto money

Lending ETH for 3.3% and BTC for 6.2% on BlockFi. I’m lending on BlockFi because the rates are solid and I feel ok about their custody—since they use Gemini it feels about as risky as keeping funds on exchange. Risk management practices seem good too. In Sept you can earn 3.3% on a max of 200 ETH in account, up from 100 ETH.  Rates and maxes can change monthly. If you use this link to signup Bankless benefits.

Lending DAI on Compound above 10%. While DAI interest remains in double-digits I’ll keep lending DAI on Compound with some DAI I own. Compound’s DAI lending rates have been 9% to 16% since May averaging 10.5%. Good place to buy DAI is Coinbase USDC/DAI pair. To get DAI at $1 after exchange fees (50 bps) you’d need to limit buy DAI at .995 . Anything higher and you lose up front. DAI has been trading >1 USDC recently so if you don’t have DAI already you want to wait until its under $1 to do this.

Buying ETH with BTC. You know I’m long-term ETH bull. Less well known that I’m a BTC bull. Generally, I’m bullish any crypto showing use as money. Also I’m no trader. But last week ETH hit new lows relative to BTC. Over the trading history of ETH the ETH/BTC ratio has only been lower 24% of all days. Either this is a buying opportunity or I’m very wrong about ETH (possible). Ratio below .017 means I’d be slightly rebalancing my BTC allocation to ETH. The ratio may drop further (hit .008 in Dec 2016) so this is a cost-averaging move as ratio drops & is capped to a small amount of BTC holdings. (Not financial advice—you do you)


Make time to complete this assignment before next week

Set up a wallet on Argent (10 mins). Argent has created an open finance wallet anyone can use. Open one this week. Don’t keep much crypto money inside just yet, but do put something in there to play with. Demo your magic internet money to a friend. There’s usually a signup queue for Argent wallets but because you’re a Bankless subscriber you get to skip the queue:

Skip the queue and get Argent

(p.s. signup requires phone #—use google voice # to protect privacy if you wish)

Extra Credit Learning


Read my takes but draw your own conclusions

  • Binance launching crypto lending shows how crypto banks will compete against  money protocols even as they both compete together against legacy finance
  • Maker took a vote that determined REP and BAT is the next best collateral for Multi-Collateral DAI—regardless I expect MCD to be 90% ETH for a long-time
  • Celsius is a crypto bank I’ve tested before but need to spend time on—reminder: before trusting a lending provider know how your crypto is secured and the risk management of the lending—don’t chase interest rates!
  • Vitalik thinks successful forks of BTC & ETH are unlikely due to the interdependencies between base settlement layers (the chains) and everything built on top (the banks)—I agree
  • ICOs gave no rights to investors and this is once again illustrated in an effort by DGX token owners to get the 400k DGX ETH treasury—I’m optimistic the next iteration of ICOs will give capital holders stronger rights


  • ETH staking is getting real. RocketPool’s beta annnoucement was a good reminder—we’re about 6 months away from ETH staking. Staking is the launch of the Ethereum bond market. In staking ETH becomes a capital asset. You bond ETH to secure the Ethereum economy for ETH interest. Just as you might bond USD in T-bills to secure the US economy for USD. The sovereign bond market is $63T. How big could non-sovereign bonds get?
  • Interest a killer app? Dharma is taking a bet that interest earning is a killer app. That’s what the launch of Dharma V2 tells me. It’s also more evidence that liquidity pool models (like Compound) are beating peer-to-peer models (like the old Dharma) on Ethereum. Argent has made a bet on interest through Compound too. Try to be bearish ETH after watching this video. For as long as fiat banks  yield 2% interest or lower and DAI yields 10% I think it’s a good bet.
  • 100m eggs in the Compound basket. I get nervous about too much dependency on too big to fail money protocols.  If bad things happened to Compound there’d be downstream effects for everything built on it. That’s why it was good to see the release of this Compound audit by Open Zepplin (after community pressure maybe?). Nothing of critical severity found. But there are risks to consider. I’m planning to write a “How to assess lending protocol risks” in a future Tactics Tuesday to help on this. Despite the risks I do consider Compound one of the safest lending protocols today.

Recent tweets…


  • Execute any good market opportunities you saw
  • Complete weekly assignment: open Argent wallet

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Not financial or tax advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This newsletter is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.

Disclosure. From time-to-time I may add links in this newsletter to products I use. I may receive commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. I’ll always disclose when this is the case.

Ryan Sean Adams

Written by Ryan Sean Adams

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