The Shadow DeFi conference in Miami! June 2-9

Last week I made the mistake of being the only DeFi resident to attend the Bitcoin 2021 event in Miami.

Although I managed to catch up with a handful of builders and big brains at the convention center, it would have been better to spend my time tracking degens at the various satellite events, yacht parties, and nightclub gatherings – the “conference in the shadow “to DeFi instead as the Boomercoin maximalists spoke about the same points that they have been repeating for the better part of a decade.

However, the little time I was able to spend with the DeFi folks was immensely rewarding. I came out of conversations with representatives from SushiSwap, Yearn Finance, Balancer, Polygon, Digital Dollar Project, and FTX, among others, with a couple of useful data on how decentralized finance may evolve in the second half of the year. While the full interviews are due out next week, in the meantime, here’s a synopsis of the best of what I got:

Risk and regulation:

Although it seems that institutional adoption has been alone On the horizon for years, there is increasing reason to believe that money from the big investment banks may finally be splashed into DeFi funds in no time.

As it stands, all the people I spoke to are unanimous about companies showing a genuine interest in finding ways to get involved, but not all are sure exactly what it looks like or how to handle it from a regulatory and regulatory standpoint. custody.

FTX and Alameda Research’s decabillionaire Sam Bankman-Fried (who, in particular, had no security guards, even though Bitcoiners were worth orders of magnitude less like Saylor walking around with a mobile rugby scrum, or, wait, maybe Sam had very well security guards in which I never noticed them?) described the dynamic as similar to a college couple, with one party “waiting” for the other.

Sam Bankman-Fried, who between TSM and the Heat arena was taking a victory lap … Darth Vader felt appropriate.

“We will be ready, we will feel it, many conversations, many open conversations about our feelings and desires,” he joked.

From their perspective, FTX is ready to flip a switch and provide a gateway to whatever service institutions desire. However, the work sounds more like an exercise in empathy than a business: it involves long conversations about what the institutions want, exactly: more return in dollars, exposure and custody, a kind of access ramp to satisfy the demands of the customers, but when customers say “We want to do the crypto thing,” what do they mean and what is really possible? Everybody has questions. They are all in their feelings. For now, progress looks largely like a company entering an exchange and trading some cryptocurrencies.