Motion: Yield Farming is an innovation (Haseeb Qureshi vs. Meltem Demirors, co-host: Tarun Chitra)


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Sep 18 2020 58 mins   7

Guests:

Haseeb Qureshi (@hosseeb)
Meltem Demirors (@melt_dem)

Host:

Richard Yan (@gentso09)
Tarun Chitra (@tarunchitra, special co-host)

Today’s motion is “Yield farming is an innovation.”

Yield farming, or liquidity mining, refers to a newly popularized practice of DeFi protocols, where the protocols incentivize usage with reward tokens. The trend was kickstarted with Compound offering their native tokens for anyone lending on their platforms. And with the mooning of COMP, many other DeFi projects followed suit with their own liquidity mining schemes. This led to soaring prices, unprecedented volumes, popularization of ERC20 friendly DEXes such as Uniswap, proliferation of nonsensical meme coins, and all the elements of another hype-driven bull run.

The question is, is yield farming innovation? That is, is this something fundamentally different from what we’ve seen before? A better understanding of the utility of this mechanism will inform assessment of its sustainability.

Today’s two debaters are investors of high profile funds that actively partake in the yield farming ecosystem. And our co-host is a repeat guest with unique perspectives on the topic at hand.

Today’s episode is shorter than usual, due to speaker time constraints. And there are a few threads in the conversation that certainly could’ve used a deeper dive. Alas, maybe we will cover those areas in a future episode!

If you would like to debate or want to nominate someone, please DM me at @blockdebate on Twitter.

Please note that nothing in our podcast should be construed as financial advice.

Source of select items discussed in the debate:

  • Yield farming explained: https://www.coindesk.com/defi-yield-farming-comp-token-explained
  • Haseeb's research pieces at Dragonfly: https://medium.com/dragonfly-research
  • Meltem: https://www.meltemdemirors.com/
  • Haseeb discusses decentralized trading on Unchained Podcast: https://unchainedpodcast.com/why-decentralized-trading-has-10xed-in-a-few-months/


Debater bios:

Haseeb is a managing partner at Dragonfly Capital, a cryptocurrency venture fund. Before this role, he was a General Partner at another crypto fund named Metastable Capital. He is also a crypto educator and has published a comprehensive blockchain course on nakamoto.com. He previously developed software for Earn.com and Airbnb. Prior to his journey in tech and crypto, he was a Full Tilt Poker sponsored professional poker player, and he conveyed his learnings in the book: The Philosophy of Poker. Haseeb subscribes to the philosophy of Effective Altruism, where one undertakes a high paying career to donate his earned money to charity.

Meltem Demirors is Chief Strategy Officer of CoinShares, a digital asset investment firm. Previously, Meltem helped build and grow Digital Currency Group, also a crypto fund. Prior to crypto, Meltem worked in the Oil & Gas industry in trading, corporate treasury, and M&A roles. She is also a founding member of the World Economic Forum Blockchain Council and testified before the House Financial Services Committee on digital currencies. Meltem teaches at her alma mater MIT as well as Oxford, and is passionate about privacy and civil rights.

Tarun Chitra is Founder and CEO of Gauntlet, a simulation platform for crypto networks to help developers understand how decisions about security, governance, and consensus mechanisms are likely to affect network activity and asset value. He previously worked in high frequency trading for Vatic Labs and was a scientific programmer at D.E. Shaw Research.