Monthly Portfolio Updates #3

Binance Labs invests into HOPR. DeFi activity visualized on Dune. Terra, Cosmos, Polkadot launch DeFi savings product. NYM getting covered in Wired. Oasis Labs launches its Amber Network.

No longer locked down in our tiny apartments, but still scattered across the globe, we bring you our Binance Labs monthly portfolio update letter #3.

Stay tuned about the progress of our Binance Labs portfolio companies. Make sure to check out what we’ve been reading recently as well as CZ’s book recommendations at the end of the letter.


Recent Investments

Dr. Sebastian Buergel, Co-Founder, HOPR.

“HOPR is a decentralized and metadata-private point-to-point data exchange protocol based on an incentivized mixnet. HOPR has recently closed a financing round led by Binance Labs and released a public testnet and technical bounties.”

Join the community: https://t.me/hoprnet.

Learn more here: Binance Labs Leads Strategic $1 Million Investment Round in HOPR.


Portfolio Feature

Beniamin Mincu, Co-Founder & CEO, Elrond.

“Elrond is the first internet scale blockchain. With the Mainnet launch coming on July 30th, we open a new era of blockchain performance, by processing above 10,000 transactions/second, with 5-second latency, and a 100x lower transaction cost than Bitcoin or Ethereum. Learn more about how to stake or build on Elrond at www.elrond.com

Join the community: https://t.me/ElrondNetwork.


Our Portfolios Are Kicking It… 🚀

  • The successful launch of Compound (COMP) and Balancer (BAL) led to a significant uptick in DeFi activity in the past month. As of Dune Analytics, Ethereum DEX volumes in June reached USD$1.5B, a 67% increase to previous month figures.

  • Harmony (ONE) announced a USD$7M grants program for fiat fintech integrations and zero-knowledge proofs products. Also, the team has launched an Ambassador program — become a Harmony Angel.

  • Check out this extensive Wired article about NYM, shedding light about the team’s background stories and how NYM came into existence accordingly.

  • Oasis Labs launched its Amber Network, a release candidate for the Oasis Network Mainnet. You can support the Oasis Labs team by joining its Ambassador program here.

  • Terra (LUNA), Cosmos, and Polkadot have teamed up to launch Anchor, an innovative passive income protocol, with the goal to reduce volatility in lending yield on DeFi by leveraging liquid staking derivatives.

  • Elrond (ERD) anticipates launching its mainnet on July 30th. Furthermore, the team collaborates with Orion Protocol to bring the first DeFi products to Elrond.

  • Republic is getting ready to launch its Republic Note token — a profit-sharing token that lets you earn when startups and private equities that raise with Republic succeed.

  • Marlin Protocol launched OpenWeaver which allows operators to deploy relay networks in minutes with low latency mempool sync, transaction relay and streaming support, consequently enabling HFT for DeFi traders.

  • Tellor (TRB) discusses in one of its recent articles the current standards for settlement prices in DeFi, why many protocols are doing it wrong and how to do it right.

  • Injective Protocol, a layer-2 decentralized exchange protocol, testnet is live on Injective.exchange.

  • Matic Network (MATIC), a Binance Launchpad project, launched it’s mainnet in June and sees 16% ($10M) of the circulating supply locked via staking. Furthermore, with Neon District, another well-known game has declared to migrate to Matic.

  • Kava (KAVA), a Binance Launchpad project, launched its DeFi lending platform featuring a cross-chain bridge to Binance Chain where BNB can be used as collateral. 2 hours after the platform launch, the maximum amount of BNB allowed by the system limits was reached. The BNB and USDX limits will be increased at 14:00 UTC on July 10th enabling more participants on the platform.


… And We At Binance Are Kicking It Too! 🚀

  • At Binance Labs, we are always on the lookout to support exceptional technical teams that are on the forefront of building cutting edge technology. Apply for an investment here.

  • On July 14, 2020, Binance will host the “Off the Charts!” Virtual Conference, a global event featuring some of the most influential shapers in blockchain and crypto, from leading innovators, business and technology leaders to influential academics and key policymakers.

  • Binance announced its acquisition of Swipe, a multi-asset digital wallet and Visa debit card platform that allows users to make payments and purchases in cryptocurrency through traditional financial systems. Read more about the Swipe (SXP) token in its Binance Research project report.


What Else We're Reading

The Life of a Protocol Politician

This article discusses the increasingly important and economically lucrative task of overseeing and actively participating in protocol governance. In fact, the emergence of these Protocol Politicians is another depiction of the power of men to keep reinventing themselves, which becomes more relevant in the context of Yuval Noah Harari’s doomsday future outlook where AI will take over most human jobs, pushing men into irrelevance.

It is a pleasure to witness new jobs being created and existing ones being radically transformed; the Protocol Politician exhibiting a bit of both, creation of new (governance of protocol parameters) and transformation of old (politics).

Aquaponic Yield Farming

With the launch of the Compound (COMP) and Balancer (BAL) tokens in the past month, we saw particular attention being drawn to DeFi. A great related article has been Dan Elitzer’s “Aquaponic Yield Farming” where he draws an allusion to nature — Aquaponics which describes the symbiotic relationship between aquaculture and hydroponics. Dan then discusses why lending (Compound, Aave) and exchange protocols (Uniswap, Balancer) are naturally symbiotic in a similar way.


CZ's Book Recommendations

Lastly, three book recommendations from CZ:

The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni. Why organizational health trumps everything else in business. We agree with the book’s assertion that the competitive advantage of successful companies lies more on how healthy and well a company’s organization behaves and operates. Many of this book's recommendations are imprinted in our leadership team, so you might want to read it too.

Blitzscaling by Reid Hoffman. People talk about Binance Blitzscaling, and it is true. We follow Reid Hoffman’s advice, and try to scale as quickly as we can. In addition to discussing scaling and growing in great detail, this book goes into detail on how organizations of different sizes work, as well as some of the implications when teams grow to different sizes. This has been very helpful to Binance as we chart our growth as an organization. It’s a fairly up-to-date book, which even talks about recent topics like cryptocurrencies.

The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations by Ori Brafman, Rod Beckstrom. This book talks about decentralized organizations vs centralized ones. And why and how regulations won’t stop decentralized organizations. We really wish every regulator on the planet would read this book. Regardless, it gives you an idea of how decentralized organizations operate.


If you find a great analysis, a thoughtful piece, or a fascinating book that is worth sharing, please send it to labs@binance.com and we’ll share with everyone.

Best,

The Binance Labs Team