Decentralized finance can add value to the network and to people’s lives… as long as our excitement doesn’t result in us dancing right off a cliff.

This was originally a talk I gave at Dystopia Labs’ DeFi Discussions event.

At the time of this talk (early May 2020), the dForce and Hegic exploits had both happened in the previous 14 days. It was also before the advent of governance tokens, IDO’s, and yield farming. But this is less about specific events and more building a system that will benefit people, not harm them.

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Sam Sun injecting some black humor after yet another DeFi incident.

DeFi has grown remarkably fast and, as always, growth brings hacks, attacks, exploits, incidents, non-incidents, and generally unintended consequences. …

We need to get better. There are a great number of things that need to be improved in order to avoid a catastrophic loss around DeFi.

We need to get better at holding people accountable. Everyone. Those who build and those who comment and those who use.

I don’t think that making an example of individual products or people in the way I’ve been doing is ultimately going to prevent all further fuckery. …

This essay was originally a talk I gave at ETHDenver in February 2020.

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If you haven’t seen Risky Business, it’s a coming-of-age story starring Tom Cruise. In the movie, his parents go out of town, shit goes down, he has to find his way out of trouble, which only creates more trouble. The journey only remains adorable because the baby-faced Tom Cruise is so naive and just can’t catch a break. If he was any older or any less naive, his choices would be too irresponsible for anyone to overlook.

The crypto industry is like this in a lot of ways. We get away with things that we probably shouldn’t. We refuse to learn from our past mistakes. We refuse to admit that smart contracts shouldn’t be trusted yet. We use our idealism and naivety to defend each other when things go wrong. …


Taylor Monahan

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