DeFi degenerates. A subculture associated with a disreputable corner of decentralized finance known for pump and dump schemes.
DeFi is home to many of the most important new projects in the world of financial services, and is seen by many as the next frontier for cryptocurrency and for finance generally.
But there is another aspect of DeFi — one that is concerned with unruly, unregulated crypto projects that tread a fine line between joke and scam. These projects are the natural home for the subculture known as DeFi degens.
Degens congregate in private Telegram and Discord channels, where they share information about new DeFi projects through which they think they can generate profits… or simply have fun.
For many degens, decentralized finance is an opportunity to develop projects that amount to crossovers between monetary projects and massive multiplayer online games. These take the form of abstruse and unpredictable tokens such as the ill-fated Yam, which has become the totem for DeFi degens.
These projects are unaudited, unregulated, and based on cryptic rules that are often impossible to understand for all but those who developed the code.
Yam, for example, involved new token dumps every 12 hours, prior to which users would frantically build up the value of the token before taking out their profits. Participants who do not understand the ways in which these DeFi projects operate are likely to be burned, but degens see them as fun and profitable pastimes that are also an opportunity to test the limits of crypto code and the boundaries of acceptability within the crypto community.
DeFi degens are closely associated with the pump and dump trend, in which junk coins are hyped up through private forums and channels only to be abandoned or forced into collapse — but not before degens have taken their profits.