Prices for dozens of tokens are plunging on the news that prolific developer Andre Cronje is calling it quits — including prices for many that only have tenuous links to the DeFi maven.
On Sunday, frequent collaborator Anton Nell announced on Twitter that he and Cronje were “closing the chapter” on DeFi development.
Many observers assumed such an announcement was imminent, as Cronje deleted his Twitter account and updated his Linkedin to reflect that he was no longer an advisor to the Fantom Foundation last week.
Despite the warning signs, the market has reacted violently to the news.
The recently released Solidly, a hybrid automated market maker (AMM), has tumbled as much as 75% on the day. Likewise, automation platform Keep3r is likewise down 25%, and lending platform Iron Bank is down 50% — all founded by Cronje.
Indeed, the effect has even reached projects that only have tenuous ongoing links to Cronje.
For years now Cronje has publicly stated that he has not been involved in the day-to-day operations of Yearn Finance, a yield vault protocol he turned over to a DAO with a now-mythical “fair launch” in July 2020. Nonetheless, YFI tumbled as much as 12%, and is down 7.5% at the time of writing.
Likewise, the tokens of much of the Fantom ecosystem are drastically lower today. Spookyswap (BOO) is down 19%, LiquidDriver (LQDR) 17%, Tomb 22% (TOMB), and Geist Finance (GEIST) 15%, despite the fact that Cronje was not known to be significantly involved in any of their development.
Throughout his career, Cronje has had a strained relationship with DeFi. He often takes to his blog to decry speculators and riff on the psychological perils of building; his protocols have driven billions in value, and also been hacked for millions; he has taken monthslong sabbaticals from the space in the past.
Nonetheless, Nell emphasized that the latest exit was not a “knee-jerk,” and is indeed final.
From a practical perspective, however, many have noted that Cronje’s exit will not impact the operations of many of the protocols he was involved with.
While Nell’s farewell post noted that many websites will be shutting down as a result of the pair’s decision to step away, these sites are merely frontends for largely autonomous contracts Cronje deployed months or even years ago.
Indeed, in the hours since the announcement teams have already begun announcing the launch of new frontends for interacting with these contracts, such as one team replacing Cronje’s bribe.crv.finance.
“The source code is open source, anyone that would like to continue hosting this service is welcome to,” reads a pop-up disclaimer on many of Cronje’s soon-to-be defunct sites.