Fantom and yearn.finance wobble as lead developer exits

The Cronje-backed crypto projects have since bounced back from rug pull fears

The yearn.finance (YFI) and fantom (FTM) cryptocurrencies experienced significant levels of price volatility on Sunday and Monday, as markets reacted to Andre Cronje’s decision to leave the decentralised finance (DeFi) space. 

Cronje steps down

A prominent developer, Cronje has sometimes been called the ‘Godfather of DeFi’. The push to create a more decentralised financial system enjoyed substantial growth in 2020 and 2021.

Yesterday Cronje stepped down from his roles at the Fantom Foundation, yearn.finance and the Ethereum Foundation. Anton Nell, a senior solutions architect at the Fantom Foundation who is also standing aside, announced the news on Twitter, saying:

“Andre and I have decided that we are closing the chapter of contibuting [sic] to the DeFi/crypto space. There are around 25 apps and services that we are terminating on 03 April 2022.

“Unlike previous ‘building in DeFi sucks’ rage-quits, this is not a knee-jerk reaction to the hate received from releasing a project, but a decision that has been coming for a while now,” said Nell.

Market reaction

The announcement prompted initial fears of a “rug pull” – an event in which the creator of a project suddenly withdraws their support, often after taking a healthy profit. 

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Of the 25 projects mentioned by Nell, the likes of yearn.finance (YFI) and chainlist (CLIST) sank by 6% and 4.3%, respectively. Others experienced more substantial sell-offs: solidly (SOLID) and multichain (MULTI) fell by as much 67% and 14%, respectively. 

However, after news emerged that Cronje and Nell were actually passing on their responsibilities to other, wider teams, these projects started to back.

By 15:00 GMT on Monday, yearn.finance was trading up by 4.6% at $19,235, with a market capitalisation of $705bn. Fantom stood 2.1% higher at $1.43, while multichain and solidly rose by 5% and 62%, respectively. 

Fantom Foundation said: “We’re extremely grateful to Andre for all he did for crypto as a whole. However, Fantom is not and never was a one-man team. There are 40+ people working at Fantom.”

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