DeFi Dapp Tokens Drop in Value as Andre Cronje Leaves DeFi

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Fantom, Yearn Finance, and Keeper token values drop significantly

Andre Cronje, the influential developer of Yearn Finance, Keep3r Network, and Fantom, leaving the DeFi space has made quite an impact on dapp token prices. The news broke through a tweet from former Fantom Foundation colleague Anton Nell,  after speculation had been mounting for months. As a result, native tokens linked to projects associated with Nell and Cronje began to drop. 

Andre Cronje has been pioneering in the DeFi space with Yearn Finance and various other dapps. However, his innovation also came with the burden of becoming a public face. Seemingly the – often toxic – social pressure has pushed Cronje over the edge, leaving the space he helped to innovate. 

Fantom’s token (FTM), on which Cronje held a technical advisory role for three years, fell 17.5% on the news, Keeper Network’s token (Keep3r) suffered even more significant losses, falling 35%, while Yearn Finance’s token (YFI) fell 12.6% before recovering slightly. All other tokens mentioned in the tweet followed a similar trend.

One brick doesn’t make a building 

Moreover, it’s essential to note that while Andre Cronje held critical positions at some of the projects, he was not a one-person team. Instead, he was involved as an advisor at inception or throughout the project’s life.

While media were quick to signal a significant player jumping ship, others see opportunity and a broader industry consolidation still only a few years old. For example, a top pseudonymous developer for Yearn named Banteg was quick to note on Twitter that Cronje has not contributed to the project for over a year.

Andre Cronje

In the tweet, Nell said that of the 25 projects, the most notable ones are related to Yearn Finance, Keep3r Network, Multichain, Solidly, Chainlist, and Bribe Crv Finance. Additionally, he added that other people would carry on some projects. While front-end services for most projects are expected to end by April 3, open-source code and smart contracts allow others to pick up the baton and keep running the dapps. 

Token value dropped, dapp usage didn’t

One interesting aspect is that while the value of the underlying tokens was falling dapp usage remained stable or actually increased. Yearn Finance registered a 73% increase in wallets connecting to its platform. Arguably, this could be caused by investors removing assets from Yearn vaults for fear of YFI free falling post announcement.   

We can also see looking at Yearns 24 hour performance that it’s taken the hit of Sunday’s news in its stride thus far and returned to pre-announcement levels regarding TVL and its token. 

Meanwhile Solidly, a low-cost, near-zero slippage trading platform on Fantom showed a slight lift in the number of wallets connecting to it in the last 7 days, but nothing considerable. Moreover, DeFi dapps on Fantom such as Geist are showing strong growth signals indicating that investor confidence in Fantom and its dapp ecosystem hasn’t been badly affected by the announcement. 

Andre Cronje

“Building in DeFi sucks”

It almost feels fitting that a man so embedded in DeFi from the start should now be the one to call time amidst a raft of unfavorable conditions. In 2020, Cronje told Decrypt he was on the edge of quitting crypto, citing a toxic DeFi community as his primary reason. Those comments came five months after Cronje’s departure from Yearn. While the announcement is reminiscent of those made by Cronje in the past, Nell said in a follow-up tweet that this time was markedly different and definite. 

Andre Cronje

Interestingly Justin Sun, founder of TRON, popped up almost immediately, offering his DeFi team’s services to take over some dapps after April, which was met with the expected barrage of negativity on Twitter. 

Andre Cronje

Opportunity knocks 

As with all things in life, there’s the story on the page and the one between the lines. The announcement from Andre Cronje earlier this week sent associated token prices south. While many saw negativity and a need to shout ‘death to DeFi’, some saw an opportunity as projects like Yearn and Fantom, with solid communities and the means to easily continue without Andre would presumably bounce their respective support back pre-announcement levels.

Indeed, after YFI hit around $18,000 on Sunday post announcement, today, the price has risen by about 14% and is back to $20,500. Fantom, meanwhile, is still creeping back up after hitting a low of $1.43 on Sunday. However, impending dapp launches and general hype around Fantom right now should see it back to its previous level shortly.

Andre sized gap 

On top of developing and contributing to numerous DeFi projects including Yearn Finance, Curve Finance, and Fantom. Andre’s LinkedIn page shows he has held numerous positions within the blockchain and cryptocurrency community, including technology head at the Fusion Foundation, a tech analyst at Lemniscap, and more high-profile roles. 

While he is sure to be a missed figure, the speed at which the industry moves is frightening, so we predict either a comeback in some shape or another. Alternatively, a true innovator just left a blazing trail for others to follow and improve upon as the blockchain industry marches toward further adoption and mainstream appeal.

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The above does not constitute investment advice. The information given here is purely for informational purposes only. Please exercise due diligence and do your research. The writer holds ETH, BTC, AGIX, HEX, LINK, GRT, CRO, OMI, IMMUTABLE X, GALA, AVASTR, GMEE, CUBE, RADAR, FLOW, FTM, BNB, SPS, WRLD, ATOM, and ADA.

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