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March 6, 2022

DeFi Godfather Exits The Crypto Space

Two of the industry’s most accomplished developers are leaving the DeFi field. Andre Cronje, the self-described “DeFi architect” who rose to notoriety as the founder of the yield optimization protocol Yearn.Finance, has announced his retirement from DeFi and crypto.


Anton Nell, another constructor most recognized for his ties to the Fantom ecosystem, will be retiring alongside Cronje. Nell announced the news on Twitter on Sunday. “Andre and I have decided to close the chapter of contributing [sic.] to the defi/crypto sector,” Nell wrote, adding that it was “a choice that has been coming for a while now.”

Nell, who collaborated closely with Cronje on several initiatives, indicated that the two will be shutting down the websites they control and leaving the space. Nell spent a brief stint assessing ICO ideas for Crypto Briefing alongside Cronje before to working on Fantom.

Cronje’s future in crypto has been called into question after he deactivated his Twitter account and changed his LinkedIn page to reflect that he had stopped working on Yearn.Finance, Fantom, and the broader Ethereum ecosystem. In a Telegram chat, he later announced to the Keep3r Network community that he would be departing the project.

Cronje, who was Chief Code Reviewer at Crypto Briefing previous to his multiple DeFi commitments, confirmed the report and stressed that the protocols he and Nell created would continue to run (note, because they are deployed as immutable smart contracts, there is no way to shut them down). Cronje told Crypto Briefing in a private message that they are merely trying to transfer the domains and webapps we manage and moving away from defi/crypto. Cronje stated that the pair would resume their jobs in traditional finance.

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Yearn is a pseudonym. banteg, a finance developer, commented on the news, emphasizing that Cronje “hasn’t worked on [Yearn] in over a year… Even if he did, there are 50 full-time employees and 140 part-time employees to back him up.”

Cronje and Nell had a huge impact on DeFi in the few years they were there. Cronje was dubbed the “Godfather of DeFi” after popularizing the yield farming movement at the leadership of Yearn.Finance, which garnered a cult following thanks in part to the stratospheric increase of the YFI token during a period known among crypto enthusiasts as “DeFi summer.” Cronje went on to create a popular suite of goods on Ethereum and other EVM-compatible blockchains.

Cronje became well-known for his “test in production” credo, which he used to launch products on the blockchain before undergoing audits.

Cronje was most recently the project leader of Solidly, a new Fantom project inspired by Curve Finance’s vote-escrowed tokenomics and OlympusDAO’s “(3,3)” flywheel design. Solid recently debuted on Fantom, attracting billions of dollars in liquidity to the network.

The reaction to the upgrade has been divided, but many active crypto users have voiced their gratitude and support for the couple.