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DeFi ‘Godfather’ Cronje quits as TVL and tokens tank for related projects

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DeFi architect, Fantom Foundation technical advisor, and Yearn Finance founder Andre Cronje has left the decentralized finance (DeFi) space reeling after deactivating his Twitter account.

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Cronje’s long-time colleague at the Fantom Foundation Anton Nell stated in a Mar. 6 tweet that both he and Cronje were leaving the crypto space entirely. However, concerns have arisen about the fate of the roughly 25 decentralized apps (dApps) and services they have been operating up to now. Fantom Opera is a layer-2 Ethereum scaling solution.

Among the affected apps and services are yearn.fi, keep3r.network, multichain.xyz, chainlist.org, bribe.crv.finance, and the new solidly.exchange.

The community’s reaction to Nell’s announcement has been generally sympathetic, as many understand that the duo likely needed a mental break from the immense rigors of their work. Other disgruntled investors have not been so kind with their words as token prices and TVL tanks.

Fantom CEO Michael Kong clarified the consequences of Cronje’s and Nell’s stepping down. Although Cronje was instrumental in founding many projects, Kong said in a Mar. 7 tweet that “these projects are not closing down development. Some of them have been running independently for years.”

The lead developer at Yearn Finance, Banteg, also chimed in to assure users and investors that Andre’s leaving was of little consequence to the day-to-day operation of the DeFi yield aggregator.

The price of Yearn (YFI) and Fantom (FTM) crashed immediately following Nell’s tweet. YFI is currently down about 10% to $18,187 while FTM is down 20% to $1.33 according to CoinGecko.

Although the total value locked (TVL) at Yearn has remained fairly steady at $3 billion, Fantom TVL is down 40% since Mar. 3 to $7.16 billion. The TVL of Cronje’s latest project, Solidly, has dropped 68% since Mar. 3 to $735 million today according to DeFiLlama.

Cronje has been one of the most influential characters in DeFi since its rise to prominence within the crypto space. His contributions to the industry have been so profound that market analyst The DeFi Edge on Twitter lamented his leaving and said “Andre Cronje is the Godfather of DeFi” in a March 6 tweet.

Related: YFI’s Andre Cronje disappeared after ‘death threats’. Will ‘love’ bring him back?

Signs that Cronje was planning to leave the space became abundantly clear last week when all of his tweets were deleted from his account, followed by full deactivation.

Core member of Wonderland (TIME) and Abracadabra.money (MIM) Dani Sesta signed on to do the marketing for Cronje’s latest project, Solidly.

However, since Sesta had to step down from Solidly to deal with a crisis at Wonderland, Cronje had to be the face of the project. The stress from such a burden may have been too great, leading The DeFi Edge to write:

“Was this a RUG? Nah. I see a developer who signed up to build but didn’t sign up for all the bullshit & drama that comes with it. He reached a tipping point where it wasn’t worth it for him anymore.”

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