Andre Cronje, the DeFi developer behind Yearn Finance and several other unregulated financial protocols, has voiced his disdain for crypto’s culture of egotism and greed, and remodeled himself as a pioneer of regulated crypto.
After abruptly exiting DeFi in March (again) and remaining silent ever since, the South African developer published two Medium posts on April 18 and April 19 that took aim at the “enrichment and ego” he thinks embodies decentralized finance, and argued that the DeFi sector should embrace regulation.
Cronje said that the rules that govern traditional finance exist for a reason, and that DeFi developers ignore them at their own peril.
The former developer is no stranger to the perils of unregulated finance. Disgruntled investors sued Cronje in late 2020 after his unreleased project, Eminence, was hacked for $15M. In February 2021, Cronje’s flagship project, Yearn Finance, lost $11M to hackers.
Cronje said that crypto should work with regulators rather than rally against them. “I now more than ever see the need, or even necessity for regulation, not as a mechanism to prevent, but as a mechanism to protect,” he wrote.
To fix the problem, Cronje revealed that he and others have founded entities to regulate crypto and bring institutions into crypto. He will focus on crypto custody, risk management, stock tokenization, DeFi bonds, national blockchains, and crypto ETFs and mutual funds.
Cronje’s posts attracted criticism from his former peers on Twitter.
‘Autism Capital’ tweeted Cronje had sold out.
‘0xCana’ said he’s pulling off a “gigagrift” by walking away with a fortune “generated by crypto” and then “exit[ing] the space, rail[ing] against ‘get rich quick mentalities’ and advocat[ing] for strict regulations.”
“You don’t hate on the people who believed in you and made you a billionaire just cause ~10% of them would ask wen moon,” tweeted ‘ACthecollector’.
Others, like ‘Constantin2141,’ stuck up for Cronje. It’s “easy to blame instead of building,” they said. Borgesjl777’ said, “he’s not calling for DeFi to be banned. He’s calling for standards and regulations that will help it grow.”
But Cronje may be above the rabble – his blog posts suggest that his customers will be institutions and lawmakers, not DeFi degens on Twitter.