Andre Cronje: DeFi Great Might Not Have Left the Industry After All

Andre Cronje, one of the greatest builders in DeFi, might not have completely left the industry after all — just eased into the background, far from the madding crowd.

Cronje said earlier this month that he was quitting decentralized finance (DeFi) after building several high-profile protocols.

But according to a record of transactions on a wallet address linked to the 37-year old founder of Yearn Finance and Keep3r, he might still be actively contributing to the crypto sector.

The address — andrecronje.eth — shows that Cronje has in the past week deployed and funded up to six stablecoin pools on DeFi protocol Curve Finance.

The stablecoins are from Fixed Forex, a decentralized foreign exchange platform that the South African coder released in July last year.

What is Fixed Forex?

Fixed Forex leverages lending protocol Iron Bank (IB) and three other DeFi protocols: Yearn, Sushi, and Curve.

It’s a complex mechanism that gives liquidity providers (LP) exposure to currencies such as the euro, Korean won, British pound, Australian dollar, and Japanese yen, as per its website.

“Fixed Forex provides an alternative to U.S.-dollar denominated stablecoins,” it says.

The idea is for a platform that allows for seamless transfers between crypto and fiat money, contrary to the existing system where users intending to make crossborder payments have to go through a series of actions.

“Fixed Forex has two core components, forex on-chain liquidity, and decentralized fiat on and off-ramps,” Andre Cronje wrote in a blog post in July 2021.

According to the post, the protocol pays investors a certain amount of interest for providing liquidity to specific pools, and more to those that stake their tokens and coins for the long-term, up to four years, in Iron Bank.

Stakers are paid in the system’s native token called vested IBFF, or veIBFF. “The greater your time investment, the more disproportionate your reward,” Cronje adds.

Leveraged forex products

The DeFi architect has in the last few days deployed the Fixed Forex contracts and added liquidity to the stablecoin pools on Curve, allowing users to trade pairs such as ib/EUR or ib/GBP with zero slippage, according to on-chain data.

Some of the pairs already went live on Keep3r in January, at least in part, but have now been expanded to include other stablecoins like Dai.

Andre Cronje is perhaps best known for creating Yearn Finance, whose YFI token soared from $0 to more than $40,000 within a few months.

Lately, he launched Solidly, an automated market maker (AMM) that utilizes vested escrow (ve) token economics, combining the rebased token mechanism of Olympus DAO and ve tokens from protocols such as Convex and Curve

While Cronje may have left DeFi in controversial circumstances, the developer has previously shown interest in building leveraged forex products in the sector.

Even as he quit on March 6, the builder in him seemed hung on to decentralized finance.

“Weird to hear Andre is leaving DeFi when we were literally chatting this morning about new FX [forex] feeds and a new composable exchange function on layer one,” said Kain Warwick of DeFi platform Synthetix, at the time of Cronje’s departure.

DeFi ‘godfather’

Considered by some as the “godfather” of decentralized finance, Cronje’s sudden exit broke some hearts — and crashed prices, too — but many people are hoping that their beloved developer, an introvert, will make a comeback.

It wouldn’t be the first time for him to do so. He quit DeFi in March and August 2020 citing a toxic community but returned both times.

For those looking to understand the man’s love-hate relationship with DeFi, a disclaimer pinned to his old account on Twitter might provide some clues:

“When I build software, I build it for myself. If you do insist on interacting with it, please use caution, there will be bugs. Interfaces are built to make my life easier. I will make mistakes. If you don’t understand it, please don’t use it.”

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