Who Is Andre Cronje? And His Work In Decentralized Finance

Can be equated to Andre Cronje is what LeBron is to the NBA; an uncontested all-time great, not minding what team he plays for. Cronje’s hurried departure from DeFi resulted in an almost rug pull-like price crash for some of the projects he was involved in. Who is Andre Cronje,how Cronje became one of DeFi’s most prolific devs, and the reasons and consequences for his retirement from DeFi, How Andre Cronje Arrived In Decentralized Finance.

YFI decreased by 11% barely up to an hour after the announcement was made, and KP3R descended a shocking 38% on the same day. With Cronje leaving, the market worries that these protocols will lose a lot of the developer expertise that made them so famous.

How Andre Cronje Arrived In Decentralized Finance

Andre Cronje who was a law graduate from South African Stellenbosch University in 2003, quickly made his way into information and communications technology on school completion. Unexpectedly, his first registered work experience on his LinkedIn was a lecturer position at the Computer Training Institute in South Africa. On completion of a 16-month stint there, Cronje moved into IT and held positions at Vodacom, several CTO posts, and two stints as a mobile developer. The growth from big data to cryptography happened when Cronje served as the head of technology at Freedom Life, a company concentrated on deep learning, blockchain, and cryptography. Existing Freedom Life in 2017, he entered the blockchain space for good, several appointments as an engineer and technical advisor at various blockchain-related projects followed. Nevertheless, Cronje extraordinarily grew to fame with his involvement in Fantom and several DeFi projects functioning as a technical advisor to the Fantom Foundation for almost four years (2018-2022) then evolved in developing the wildly popular yearn.finance and Keep3rV1 protocols. Not exaggerating to say that his first DeFi project, YFI, was responsible for really getting DeFi into the mainstream (or mainstream within the crypto space, that is. Then, Cronje’s final project — and perhaps the reason for leaving DeFi points all towards Solidly Exchange.

Cronje Career In DeFi

Cronje’s first big breakthrough success in DeFi was yearn.finance. Born in February 2020 from its previous iteration called iEarn, YFI quickly expanded into feasibly the most popular DeFi protocol at that time. Notwithstanding being a long way off from its all-time highs, YFI continues to be very prevalent among DeFi power users.

Cental to, yearn.finance is a yield aggregator that permits users to automate their yield farming and maximize gains. YFI accumulates further investment strategies from famous DeFi protocols like Curve, Compound, and Aave and delivers on a promise made by many but fulfilled by few: making decentralized finance easy.

A solitary reason YFI became so popular and traded over $90,000 at some point was except the obvious value accrual of the token that Cronje established it in a completely decentralized and fairway, not even making a profit on it himself.

Cronje’s second big DeFi hit was KP3R, a “blockchain Upwork” of sorts.Keep3rV1 enables the coordination between projects that need to source outside development operations and those that can provide those required services. For example, job solicitors can connect with job providers from the DeFi space, with Keepers providing the smart contracts, bots, or scripts been capable to conduct transactions or triggering events. Cronje himself said that Keep3rV1 permitted the development of DApps like MetaWallet and Unihedge which would have otherwise not been feasible.

Cronje’s likely final DeFi project is Solidly Exchange, an AMM for DeFi protocols. In discrepancy to regular automated market makers, Solidly Exchange has two unique features; focusing on fees instead of liquidity and its use case of being a “B2B AMM.”

Rather than maximizing liquidity, a great challenge in the oversaturated AMM market Solidly maximizes fees. For instance, unlike Curve Finance, liquidity providers for Solidly receive fees only from pools they vote for. The protocol-internal competition of presenting users the best possible fees acts as a brake on excessive token swap fees. Solidly Exchange tokenomics were established on the TVL of the top 20 Fantom protocols, which produced a massive influx of liquidity into Fantom as capital rushed to get exposure to Cronje’s new DeFi product. Nonetheless, Solidly Exchange quickly descended in value after its launch due to a buggy start and an inadequate user experience. which possibly could be the reason Cronje pulled the plug.

Cronje Thought About Building In DeFi

Cronje’s personality would be described as an introvert though did not necessarily align with the fast-and-loose mentality of the crypto space:

Cronje being an introvert is one of the mega brains behind the scenes and builds. A turning point occurred when he announced the ve(3,3) project. While Andre Cronje was building, and Danielle Sesta was handling the marketing & building hype. What a heavenly match.

From his Linkdeln section,

“There’s only one lab accident between me and the supervillain… Honestly, this lab accident really needs to happen soon…”

Another hint was the disclaimer he had on his now-deleted Twitter profile:

“Disclaimer: 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.”Cronje was outspoken about not being fond of the crypto culture that permeated the space. As far back as 2017, he had said:

“After my initial foray into the DeFi space, I realized that the space seemed to be full of marketing hype and lies, but the core decentralization technology is still strong, and it’s here to stay.”

Doubling down the point while on an Erica Kang YouTube show in September 2020 when he likened the DeFi boom in 2020 to the infamous ICO boom in 2017:

“We now feel that DeFi and ICOs are kind of in the same field, but it’s not the case, everyone thinks they need a token, so they need a yield farming farm for liquidity mining.”

When YFI was launched which was one of his most popular projects, he only half-jokingly described the token as a “totally worthless 0-supply token.”Backlash about YFI was also the exact reason Cronje left DeFi for the first time in March 2020. In a post titled “Building in #DeFi sucks.” he said:

“It’s expensive, the community is hostile, the users are entitled.”In another interview, he voiced that “It was lots of fun before iEarn became big,” and that he started hating it because everything became his fault:

“No matter what you do, they will be unhappy, and they will make a point of telling you so […] constantly looking for any bit of information to pick you apart.”Cronje’s second “DeFi break-up” came in fall 2020. In an interview with crypto outlet Decrypt, he said the following:

“Close to rage quitting again […] so sick and tired of this space

I just don’t get why everyone is so adversarial and targeting my project so much. There are multi-million dollar VC raised projects out there that can all instantly steal funds, there are custodial services lying about being DeFi, there are active scams. And yet here I am, not a single penny raised, building on my own, and I just get attacked 24/7.”Cronje never made a secret of his feelings about the “toxic” DeFi community. He actually admitted to Cointelegraph that the press coverage that was painting him as “flighty” was completely right. As a matter of fact Cronje quoted the compounded stress from building and people complaining and demanding constant follow-ups, updates, and more.

Cronje’s Departure From DeFi

The current bomb detonated on Mar. 6 when Anton Nell, Cronje’s long-standing colleague at the Fantom Foundation, declared that Cronje and himself were exiting the crypto space in immediate effect.

The absolute shock here is practically the ending of the services and apps that Cronje and Nell were involved in. Notwithstanding Fantom CEO Michael Kong later elucidated that the projects were not being shut down entirely.

Nevertheless, the market is one thing, and society is another thing. With Cronje playing such an influential role in DeFi, the reaction was predictably strong. The DeFi Edge, a famous analyst account, alleged that the latest drama around Daniele Sestagalli, Cronje’s partner in the Solidly Exchange project, and its botched launch may have been what ca.

Regardless Cronje did break up with DeFi already, Nell was somewhat convinced that this one may be for good:

The DeFi Edge disagreed with him, as his instinct tells him that builders like Cronje will always come back to their passion.

However it is, Cronje’s impact on DeFi was so influential that listing all the projects he worked on would merit a category of its own. Whether he comes back possibly as anon or not, Cronje made DeFi a better place. His developer skills and competent approach choice will never be ignored.

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