We Can’t lose Andre Cronje, Can We?

Andre Cronje is finally leaving the DeFi space (in March 2022), for good. (For those who don’t know what happens, here is a good summary)

While we all deeply appreciate what Andre Cronje has contributed to the industry as a legendary DeFI architect, the same question comes back again and again — how can we increase transparency and accountability so that such an important figure can’t just quit out of a sudden?

See the price performances of Andre-contributed projects — those investors are definitely not happy:

Fantom FTM price since Andre’s announcement on 6 Mar 2022

It goes back to the point: key man risk and project governance.

Blockchain should enhance a better governance than the traditional world, given smart contract is a lower cost enforcement mechanism than our traditional legal system — while you may take years to get what you deserve in the court, your justice is executed by smart contracts instantly. However, the cost of constructing good governance is still high — with the immaturity of institutional standards and the disconnection of smart contract development experts and governance experts.

One simple example is SAFT (Simple Agreement for Future Tokens) — the standard way of how everyone invests in early stage token project. It originated from SAFE (Simple Agreement on Future Equity), a silicon valley standard of investing in seed to angel stage startups. However, the protection you could get as an investor to SAFT is much weaker than those you can get in SAFE. It’s all because everyone still signs SAFT black-and-white on paper instead of programming it on-chain.

Why? Because nobody thinks it worths to hire a smart contract auditor to ensure the integrity of the SAFT codes, not to mention the governance structure of the project or the DAO. But if you don’t set that up right at the beginning, then it will continue to add up till the tower falls.

How can the projects ensure smooth operations even after Andre Cronje leaving? How can they regain investors’ confidence? How can they prevent any more key man leaving? Is there a mechanism to maximize the cost of unprepared departure and minimize the impact of management changes?

We need a governance standard. We need some best practices. We need an easy-enough execution of that.

This is why we created ADAM.

ADAM Vault builds the standard of DAO 2.0 and innovates the DAO governance model. Read more on adamvault.com or follow ADAM Vault on Twitter.

Who is Andre Cronje?

Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Andre Cronje is a prolific coder and DeFi architect, who has build the DeFi world.

What has Andre Cronje built?

Andre Cronje is best known for creating Yearn Finance and Keep3r (V1). He also participated in other high-profile DeFi projects, including Hegic, Pickle, Cover, PowerPool, Cream V2, Akropolish, Sushiswap, and others.

What Andre Cronje would not build?

He made it clear in different conversations that he considers it “insance” to build his own oracle. While he already enjoys using Compound and dYdX, there’s no need for him to build a lending platform himself.

How did Andre Cronje become a DeFi architect?

According to online sources, Andre Cronje is a software architect with 20 years of development experience. He completed his 3 yeras Computer Science course in 5 months. Afterwards he worked in Vodacom, one of the largest telecom companies in South Africa. He then moved on into mobile development and distributed systems. Having experience in loan and insurance FinTech has also paved the way for his entrance into the DeFi world. However, his personal life and more details are largely kept in private.

Difference between DeFi architect and DeFi developer?

DeFi architect is the professional who will work on the holistic design of the platform using blockchain technology and different consensus mechanisms, oftentimes with some finance knowledge. While DeFi developer is the one who will take the plan and implement.

Can a DeFi architect or DeFi developer get rich?

According to speculations online, Andre Cronje is considered to have a net worth between $600 million to $2 billion. Most of his assets are gained by contributing to different projects and creating platforms with high token value.

If you don’t want to create a platform on your own, try to contribute to existing DeFi projects. The market is still lacking DeFi architect and DeFi developer, demand has driven big payouts in some firms.