Ashleigh Schap stands as the Growth Lead at Uniswap, and has recently called out Andre Cronje, the founder of Yearn Finance, for his apparent hypocrisy. In short, a recent article from Cronje openly criticized forked protocols within the DeFi space. Schap promptly reminded Cronje of the recent merger between Yearn Finance and one of these “forked protocols,” namely SushiSwap.
Complaining About Forked Protocols
The blog post of Cronje, published on the 12th of January, 2020, is simply titled “Building in DeFi sucks.” In this blog post, Cronje voiced his woes regarding the risks of competitors forking the code of your protocol, then combine it with far more attractive, albeit unsustainable, tokenomics in order to steal users away from the original product.
Cronje lamented how he could build a product that might even be superior to his rivals’, but all they need to do is fork the code, mint its tokens infinitely, and a week will be all they need to gain double the original’s users.
Validating Forked Protocols At The Same Time
Now, this is where things get interesting. SushiSwap stands as a prime example of this event. The protocol had forked from Uniswap, one of the most popular DEXs out there, back in August of 2020. This project launched its own native token and massively profitable yield farming program. Through these combined efforts, SushiSwap managed to steal an excess of $1 billion in liquidity from Uniswap.
And it just so happens that Yearn Finance had merged with SushiSwap back in December of 2020. As one would imagine, the Uniswap community wasn’t too pleased about it, and Schap was quick to point out that Yearn was encouraging exactly what Cronje was complaining about.
In a tweet, Schap highlighted Cronje’s hypocrisy about the matter, explaining that Yearn, as a “legit” dApp, had effectively validated SushiSwap, a “stolen” dApp, by way of this partnership. As such, Yearn’s moves encourage such behavior while its founder gripes about it.
— Ashleigh Schap 🦄🌽 (@ashleighschap) January 12, 2021
Missing Some Very Key Concepts
Another thing Cronje took a jab at was the notion of community within the crypto space. He went as far as describing it as “bullshit,” claiming that any form of community and governance actively kills innovation. Schap, as one would imagine, was quick to refute these claims, highlighting how UniSwap had become one of the biggest dApps within Ethereum thanks to its community, and this happened long before the protocol issued out its own token.
As one would imagine, such a high-profile commentary wasn’t unnoticed within the crypto community. The Twitter thread went alite with debate, with Sam Bankman Fried, the founder of FTX who had been given short-term control over SushiSwap last year, pointing out a very cruel fact about this.
In the end, UniSwap’s code wasn’t copyrighted. It was, in essence, public domain. There is no way for anyone to stop someone forking Uniswap, just as there is nothing SushiSwap could do if someone forked the DEX as well.