Synthetix Founder Announces Return to “Save the Project”

Kain Warwick, founder of derivatives liquidity protocol Synthetix, is back. 

The founder had previously stepped away from the protocol to take on a “more passive role,” but has now declared his intention to run for the Spartan Council, an eight-member governance DAO that votes on and manages changes to the protocol. Warwick previously stewarded the core contributors, who do both development and non-development work like marketing and design. 

In November, right before the Spartan Council had its first election, Warwick took a step back from the project, ceding to the new governing body. 

Old dictator

In yesterday’s post, titled “An Old Dictator Appears,” Warwick said core contributors are a “coordinated force for implementing the will of the token holders.”

But this coordination appears to have broken down as the Spartan Council took over ascertaining which protocol changes needed to be made, but having less input on the implementation itself. 

A Synthetix Discord user’s comment underlined how often they hear that the core contributors are “completely swamped,” potentially a symptom of the coordination void between contributors and the Spartan Council. Complicating things further, the Synthetix DAO (sDAO), a separate organization, which is in charge of the project’s treasury, pays core contributors a stipend for their work.

As Warwick said in his return post: “The fundamental problem is I had conflated the role of project leader with that of core contributor leader.” Fundamentally this means that while the Spartan Council could help surface and vote on the best improvement proposals, a leader is needed to oversee the implementation of those proposals by core contributors.

Saving the project

“Kain needed to come back and save the project,” said prominent DeFi personality Tuba, as they’re known on Twitter. “It was directionless and moving too slowly without him, but that truth was only exposed when prices collapsed across the board.”

Synthetix’s SNX token has dropped 59% in the last month according to TokenSets. For contrast, the DeFi Pulse index has dropped 50% in the same period showing that while DeFi has taken a beating on the whole, SNX holders have taken it particularly on the nose.

In Warwick’s “return” post, the founder said he’s “ready to correct my mistakes and make sure the project is optimally structured and ensure the Hopium Plan is implemented.” 

The Hopium Plan refers to a roadmap outlined by the Synthetix founder in May, which includes features like limit orders and futures which will run on the Optimism, the Layer 2 solution to which the protocol deployed its staking contracts in January.