Of dreams and greed – the Sushiswap saga

By Virginia Blackmoore No comments

“So there’s that iron, right? That metal, the swords and knives straight to the heart of the system. Machine against the system, vires in numerai. That cypherpunk ethos. There’s a sushi chef and his knife, sharpened, ready. Maybe.”

The Uniswap revolution is undeniable. Heart and soul of this alt season, the first real one since 2017. And fuck you naysayers, you’re just salty ‘cause you missed it. It’s like this very simple gumball machine starlight from the 80s, one click one coin, the adrenaline rush of a slot machine in Vegas. Except with much better odds than a casino. Except with a likeable founder, unicorns and rainbows, quite literally. Open to all.

It’s been the best listing opportunity for projects, old and new. Bar none. All of a sudden, with a few clicks and some locked away ETH – if you decide to do things right – project owners or even “fans” and bag-holders alike can all of a sudden “list” your project on the hottest exchange in the planet. No more inane requests and fees from centralised exchanges, no more permissioned bullshit. Straight up crypto, bitch.

And they all lived happily ever after. Well. Kinda.

‘Cause now, see, the unsung heroes of all this movement are the liquidity provers, LPs from here on out, that decided to weather the dangerous rivers of Impermanent Loss to give y’all a very liquid market, even on the shittiest of shitcoins. Why? Well for fees of course, ‘cause greed is good, Gordon Gekko docet and all that. And because of a dream. No matter what everybody will tell you, this whole crypto space runs on two things : greed and dreams. The dreams of a new system, one where WE run the show.

WE the people, amen.

Except it turns out Uniswap isn’t all rainbows and unicorns after all. There are, oh my, some pretty big VC backers and they are getting a bigger slice of the pie than our cypherpunk ethics will allow. That, we don’t like.

“So The Chef sharpens his knife, on the blood of VCs and disgruntled LPs he prepares his tasting menu. You just sit down, it’s Omakase baby, just let the chef take care of you. And he will. Oh he will”

Seemingly out of nowhere this Nomi chef decides it’s time to cook down the VCs and give back to the community, and the LPs in particular. A fully decentralised, revenue sharing fork of Uniswap, with a fair launch. Because that is all SushiSwap really is: a fork of Uniswap with a native governance token – $SUSHI – and a change in the reward distribution mechanism. With Uniswap, LPs earn 0.3% of trading fees whereas on Sushiswap, LPs will earn 0.25% fees, with the remaining 0.05% being distributed to SUSHI holders.

The concept is simple enough and clearly captivating, and some huge players in the industry get behind it right from the get go. And the very best farmers in the space are at the very forefront of this all from day 0. The farm, very simple and reminiscent of the YAM interface, offers incredible APYs ( annualised returns ) and it’s a smashing success from get-go. Plug and play kind of simple, truly accessible to everyone. Total value locked (TVL) skyrockets. We go from ten to fifty to over 200 millions within hours. Clearly the Chef strikes a nerve here, it captures the imagination of the crypto community at large, every new outlet is talking about it. And it’s a very lucrative endeavour, on top of it all, if played right. What’s not to like?

“The chef is now elated and overwhelmed, this thing blew up beyond his (their? her?) wildest dreams. They acclaim him like a hero. But greed is strong. Or maybe it’s just all a little too much. The knife is getting heavy, the cuts are no longer neat. Not on par with a sushi chef mastery, the art of generations, the precision of a burning accolade for a whole movement. Either way, it’s over. He just can’t hold the knife anymore. Still covered in blood, his shiny new creation glistening on the omakase bar, he walks away”

So yes he had a 10% devshare. And also yes, he never said he wouldn’t dump on the community and walk away a fair amount richer. Except he did.

The community Cleary is feeling betrayed. Just another rug. Panic ensues. It’s over. Except it’s not.

The chef passes control of the project over to Sam, head of FTX exchange and quantum trading firm Alameda, early big miner of the project and boy genius of crypto. Very capable hands. Possibly the most capable. So the story lives on.

It feels like once again power is concentrated, the ronin walked away and put on a suit and tie made of dollars, and everything feels like it got institutionalised. Vampire liquidity attacks are a powerful concept. I don’t think this can possibly be the only iteration of it the space, we’ll see. Better incentives, better game theory, cleaner UX, stronger community support or a less murky origin story. Or quite simply, a better ROI. Whatever it is, this is the most quintessentially crypto saga of 2020. Bubble after bubble, fuelled by greed and unsustainable resources, while an actual revolution rises beneath the surface. A more democratic, open sourced one, where “this is just how you do things in the real world” that we had yelled at since kindergarten all of a sudden gets turned on its head. And something new and unimaginable before is now inches away. Let’s not fuck it up, ladies and gentleman. Let’s be better.

Don’t get me wrong people, I like to make money like everybody else. But I like to dream, even more. And even moret than that, I like to scream FUCK YOU and raise my middle finger as I drive into the sunset. Who gives a fuck if I’m driving one of your stupid plastic lambos anways ?

“Young apprentice chefs, heartbroken but fierce, all over the world, have learned their lesson watching the old master. Some will turn to the dark side, but some simply won’t. They’ll refuse, head held up high. They’ll sharpen knives through trial and error, and eventually cook up the most delicious meal, affordable, open to everyone. And they’ll simply offer it to the world. Satoshi was the original chef, unmatched, pure. More will follow. Vires in numerai. The cuts will be clean, precise, perfect, moved by passion and study and belief. They’ll moved by a dream, an idea that will change the world as we now it. It’s gonna be the meal of a lifetime. I promise”