Decentralised Monopoly



We can’t change the cards we are dealt, but we can change how we play the game.

Players who are skilled enough to roll the dice in their favour can rewrite the rulebook, while others take a chance card and hope they don’t get rekt.

Aggressive acquisition of market share is a controversial move in an industry which strives for decentralisation.

The industry is still small, it makes sense for teams with shared goals to merge rather than duplicate their workload.

However, at what point does conglomeration become excessive?

Pickle, CREAM, COVER, and now Akropolis. (and now Sushi)

Yearn is building an empire.

If your protocol gets rekt, first come to us for an interview, then go to Andre for your partnership deal.


When YFI was introduced, it was labelled as a token that would manage the “control mechanisms, configurable fees, maintenance controls, and modifiable rules” of Yearn.

In Cronje’s post Merger, Acquisition, Partnership, & Collaboration - Nomenclature in the decentralized space he proposes that the role of Governance token holders can be compared to that of an Ethereum Miner - they decide if the protocol upgrades.

As the recent mergers make no underlying changes to the YFI protocol, this implies governance token holders should have no say on any merger or acquisition.

This has left some YFI holders wondering about their job description.

Yearn Finance governance votes aren’t binding, which makes them more symbolic than intrinsic to the operation of the protocol.

Although unannounced partnerships and deals done behind closed doors don’t fit with the usual values of governance control or decentralisation, it’s likely that the majority of YFI holders care less about their seemingly diminished responsibilities than they care about “number go up”.

The Yearn developers are clearly smart enough to make their own decisions, and anyone who has spent so much time and effort building a product will have it’s best interests at heart.

However, do these interests conflict with those of the industry as a whole?

Other than unlikely altruistic deference, there’s little reason why Yearn won’t continue to buy up market share and provide more services to their users.

This could result in a powerful financial monopoly that is even more centralised than our current system, so it’s understandable that this acquisition spree could make others feel uneasy.

We always strive for decentralisation, yet this looks like the opposite, and we seem to be encouraging it.

However, we all know that a great deal of the current “decentralisation” and governance “control” is simply to avoid legal issues.

For now, if it works, then fine.

Yearn is empowering a new era of DeFi lego, creating something which could be more than just a protocol, Yearn could become an excellent resource that all DeFi projects can use and reuse, building upon solid foundations and keeping security at the highest level.

We are starting to learn that this new method of protocol control is best used with a dial and not a switch.

In reality, these are more “partnerships” than “mergers” and there’s probably little to be concerned about, but it does make it clear how much power Yearn possesses in such a small industry.

Most of the recent hacks came from Yearn v1 because people copied it. If Yearn aims to become a security standard, will v2 be more resilient?

Yearn gets forked > people make mistakes > forks get rekt, forks get acquired by Yearn > Yearn grows.

DeFi builders already worked together behind the scenes, we’ve seen proof of that with the recent whitehat rescue missions. It seems the only difference here is that the teamwork is publicised and rekt protocols are brought back to life through the reputation of Yearn.

Anyone who wishes to decentralise the production process of DeFi can do so without needing permission.

I often get asked, "are you hiring <role>", or "how can I help the project?", the honest answer is, I don't know. You know your talents and skills, just do what you think adds value.”

Images: @HatashiYamamoto


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