Yearn.Finance is managing a leadership transition right now and appears to be doing so effectively.

Andre Cronje, the prolific coder and creator of Yearn, said he’s quit the project – and decentralized finance (DeFi) altogether – out of frustration with its realities. 

“I’m not building anything at all anymore,” he told CoinDesk over Telegram on Oct. 1. “I do it because I’m passionate, but if people are going to use my test environments, then lose money, and then hold me liable, it means there is 0 upside and only risk for me.”

Yearn.Finance is the leading robo-adviser for yield in DeFi and the progenitor of the “fair launch” concept that has proved so powerful this summer. However, when users piled into a smart contract he was building in late September that wasn’t ready, got hit by an exploit and then blamed Cronje, that proved too much for the developer.

This is a complicated piece of news for a reporter to share. Cronje told CoinDesk of his decision over Telegram on Oct. 1, but then asked us not to report it. This falls outside of the typical protocol for reporters and sources (“off the record” has to be stipulated up front), and yet we also appreciate that Cronje felt himself under enormous stress. Thus, we held off reporting.  

So we’ve sat on the news, in something of a dilemma, because we were struggling to balance respect for his wishes and the public interest in knowing whether a revered creator is still around. Word has begun to trickle out about Cronje’s move, however (including denials from others involved in Yearn), and the community has begun to sense his absence. It is no longer in the public interest to withhold this information.

While Yearn is clearly not directly comparable to Bitcoin, we think