Satoshi Nakamoto proved a pseudonymous founder doesn’t have to be a deal breaker. Blue Kirby, however, has reminded cryptocurrency investors that fake names can still be a red flag.
For those who didn’t spend last weekend on Crypto Twitter, Blue Kirby is the handle of a now-infamous figure in the decentralized finance (DeFi) community who appears to have absconded with some $1 million worth of ether (ETH).
As detailed in two worthwhile reads, DeFi community members allege Blue Kirby unfairly exercised influence over the Yearn.Finance ecosystem and then conducted a questionable initial coin offering (ICO) for a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace called “Off-Blue.”
While the above sentence may sound to normies like so much word salad, the Blue Kirby fiasco marks the latest in a series of cautionary tales from 2020’s “DeFi Summer.” The episode shows how – absent compensating factors – permissionless technology, pseudonymous identities and borderless marketplaces can make a combustible mix.
Without skin in the game, Blue Kirby had little incentive to act in community members’ best interest in the long term, crypto industry members said. And without a real name, they now have little recourse.
Out of the blue
According to Set Protocol’s Anthony Sassano, Blue Kirby created his online persona in the early summer months, riding on the back of Andre Cronje’s wildly successful robo-crypto hedge fund Yearn.
The pseudonymous token cheerleader quickly rose through the ranks of DeFi community members on Twitter as witnessed in community allocation of $7,000 per month for his tireless promotion of the YFI token.
Blue Kirby’s poor judgment came to light over time, beginning in late September with the botched release of Cronje’s Eminence, a new DeFi contract. Although Eminence had yet to be audited – as fits Cronje’s tagline: “I test in prod[uction]” – Blue Kirby encouraged users