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SushiSwap Price Jumps 6%: Can New ‘Head Chef’ Revive Ailing SUSHI Fortunes?

2 mins
Updated by Geraint Price
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In Brief

  • Sushi DAO has elected Jared Grey as its new “head chef,” from among the top five after two weeks of debate.
  • Having struggled with issues of hierarchy, the DAO has enabled Grey with additional executive influence in his new role.
  • Once a top decentralized exchange, the total value of crypto passing through SushiSwap has dropped to $500 million from a $7 billion peak in November 2021.
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The decentralized autonomous organization behind the SushiSwap protocol has elected a new “head chef,” the equivalent of a chief executive.

Jared Grey, co-founder of several crypto startups, was selected by Sushi DAO from among the five candidates that made it to the final round, following two weeks of debate on the DAO’s Discord. 

According to Grey, his first priorities in his leadership role will be to focus on revenue and growing market share. “We have some great products coming out, but need to continue providing more efficient pricing and fee structure for our users and liquid providers,” Grey said.

In a tweet following his election, Grey commented on the challenges he faces in his new role, relating that “it’s no secret our industry is in flux, with increased scrutiny from regulators, bearish economic sentiment, and a strange post-COVID aura.” He had also remarked that SushiSwap had “been underserved a little bit by some past leadership.”

Too many cooks spoil the broth

The DAO behind the once top decentralized cryptocurrency exchange is placing additional confidence in their new leader, following a slew of failed leadership attempts over the past few months.

After being elected to the top position in Aug., Jonathan Howard said he would be unable to fill the role due to illness the following month. His $800,000-salary package paid out in stablecoin before his abdication had triggered a heated debate in the Sushi community.

Last year, upon his departure, Chief Technology Officer Joseph Delong had suggested that the organization required a “radical structural transformation.” According to SushiSwap core developer Sarang Parikh, recent leadership debates tried to account for this.

“Sushi had a flat hierarchy which caused some issues for us in the past, and conflict resolution was an issue,” Parikh said, which made it difficult for community members to coordinate and ultimately make a decision.

However, according to Parikh, the new head chef “would have a larger say,” regarding any internal deliberation.

DeFi poses fresh challenges 

Similar to other decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols, SushiSwap has struggled over the course of the past year. It saw the total value of cryptocurrency volume on its platform plummet from a peak of $7 billion in Nov. 2021, to a fraction of just $500 million, according to data from DefiLlama. 

Currently, SushiSwap is valued at $17 million, a drop from $50 million as recently as April, according to blockchain data firm Nansen. This value is primarily derived from the protocol’s Sushi token, which had since fallen more than 95% from its all-time high in March 2021. 

Also affected by the recent downturn, DeFi protocols Aave and Lido were forced to solicit funds from their own DAOs for the first time since their inception. According to data from crypto tracker Chainalysis, losses from cryptocurrency hacks soared nearly 60% in the first seven months of the year, due to a surge in stolen funds from DeFi protocols.

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Nicholas Pongratz
Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage.