Founder of SushiSwap DeFi protocol cashes out

In brief:

  • Chef Nomi swapped his SUSHI holdings for $10 million worth of ETH.
  • The SushiSwap creator claims it was not an exit scam.
  • Instead, he compared himself to Litecoin creator Charlie Lee, who sold off all his LTC holdings in 2017.

Chef Nomi, the mysterious founder of SushiSwap—the latest decentralized finance protocol to flourish above the thriving canopy of this summer’s DeFi craze—has cashed out.

Over the weekend, the self-described “head chef” withdrew approximately 2.5 million SUSHI tokens from the decentralized exchange in exchange for 18,000 ETH—worth about $10 million.  

The move, recorded on Etherscan, comes just after the creator of SushiSwap, a fork of the popular Uniswap exchange, was hit with mounting criticism that he controlled nearly half of the coins in the system.

In somewhat of a prophecy, a Twitter poster going by the name of Sasa pointed out on Tuesday that Chef Nomi had $27 million worth of SUSHI “ready to be dumped on the SUSHI/ETH pool.”  

Since Chef Nomi withdrew the liquidity for the token—in other words, reduced the amount of SUSHI available to trade for ETH on SushiSwap—the price of a SUSHI has more than halved in the past 24 hours, from about $5 to $2.35.

It’s the latest blow to SUSHI’s ailing price this week. The price of SUSHI peaked on Tuesday at $10.81, but has been falling ever since, along with the rest of the crypto market. 

In a Twitter thread this morning, Chef Nomi explained that he liquidated all his SUSHI because he cares about the community and wants to hand things over to other developers. In return, all he’s gotten is “blaming and FUDing,” he said.

“I wrote the migration code. I did all the audits. I coordinated the largest LP pools ever. I created a large community. I sprung up 100s of LP scam projects. All in 1 week.” 

Despite criticism to the contrary, Chef Nomi, who has yet to reveal his true identity or whereabouts, claims the move was not an exit scam. “I am still here,” he wrote.

Instead, he compared himself to Litecoin Founder Charlie Lee, who famously sold off all of his LTC holdings in late 2017, at the height of the crypto bubble.

Said Chef Nomi: “@SatoshiLite did that and Litecoin had no problem surviving.”

(Updated to reflect that Charlie Lee sold off all his LTC in late 2017, not 2018)