Daniele Sestagalli Projects Tank Amid Wonderland Drama
It’s been a tough few days for the Frog Nation.
Wonderland Plummets on 0xSifu Saga
The Frog Nation is licking its wounds.
Wonderland Money, the Avalanche-based Olympus DAO fork created by Daniele Sestagalli, suffered a dramatic downturn Thursday when it was revealed that Sestagalli had enlisted a criminal to oversee the project’s treasury. Private messages shared by an on-chain analyst known as zachxbt revealed that Wonderland’s pseudonymous treasury manager 0xSifu was Michael Patryn, a convicted fraudster who co-founded QuadrigaCX exchange before it was shut down with $169 million in investors’ funds unaccounted for. Following the revelation, Sestagalli admitted that he had known of 0xSifu’s identity for a month.
Wonderland traded in the red as the news broke, briefly hitting an all-time low of $262. Following a short-lived recovery, it’s down again today, currently trading at $330. It’s almost 97% short of its record high. Wonderland is part of a class of so-called “DeFi 2.0” projects that aim to offer innovative ways to capture liquidity and offer yield for users. It uses a rebasing mechanism similar to the one popularized by Ampleforth and incentivizes users to stake tokens to generate yield. Notably, they can also use the tokens they earn as collateral to borrow a stablecoin called Magic Internet Money to further increase their yields. As there is high leverage within the system when more users deposit collateral, slight downward moves can cause violent liquidations. There was a liquidation cascade Monday that saw Sestagalli lose an eight-figure sum. Wonderland and other similar protocols have occasionally been branded as “Ponzi” schemes by critics as they rely on new users entering to prop up the incentives and often offer questionably high yields. Another similar protocol to Wonderland called Redacted Cartel is currently paying out 86,409% APY to users who stake its BTRFLY token.
Daniele Sestagalli Projects Turn Red
Besides Wonderland, Sestagalli’s two other projects, Abracadabra Money and Popsicle Finance, have also been hit hard over the last few days. Abracadabra, which mints the Magic Internet Money stablecoin via a token burning mechanism, is down to a market cap of $429.1 million after its SPELL token dropped 14.8%. Magic Internet Money is also trading below its peg at $0.98 due to a lack of sufficient collateral backing it. Popsicle, meanwhile, is down 7.7% today, continuing a months-long descent from its November all-time high of $66. It’s about 94% short of the peak at current prices.
Wonderland, Abracadabra, and Popsicle are three preferred projects of the “Frog Nation,” a community of crypto enthusiasts that gathered around Sestagalli soon after he rose to prominence late last year. Sestagalli led the Frog Nation on a campaign dubbed OccupyDeFi in what he described as an attempt to bring decentralization back to the DeFi space. Sestagalli took shots at centralized stablecoins like USDC, as well as protocols like Maker (the early Ethereum project relies on USDC to collateralize its DAI stablecoin).
While Sestagalli’s three projects have experienced major corrections, he appears set on making amends. A few hours ago, he published a Mirror post asking the community to proceed with a vote to decide Wonderland’s future. “I made a mistake, got blinded and I am sorry for that, Wonderland itself has achieved some big things and the aspect of an Investment DAO to me still is incredibly interesting,” he wrote with a suggestion to recruit professionals to manage the treasury. “It is now up to the community to decide.”
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this feature owned ETH, BTRFLY, and several other cryptocurrencies.