The founder of Yearn Finance says he “does not work for speculators”.

Andre Cronje’s statement: “I test in real situations” is not as bad as it seems.

The founder of Yearn Finance, Andre Cronje, has received a lot of criticism lately when he implemented some smart contracts that ended up losing users’ money. Cronje defended himself in a blog post and explained why he believes he should not be held responsible for those who “mimic” his test contracts.

Cronje often places large disclaimers urging people to treat them with caution and not just go in because he developed it. Little can be done to prevent this, given the unlicensed nature of these products. However, Cronje was sometimes criticised for not implementing contracts in test networks, where no real money could be lost. His adage of “I test in real situations” also alienates some people, as it seems to imply a careless attitude towards safety.

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Cronje explained that he actually tests the software in multiple stages. “The statement] exists to discourage people from using systems without research. It doesn’t mean I don’t test them,” he wrote.

Before a contract reaches the main network, it goes through a rigorous process of unit, interaction and composite testing. These ensure that each part of the contract works as intended, down to the individual functions.

However, a key part of that process is production testing to achieve the most realistic conditions. He explained that the main network provides the best possible tools and conditions, which cannot be easily replicated locally. “I discovered problems on the main network that I never encountered locally, I could not replicate the systems on the main network locally and I found errors locally that I could not replicate on the main network,” he explained.

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In addition, there are many versions of existing products such as Yearn Finance that were implemented in the main network without being discovered. “There are more than 22 ‘yearnings’ in ETH’s main network. There are more than 5 ‘YFI’ in ETH’s main network”, he added. In a conversation with Cointelegraph, Cronje said the reason his main projects were never hacked was: “Ironically, because I try in a real situation. With this approach, he says he can iterate on the real problems that arise, rather than relying on auditors to review the pre-production code. “And if people wait until I launch the product, everything will be fine,” he added.

One case of people getting burned on Cronje’s smart contracts involved one such test environment, which was still at least a few weeks away from its public launch.

In addressing these issues, Cronje said, “I don’t develop for speculators. While he said he could not rationally understand the people who rushed into his test environments, he seems to have admitted that a more pragmatic approach may be needed. “I have more to think about here,” he concluded.

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In the meantime, he pledged not to use his known deployment address for further testing. Given the number of previous contracts that were not discovered, this may be sufficient to prevent further unfortunate events.

The publication follows another instance of people losing money on one of their contracts, an unnamed project often referred to by its token symbol, LBI. The contract was implemented on the main network on October 13 and immediately sparked a flood of people who put their money into it, and many called it “the new YFI”.

It was not the new YFI. Source: ChartEx
The price of the token fell immediately afterwards, with many stories of people losing small fortunes because of it. Many market participants came in for a barrage of criticism against Cronje, blaming him for the loss. It is worth noting that this price drop was not the result of any kind of malfunctioning, as the contracts themselves were not compromised.

15. October 2020