The food-related craze for yield farming is showing no sign of abating. So far this year, the crypto space has been treated to Yam, Shrimp, Spaghetti, Cream, and of course, the most-talked-about dish of recent weeks — Sushi. Next up on the menu is BurgerSwap, the latest decentralized exchange that aims to improve upon Uniswap with a different incentive model and community governance.
It’s essentially a clone of SushiSwap, with some variations and one significant difference. BurgerSwap is the first of its kind to be developed on the EVM-compatible Binance Smart Chain. Binance launched its BSC on Aug. 31.
Only 10 days later, BurgerSwap published its first post on Medium announcing the launch, including confirmation that all tokens on BurgerSwap would have Binance Coin (BNB) pairs, which would provide a fresh use case for yield farmers holding BNB. Shortly after the BurgerSwap launch announcement, BNB’s price shot up over 33% to reach new yearly highs.
The BurgerSwap token is currently ranking high along with Binance’s BUSD stablecoin in terms of transaction volumes on the BSC. Thus, of course, this seems like great news for Binance, particularly given that the company is currently making a sizable push into decentralized finance. But as recent events surrounding SushiSwap and its pseudonymous founder, Chef Nomi, have confirmed, those cooking in the DeFi kitchen have to be able to take the heat.
As things stand, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao seems to be simultaneously plugging the project while holding it at arm’s length. It could be a sensible strategy because if BurgerSwap ends up following a similar path to SushiSwap, it could mean that the BNB token, or even the Binance brand itself, may end up getting burned.
A similar recipe to SushiSwap?
Even after all the ups and down in DeFi involving projects like Yam Protocol and Yearn.finance, the SushiSwap saga has proved to be particularly gripping. Created as a fork of Uniswap, the SushiSwap founders also adapted the code introducing the SUSHI token for all the yield farmers.
Even before SushiSwap launched its platform, the project was using Uniswap’s liquidity pools to allow users to mine SUSHI, causing the price to spike. Then, as the price of Ether (ETH) suddenly dropped in early September, Chef Nomi made a seemingly fatal decision to sell tokens from the developer fund. Cutting a long story short, Chef Nomi first left the project and then returned the funds while issuing an apology.
Amid all this fishy furor, and even though Binance wasn’t directly involved in the SushiSwap saga, CZ found himself in the position of having to defend the fact that Binance had listed SUSHI tokens despite the risks involved.
An anonymous burger king
It seems fair that CZ can distance Binance from any risk responsibility when only a token listing is in question. However, BurgerSwap appears to have many closer ties to the Binance ecosystem, even despite the cloud of anonymity surrounding the project.
BurgerSwap’s Medium account is authored by someone going by the pseudonym “Burger King.” Two days after the initial launch announcement on Sept. 10, the account published a blog post titled “Who is the Burger King?” The post states very little, including that BurgerSwap is not an anonymous project, and “we just have been busy buidling.”
It goes on to explain that BurgerSwap is an implementation of an Ethereum Improvement Proposal, called ERC-2917, name-dropping proposal co-authors Tony Carson, Mehmet Sabir Kiraz and Süleyman Kardaş. However, the Burger King stops short of stating that any of them are directly involved. The post even goes as far as referring to the ERC-2917 researchers as “they” while referring to the BurgerSwap team as “we.”
Nevertheless, CZ appears to have made the assumption that the post confirms that Carson, Kiraz and Kardaş are behind the project. Albeit, he uses somewhat obfuscatory language in a tweet: “Full disclosure, now I know. I…