Some of the most influential people in the cryptocurrency industry, including Changpeng Zhao “CZ,” have expressed their belief that Andreessen Horowitz’s cryptocurrency arm, a16z, is in charge of the decentralized exchange Uniswap.
This comes as reports make rounds that a16z has used its entire voting power to vote against a proposal to implement the most recent edition of Uniswap on the BNB Chain.
Why the a16z-Uniswap controversy
The vote, which accounted for 15 million UNI tokens, the most votes currently cast, is what has sparked the controversy in the crypto community.
According to statistics from Tally, this is the first time in Uniswap’s history that all 15 million UNI holdings have been utilized to vote.
While some Twitter users expressed disappointment in a16z’s actions, others argued that a16z had used their voting rights in accordance with their investment in the project, which aligns with Uniswap’s decentralized governance criteria.
The final vote, which will determine whether Wormhole or LayerZero will be the supporting bridge between Ethereum and the BNB Chain for Uniswap, has yet to be held.
The outcome of the vote may be influenced by hedge funds such as a16z and Jump, who are backers of LayerZero and Wormhole, respectively.
Eddy Lazzazin, an investor at a16z, confirmed that the company was unable to participate in the Temperature Check stage of the verification procedure due to the current custodial setup of its tokens.
Despite this, Lazzazin stated that a16z would be able to vote in future Snapshot elections. The Uniswap Foundation has not yet announced its support for LayerZero.
Wormhole currently holds an estimated 11 million votes and anticipates a16z’s support for the Temperature Check results. However, if a16z goes against community principles and tries to sway the results, Wormhole would be shocked. Jump has not yet commented on the situation.
The debate over the cross-chain bridges is not just about security, as these bridges have been targeted in several attacks in the past, including the $325 million attack on Wormhole last year.
The fact that two massive venture capital firms will vote in favor of their own portfolio companies also plays a significant role.
While Wormhole proponents were hoping to avoid this scenario, it remains to be seen whether a16z will go against the community vote and attempt to alter the results.
Regardless of the outcome, this recent vote on Uniswap’s governance has sparked discussions and debates in the crypto community.
The vote’s impact on the industry
Uniswap is the most active decentralized exchange (DEX) in the whole cryptocurrency industry, and the decisions it makes carry a significant amount of weight throughout the sector.
The race for protocols that would permit Uniswap’s deployment onto BNB Chain is growing more heated due to the fact that the power and influence at stake might determine the ultimate outcome of a project.
A significant number of people on social media have voiced their disapproval of the optics being played out in the bridge bids.
It would seem that the choice about the bridge is devolving into a fight behind the scenes between venture capitalists and special interest groups.
The objections center on how the bids demonstrate the potentially detrimental role that special interest groups may play in the expansion of DeFi, and how this role is shown through the bids.