Polygon co-founder Jaynti Kanani has announced his departure from the project—becoming the third of the 10 Polygon co-founders to abandon ship this year. His exit comes at a time when headwinds ranging from regulatory scrutiny to slowing demand have battered the crypto market.
Kanani took to social media platform X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday and revealed that he’d departed from Polygon, a proof-of-stake blockchain network, almost six months ago in quest for “new adventures”. While the developer has “decided to step-back from the day-to-day grind,” he is sanguine about Polygon’s future and remains “bullish on Polygon 2.0.”
With the announcement of his exit from Polygon, Kanani has joined the long list of executives that have departed from prominent crypto projects in the last 12 months. Back-to-back executive departures is a not a good omen for the crypto industry.
Sam Trabucco, former CEO of Alameda Research, announced his departure in August 2022—three months before the implosion of crypto exchange FTX. In September, former Kraken CEO Jesse Powell stepped down after his “anti-woke” sentiments courted controversy. Earlier this year, Kraken was slapped with a $30 million fine by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Last week, Matteo Liebowitz, Uniswap Labs venture lead, quit the project—allegedly owing to the troubles caused by the investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Furthermore, amid a crackdown by the SEC, Binance and Binance US execs have been leaving in droves.
Trouble brewing at Polygon Labs?
Kanani is the not the first Polygon executive to depart the project this year. In March, co-founder Anurag Arjun announced his exit, saying he will be shifting his focus to a modular blockchain spinoff model known as Avail. Almost three months later, Ryan Wyatt, president of Polygon Labs, also left the project.
While the back-to-back departures of founders alone might not be sufficient to gauge the health of Polygon, there are other signs that show the company is neck-deep in worries. Polygon Labs’ governance token, MATIC, has nosedived from $2.96 to just $0.56 since last December. Moreover, the SEC considers MATIC as unregistered securities.
No doubt, the double whammy of token depreciation and multiple executives’ departure has raised some concerns about the health of Polygon Labs. The timing couldn’t be worse as the company is planning to enter its next phase, Polygon 2.0. The upgrade will mark Polygon’s pivot from its MATIC token into POL.
However, not all hope is lost for Polygon. Just days ago, Metacade, the world’s first community-led gaming platform, announced a breakthrough collaboration with Polygon Labs. Last month, Google Cloud joined the Polygon proof-of-stake (PoS) network as a validator, joining over 100 other validators on Polygon’s Layer 2 Ethereum network.