Risk Manager Gauntlet Terminates Relationship with Aave, Citing DAO Dysfunction

Risk Manager Gauntlet Terminates Relationship with Aave, Citing DAO Dysfunction
Blockchain News
Like? Do Rank It! Likes

Blockchain risk management firm Gauntlet has broken off its four-year-long relationship with the decentralized lending platform Aave, citing difficulty working with the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that governs the protocol.

post in the Aave forums, Gauntlet co-founder John Morrow said it was terminating its relationship with the lender because his team "found it difficult to navigate the inconsistent guidelines and unwritten objectives" of Aave's "largest stakeholders."

Gauntlet is a key player in decentralized finance (DeFi), its risk management services used by several of the largest crypto protocols and DAOs. Gauntlet served as a "Risk Steward" for Aave, which involved overseeing the platform's risk levels, providing regular updates to the Aave community, and manually setting certain lending and borrowing parameters. Morrow said in his post that Gauntlet would begin "working with other contributors to find a replacement" Risk Steward so as not to leave the DAO high-and-dry.

Aave, which initially launched on Ethereum in 2017 and has since expanded to other ecosystems, is one of the largest decentralized lending platforms. The protocol has $11 billion locked in its system, which investors use to borrow and lend cryptocurrencies without middlemen.

Holders of the AAVE token are collectively referred to as the "Aave DAO" and are tasked with voting on key decisions governing the platform, such as setting interest rates and managing risk. The DAO offloads some of these responsibilities to professional partners like Gauntlet, which handle certain day-to-day operations on behalf of the DAO, actively engage with the DAO community and formulate governance proposals for key parameter changes.

Partners like Gauntlet are paid by the DAO's treasury, and contracts are proposed and approved via formal Aave DAO governance votes.

Gauntlet's decision to terminate its relationship with Aave was met with swift backlash from some members of the Aave community.

"[P]ersonally I’m disappointed about the trust that the Aave DAO put on Gauntlet being broken in the middle of the engagement," Ernesto Boado, Aave's former CTO, said in a forum post responding to Gauntlet's exit announcement. "I obviously respect the decision if other business considerations exist, but simply can’t agree that Aave mistreated Gauntlet."

Marc Zeller, a major figure in Aave's governance community who previously fought against renewing Gauntlet's service agreement with the protocol, suggested Gauntlet was "looking into external business opportunities" and called its stated rationale for leaving the protocol a "poor excuse." (Zeller's characterization of Gauntlet's motives was disputed in a reply from Nick Cannon, Gauntlet's vice president of growth).

Gauntlet did not immediately respond to CoinDesk's request for comment.

Edited by Bradley Keoun.