After the collapse of the $60 billion Terra empire, crypto fugitive Do Kwon is plotting a comeback. The frustrated CEO of Terraform Labs, whose UST stablecoin collapsed last year, is working on some new products and hiring new employees to fill out his engineering department.
Zion Schum, director of communications at Terraform Labs, confirmed to DL News that despite being wanted by South Korea and Interpol, the CEO remains “actively involved in the day-to-day operations of the company.”
His involvement touches “all aspects of the strategic direction of all Terraform Labs development products,” Schum said.
Even if cryptocurrency is an industry rife with second chances, the attempt by this already unpopular man to turn around is a bit bold.
Terra’s collapse contributed to the bankruptcy of hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, as well as crypto lenders Celsius and Voyager. Terra quickly restarted its project shortly after the UST debacle. The new blockchain uses the same name but ditches the failed stablecoin — raising suspicions that Do Kwon could cause another market crash.
While Do Kwon’s whereabouts remain unknown, South Korean prosecutors say he has fled to Serbia. Zion Schum declined to provide a location for Do Kwon, and he could not be reached for comment.
To get the new chain up and running, the company is opening up more than a dozen job openings, including full-stack engineers and contract developers.
Terraform Labs has posted several such job openings following Terra’s demise last May. At least one developer has since joined the company, according to LinkedIn; a TFL spokesperson said the company now has about 40 to 50 employees.
To get the new chain up and running, the company is opening up more than a dozen job openings, including full-stack engineers and contract developers. Terraform Labs has posted several such job openings following Terra’s demise last May. At least one developer has since joined the company, according to LinkedIn; a TFL spokesperson said the company now has about 40 to 50 employees.
Earlier this month, Do Kwon personally discussed the responsibilities of his vacancy with an interested candidate. The candidate told DL News that it was an opportunity to work with “the most talented people in DeFi.” A spokesman for TFL declined to comment on Do Kwon’s involvement in the recruitment.
Terraform Labs’ Big Vision
Do Kwon’s allegations aside, Terraform Labs’ grand vision is to rebuild Terra as a multi-chain “Layer 1” protocol. The company is working on several projects to try to expand the network.
In January, Terraform Labs launched a cross-chain wallet called Station. So far, the wallet has gained support for about 24 Cosmos blockchains.
TFL’s new wallet looks a lot like the one it made for the old Terra network, with added support for other Cosmos chains. A TFL spokesperson stated that it plans to expand Station to an EVM compatible chain in the near future.
Last November, Terraform Labs said it was developing an economic module called Alliance. After a blockchain is registered with the Alliance, its token holders can stake their tokens on another chain. Holders can obtain additional benefits in this way, while ensuring the security of the two networks.
Participating protocols can choose which chains in the Alliance to accept tokens through governance voting. Eligible tokens include native tokens and complex derivatives.
Other networks have tools that provide similar services, such as Osmosis’ Superfluid Staking. However, unlike Superfluid Staking, Alliance does not require stakers to become liquidity providers, thus exempting them from so-called impermanent losses.
TFL’s claimed innovation is that the Alliance automates this process and provides economic incentives to distribute the rewards across blockchains. Schum, director of communications at Terraform Labs, said the ability to transact revenue has the potential to “attract users, liquidity, and talent from other ecosystems.”
The company plans to start rolling out Alliance next month. So far, 5 projects have indicated that they will implement Alliance at launch.
Do Kwon’s third protocol, Feather, makes launching new blockchains simple. These new blockchains are powered by Terra’s on-chain validators who have opted into Feather, and come with tools like blockchain explorers and cross-chain wallets.
Following a spate of announcements this month, Terra’s token LUNA surged from $1.29 to a high of $2.50 before retreating to $2.31, according to CoinMarketCap data.
Some of the gains can be explained by the rise in the price of bitcoin, which rose from $16,669 to $23,282 over the same period.
But even after the announcement, Terra users are still very few. A dashboard on Flipside Crypto shows only 12,868 users.