First Mover: SushiSwap’s Billion-Dollar ‘Rug Pull’ Is Thriller to Crypto Geeks

You’re reading First Mover, CoinDesk’s daily markets newsletter. Assembled by the CoinDesk Markets Team and edited by Bradley Keoun, First Mover starts your day with the most up-to-date sentiment around crypto markets, which of course never close, putting in context every wild swing in bitcoin and more. We follow the money so you don’t have to.

Price Point

Bitcoin was down early Tuesday, barely holding above the important psychological threshold of $10,000.

Prices for the cryptocurrency, up 40% year to date, have held above $10,000 for more than six weeks. The digital-asset firm Diginex wrote in a newsletter post that “prices will need to regain $10,550 to settle the nerves of traders.”

On Wall Street, U.S. stock futures were lower, pulled by tech shares as traders returned from a long holiday weekend. The dollar strengthened in foreign-exchange markets and Treasury bond yields fell, indicating a reduced risk appetite, though gold was off. The British pound slipped on speculation that a “no-deal” Brexit looms.

Market Moves

In a 2020 during which the fast-growing arena of decentralized finance, or DeFi, has produced a seemingly unending series of jaw-dropping, billion-dollar twists, the past few days’ saga of the market-making protocol SushiSwap is drawing comparisons to a thrilling caper flick.

The Bankless newsletter called it “the SushiSwap rug pull.” It was “one of “the most dramatic moments in DeFi this year,” according to The Defiant newsletter. Jay Hao, CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange OKEx, called it “one of those action-packed high-drama movies the likes of which crypto hasn’t witnessed in recent times.”

Of course, all this is from the perspective of crypto geekdom, and it’s really just the latest tech-gone-wild iteration of the reliable human themes of invention, fear, greed, mania and panic.

As reported Monday by CoinDesk’s Will Foxley, a pseudonymous developer who goes by “Chef Nomi” launched…

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