Decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols constantly strive for quality and fairness, but many fall short due to their governance voting mechanisms.
In a tweet on April 19, the Binance Smart Chain-powered PancakeSwap decentralized exchange (DEX) stated that a governance proposal vote failed at the hands of one whale.
The proposal was for another yield farm for a token from ChainGuardians and the Polkadot social network token MIX. The PancakeSwap team acknowledged the untoward action and suggested different incentives for voting.
“We will speak with the team about re-proposing with different incentives. This shows the importance of making sure you vote each time. Don’t rely on others.”
Whale Stops New Farm Forming
The proposal to stake the DEX’s native CAKE tokens in order to earn pCGG and MIX tokens failed. This was due to the actions of a single address voting against it.
The whale address pledged over 94,500 votes using CAKE tokens. This made it the single largest voter claiming a majority of 65% against the proposal. Every other address in the election voted for the creation of the new liquidity farm. However, between them, they did not have enough to overpower the single whale.
This highlights the simple premise that DeFi protocols are not truly decentralized if huge token holders can manipulate governance proposals.
It may be a first for PancakeSwap, but not for the industry. The most notorious case of whale manipulation was Uniswap’s first governance vote. It was also dominated by whales to grant them more control over the protocol. At the time industry experts commented that Uniswap’s governance could become a detriment to DeFi.
In August 2020, Curve Finance carried out its first governance vote. During the process, Curve revealed that it took over the majority of the voting power.
In the same month, BeInCrypto reported that the majority of DeFi platforms are run more like corporations than democratic communities. There have also been concerns about the centralization of the Binance Smart Chain itself, but users have not been deterred.
CAKE Token Price Update
The native PancakeSwap token has shrugged off these issues with a 12.5% pump on the day. At the time of press, CAKE was trading at $24.50. CAKE has gained a whopping 148% over the past 30 days according to CoinGecko.
The BSC-powered DEX has surged in popularity in recent months as gas prices on Ethereum platforms have soared. DeFiLlama currently reports PancakeSwap TVL at $7.5 billion.