Does it Smell Like Dead Fish?

It feels like a lifetime ago, but there was a time when Sushiswap was considered a legitimate threat to Uniswap and a potential DEX market leader. Unfortunately for them, after several dramatic episodes, there doesn’t seem to be a clear path forward — at least from the public view.

Sushiswap’s market share began flat-lining over a year ago, with a short-lived burst in March this year. Over the same period of time, Uniswap has increased its dominance and several other new AMMs have come into the foray as formidable competitors. And this leaves Sushiswap with nothing but some brand value they amassed a little under three years ago.

If we look at some of the top AMMs, they each have something going for them.

Uniswap continues to crush the volume game, dwarfing all other DEXs on this metric.

Curve has amassed a whopping amount of TVL thanks to its rigid focus on stablecoins until quite recently. Curve is not meant to be a high volume DEX, but rather a high liquidity DEX where users can find stablecoin liquidity in dire moments — something our team pointed out last year. The DEXs impact on the stablecoin market — which is arguably crypto’s most valuable product — makes it just as important as a high-volume DEX like Uniswap.

Balancer is also starting to find some growth and cementing its place in the ecosystem. At the very least, efforts to grow their share of the pie aren’t hopeless. Sushiswap, however, now has the least liquidity and least daily avg. volume.

Sushiswap has, for the most part, remained the same Uniswap v2 clone over the years. They’ve tried a number of things: horizontal expansion into other sectors of DeFi, deploying across the EVM stack, and even trying their hand at an NFT marketplace. The most hyped of these was Trident, a concentrated liquidity exchange aimed to rival Uniswap v3. Funny enough, a Trident is pretty much just a big fork. Less funny; it never launched.

The community forum doesn’t exactly spark confidence either. The most recent discussions are regarding a legal entity update, a proposed resolution for the Sake situation (an attempt to sell branded Sake bottles), a proposal to reimburse Kashi (Sushi’s isolated lending market) depositors, and some regular contract updates.

Nothing on the forum strikes me as particularly innovative or forward thinking. That said, Sushi does still have a large team. It’s not impossible that they have something up their sleeves to try and resurrect the DEX, but it has to be something stunning. Like, really stunning.

While their competition continues to push the limits of AMM design, Sushi has been embroiled in dramatic sagas. I guess it was somewhat inevitable when you consider how the whole thing was started. To conclude, someone on the ship needs to start pulling the rudders in a new direction if they want to stop the ship from sinking.



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