Synthetix looks to turn off the SNX money printer once and for all

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The founder of decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol Synthetix, Kain Warwick, has submitted a proposal that would turn off very high yield returns for SNX stakers and cap the total Synthetix (SNX) supply at 300 million. 

The Synthetix protocol allows traders to issue synthetic versions of crypto native assets, traditional financial assets, and commodities on the Ethereum and Optimism networks.

In a Thursday Synthetix Improvement Proposal (SIP), Warwick explained that SNX reward inflation was initially intended to “bootstrap the network.” However, he believes it’s no longer necessary as they can generate sustainable fee yields from atomic swaps.

A big rise in fee revenue has been a result of DeFi protocols 1inch and Curve starting to use the Synthetix platform to conduct atomic swaps, bringing in more traffic to the protocol. In June, the protocol surpassed $1 million in daily fees, which was four times the amount Bitcoin was making. 

According to cryptofees, Synthetix is currently taking a seven-day average of $158,857 in fees, which is a little bit below Bitcoin’s seven-day average of $222,651.

Stakers receive all the sUSD stablecoin fees from users of the protocol. Currently, the annual percentage yield for stakers due to SNX rewards and sUSD fees is around 67%, but this is likely to fall closer to 15%-20% if it’s based entirely on “real yield” from sUSD fees alone.

In a Twitter post on Thursday, Warwick — also known as the “father of modern agriculture” for popularizing DeFi yield farming — revealed that he believed following informal discussions that æSIP-276: Turn off the money printer” had a “decent chance” of being passed. A formal presentation about the proposal is planned for next week.

If SIP-276 is passed by the Synthetix governance community, ten periodic installments of 675,000 SNX tokens will be added to the current total supply of 293 million tokens in order to reach the 300 million mark, before ending inflation indefinitely.

Twitter user Synthaman found the news to be particularly bullish, stating “#SNX is about to become rare commodity with inflation going to ZERO…” while others aren’t so sure what SIP-276 would mean for the protocol over the long term.

Related: Income generation on DeFi, explained

Analyst firm Delphi Digital tweeted that with Synthetix soon putting a stop to the issuance of SNX tokens, the protocol faced the challenge of maintaining its current user base and to “attract new users with organic revenue in a market where yield is abundant.”

It remains to be seen whether DeFi protocols like Synthetix can attract enough stakers by relying on fee revenue alone or how an end to SNX inflation may impact SNX token price, which is currently $3.04, up 10.5% over the last week.

Warwick also noted that a formal presentation on SIP-276 will take place next week, which will be introduced into Synthetix’s governance process if passed.