‘Of course Kwon is welcome back,’ says Terra interim CEO

Could Do Kwon return to Terra? The new interim CEO seems more than open to it, no matter when that might be

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Artwork by Axel Rangel modified by Blockworks

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Terraform Labs’ new interim CEO is leaving the door open for the return of Do Kwon, but has a mammoth task ahead if he’s to revitalize the company behind failed stablecoin Terra (UST).

After UST depegged from the dollar — dragging swathes of the crypto industry down with it — the Terra community charted a fresh course without algorithmic stablecoins.

Terraform’s new CEO, Chris Amani, previously served as chief operating officer after joining in Jan. 2022, about four months before UST’s crash. According to LinkedIn, Amani has been in his new leadership role since April. 

“TFL’s mission is to execute Terra’s rebuild alongside [the community],” Amani said in a statement.

Before they imploded, Luna and UST were among the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap, together worth about $40 billion. Today, the original tokens are worth less than $700 million. The new version of the Luna cryptocurrency is valued at around $200 million. None have solidified gains over the past year.

Amani may well have been scrutinized as part of wider investigations into the Singapore-headquartered startup, but he was not individually charged with fraud.

Neither have the 15 other employees who chose to stay with the company, Blockworks understands. There’s now 40 employees overall.

Amani’s appointment follows co-founder Kwon’s March arrest in Montenegro for falsifying travel documents. Kwon faces separate charges of securities, wire and commodities fraud in the US.

Terra community wants to rebuild, with or without Kwon

The Terra community has diminished in size from what it once was, but remaining members still appear enthusiastic.

It’s surely an uphill battle. There’s only $6.1 million in total value locked inside the new Terra blockchain, per DeFiLlama, ranking it 68th alongside other networks. The original Terra chain had $20 billion TVL just before UST collapsed.

Some ongoing Terra projects include NFT marketplace Necropolis, Eris Protocol, which offers various DeFi products including liquid staking derivatives, and Enterprise Protocol, which aims to make DAO creation and management easy. 

An upcoming tool named Feather, said to be Kwon’s brainchild, aims to streamline blockchain creation, enabling developers to deploy a customized network in minutes. The name reflects its aspiration to make launching a blockchain as light as a feather.

During a Thursday Twitter Spaces, Amani acknowledged Terraform’s shortcomings in communication regarding its latest moves.

He said that whenever Terraform attempted to make progress, they faced accusations that derailed their efforts. But Amani expressed confidence in the vision they now have moving forward.

“We have seven to eight different projects in some phase of development or ideation,” he said, mentioning that more details would be shared in the coming months. The company says it’s actively seeking ecosystem partners with whom to collaborate.

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Amani also acknowledged it will be hard for the Terra community to rebuild after the “long, strange journey since the depeg.”

“There’s not a ton of liquidity, all our DeFi apps are having to compete with risk-free rate of return that’s fairly compelling right now, and it’s going to be a challenge,” Amani said.

All developments will be focused on providing utility for Luna, so there are no plans for new tokens, according to the CEO.

After the Spaces, conversations on Terraform’s Discord channel showed a positive sentiment regarding the company’s plans.

Asked whether founder Kwon is welcome back to Terra, Amani said: “Of course he’s welcome back, that’s not even a question. It could be 10 years from now.”


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