Jump Trading’s digital asset unit, Jump Crypto, appears to be scaling back after a handful of the company’s specialists fled to start building a separate blockchain project.
Former company employees including Mike Cahill, Jayant Krishnamurthy and Ciaran Cronin have now co-founded Douro Labs, where they and six other former members of Jump’s crypto team are helping develop the Pyth network. As Cahill told Bloomberg in an interview:
“The main goal with starting Douro Labs was that at this stage of Pyth Network’s development, we feel like there’s room for a full-time development firm to focus on some of the scaling problems.”
Pyth Network is a blockchain-based Oracle data service that provides price info related to crypto, equity, and FX across multiple blockchains. This data helps smart contracts on these networks run DeFi applications that depend on up-to-date price information, like peer-to-peer lending services.
Many of its data contributors are big names in traditional finance, such as Cboe Global Markets, Hudson River Trading, Virtu Financial, and Jump.
According to Cahill, Jump Crypto will continue to support Pyth, as the in-house team now with Douro Labs did during its time at the company. Pyth network’s website states that the firm would provide pricing data to Pyth’s oracle in return for a share of fees from the network.
Pyth’s governance is currently fairly centralized, under control by the Pyth Data Association, which was founded by the network’s users. This stands in stark contrast to other crypto networks and protocols that distribute governance tokens to users so they can vote on improvement proposals, creating some level of distributed governance.
“If you decentralize too soon, then you are going to have some challenges,” said Cahill, adding that early projects governed by tokens tend to run into regulatory issues. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued dozens of enforcement actions against crypto startups that conducted ICOs without registering with the agency.
Nevertheless, Douro Labs’ next plans include updating the network to include token governance. Together with the network’s 85 data providers and 200 applications, he remains optimistic about its prospects.
“That encourages me to think about a scenario where Pyth governance would be a robust, lively place with a mission,” he said.
Earlier reports suggested that Jump Trading was withdrawing from the crypto market due to regulatory issues. However, Calhill suggested that he and his colleagues simply saw a strong opportunity to work on Pyth full-time.