Uniswap temperature check spurs feverish backroom maneuvering among crypto VC heavyweights

Quick Take

  • A behind-the-scenes fight among deep-pocketed investors could swing the vote on which cross-chain bridge will be used for Uniswap’s next act.
  • As of now, Wormhole appears to be the choice, but it’s not final.

A community "temperature check" vote to see which cross-chain bridge would be utilized for decentralized exchange Uniswap's third iteration swung decidedly in favor of Wormhole. But there's a catch.

Today's outcome isn't technically final. An official vote to approve Wormhole as a bridge between Ethereum and the BNB chain is yet to come.

But a behind-the-scenes fight among deep-pocketed crypto investors could potentially swing the outcome in a different direction, three sources tell The Block — with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.

The fight involves venture capital firms a16z and Jump, which back LayerZero and Wormhole, respectively. A source with knowledge of the process told The Block that a16z, which has 15 million voting tokens, could not participate in the temperature check due to the custodial set-up of its tokens.

Eddy Lazzarin, an investing partner at a16z, appeared to confirm the issues in a forum post, saying that the firm was unable to participate in the temperature check.

"To be totally unambiguous, we at a16z would have voted 15m tokens toward LayerZero if we were technically able to. And we will be able in future Snapshot votes," Lazzarin wrote. "So, for the purposes of a 'temperature check,' please count us this way."

The Uniswap Foundation, another source said, hasn't said whether it will honor that written commitment to LayerZero. According to today's official tally, Wormhole won the vote by approximately 11 million token votes. 

'Truly abhorrent'

Wormhole proponents are hopeful that a16z will vote in line with the temperature vote, with one person close to the project telling The Block, "if a16z goes against community vote and tries to tank it, I'd be shocked. That would be truly abhorrent, and I don't think they would go that far."

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