SUSHI Down 45%: What's Driving the Decline?

The price of SUSHI, the native token of SushiSwap, a decentralized exchange, is down 45% from February 2023, when prices peaked at $1.63, the highest level in six months.

SushiSwap Token Redesign

This contraction is despite the successful implementation of a proposal to redesign SUSHI’s tokenomics, making SUSHI, a governance token, more deflationary.

The proposal was first made in December 2022 by Chief Chef Jeremy Grey and was voted on and agreed on by the community early this year.

The proposal passed with a majority vote and will seek to reduce the SUSHI supply over the years. At the same time, it will increase the rewards for liquidity providers while encouraging users to stake SUSHI for longer.

Grey argued that this implementation would promote decentralization while making the protocol have “more equitable governance with sustainable economics.” Eventually, by redesigning SUSHI’s tokenomics, the goal will be to keep annual inflation between 1% to 3%.

The latest data from MoneyPrinter shows that SUSHI’s annual inflation stands at 1.23%, aligning with SushiSwap’s tokenomics redesign. If anything, this inflation rate is lower than Bitcoin, which has an annual issuance rate of 1.82%. SUSHI’s inflation is also lower than Cardano, which has an annual emission of 1.79%.

While analysts expect low inflation to support prices in the long haul, the performance of SUSHI in the first half of 2023 has been dismal. SUSHI is down 45% from 2023 highs and 99% from 2021 peaks when the token changed hands at around $22.

Blame The Winter, Hack, And Regulators

While the markets have recovered, some, including SUSHI, could still be reeling from the effects of the crypto winter.

Last year, Bitcoin, the largest coin by market cap, crashed by over 70% after peaking at over $69,000 in November 2021. The collapse of BTC dragged the altcoin market with it, forcing the more volatile assets even lower, adversely affecting SUSHI.

As an illustration, SUSHI is trending at 2022 lows at around $0.89, retesting a critical multi-month support level.

Prices are also capped as investor confidence took a hit following SushiSwap’s RouterProcessor2 contract exploit in early April 2023. Hackers ended up with $3.3 million. Although the flaw has since been patched, the reputational damage associated with the vulnerability dents investor confidence.

It remains to be seen how SushiSwap will navigate potential new regulations, particularly those from the United States. Some policymakers have taken a negative stance towards cryptocurrency, causing users in the country to hesitate to engage with DeFi protocols due to potential legal consequences.

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