Inside The Chef’s Jacket with Keno-San: The Chef of All Trades

This post was originally published on SushiSwap


Jun 4 · 10 min read

What is your role at Sushi and what are some daily activities in addition to your role-specific duties?

I am a Core Developer at Sushi. So far, half the team shares that title with me, so I see the need for a bit more detail. I work mainly on the Solidity side of things, meaning that I work on the development of new smart contracts. My daily tasks include: Reviewing smart contracts, writing test cases for upcoming smart contracts, doing a bit of rule writing for formal verification, and in the past, I’ve worked on Bento Box and Kashi, MasterChef V2, and limit order V2, specifically.

How did you first hear about Sushi and how did you first get involved?

I feel like during DeFi summer all of the whirlwind excitement around Sushi was hard to miss. Though I have to say, the craziness of those days isn’t what got me into it. What I found exciting was that, during all of the Nomi drama, Sushi actually had people that kept building. Even though everything seemed so dark, people were still trying to innovate and create. After seeing this enthusiasm, getting into contact with these people, and confirming this enthusiasm, I became much more involved. Although I had only been contributing in small parts up until that point, I still received some grants for the work I had done. I just kept on making myself more available and involving myself in more projects, which led me to somehow get onto the core team and it just never stopped from there.

As one of the original core team members, can you spot Keno? Bonus points if you can guess what the lanterns say.

In a previous interview, Joseph (Sushi CTO) mentioned that Kashi was like a lot more of an endeavor than was previously expected, and he even went as far as to say that the project is as innovative as Uniswap was upon its release. Being a lead contributor to Kashi, could you elaborate on what he meant by that statement?

I think Kashi and BentoBox is interesting because it has been, as alluded to before, a very large scope of a project, offering large modularity with two parts: BentoBox being kind of like the Dapp hub and Kashi being risk isolated lending. I think that is as innovative as Uniswap was for the market at the time of its release. The idea that anyone can create lending possibilities if they can just find someone to provide liquidity for it, is truly quite an innovation, and that is the ultimate goal for Kashi: Allowing anyone to lend and allowing anyone to margin trade on whatever assets they want. In terms of scope, what made it larger is that we tried to really see how we can make it a system that can grow and can allow others to build on top of it and really leverage their creativity. Part of this growth phase entails strategies on the BentoBox side and the Kashi side and taking the idea to cook different actions into each other. To make it not too technical this simply means that you can combine different functions on different lending markets within one transaction, something which is quite unique to our platform.

If you haven’t yet, why not try triple-stacking your yields with Kashi today?!

As one of the lead developers of both BentoBox and Kashi, what was the biggest hurdle in the development of both of these products?

I think one large hurdle was really making sure we took the utmost responsibility in creating a secure product. To be honest, I think we did well in this regard, in terms of going through formal verification with Certora, something that was a first for Sushi. Even though that prolonged the timeline by quite a bit, it did make all the difference in adding to the product’s user confidence. Another task which took quite some time was figuring out how to build a UI around products like these. In such a complex system, it was quite a task to figure out how to make it possible for users to safely interact with and understand how they are interacting with it. In this symbiotic relationship between front end (UI) and Solidity work, it took some time to really get that going, right up until we were able to launch part of the product. That being said, there’s still many of Kashi’s moving pieces that have not been released, let alone revealed yet, especially on the front side.

Could you maybe tease one of those upcoming features for our audience?

Right now we only allow Chainlink oracles for price feeds. While that was great to start with, it does limit the options for possible lending markets. So what we’re trying to do now is enable time-weighted average price (TWAP) oracles, which originate from SushiSwap pairs, and allow for more asset inclusion, while still trying to retain the same user experience in the process. Similarly, we want to launch a hybrid oracle that allows using SLP tokens directly as collateral or as assets and think more on the UI and how it can allow for more complicated actions such as: Distributing assets across multiple lending markets in one transaction and automatic rebalancing and the like.

What is something surprising that users can take advantage of with either BentoBox or Kashi that you think the public doesn’t really know they can do?

Did you know Kashi has 1-click leverage? See for yourself ^ All these transactions, just one click!

Most people wouldn’t know this, but internally you have spearheaded the team’s education nights for less technical members to really understand how the Sushi products work behind the scenes. As a technical person, what do you think a non-technical person should take the time to read up on to help their overall understanding of DeFi in general?

Keno helped the team better understand the code behind BentoBox and Kashi that makes it so unique.

You mentioned that you were working on Limit Orders V2. How are helping bring limit order solutions to SushiSwap?

I think limit orders are just an instrument that traders are very used to on traditional exchanges, but aren’t as widespread yet in decentralized finance. And that is because to do a limit order in the traditional sense you do need another party to fill that limit order. How we do it, in the end, is we use meta transactions. The user uses a typed signature to sign an order and an aggregator filler, and then, in the best-case scenario, fills multiple orders of multiple people at the same time and can even optimize the terms of execution costs. If the limit has been reached, the orders can be filled and the filler can then make a profit from the difference in execution price to what the limit was. Furthermore, if you combine that with a reliable oracle, it can also allow for stop limit orders.

Do you think that we will see a lot more of these traditional trading tools on the Sushi platform?

I think we’re getting there. Particularly with the kind of vertical integrations we’re implementing, it is strengthening our ecosystem. For example, Kashi strengthens the Sushi subtext because it allows for more volume through margin trading. Similarly, limit orders and features such as advanced TradingView, and such, bring in other groups of users that, ultimately, bring about volume. I think it’s it’s super interesting to see how innovative everyone on the team is and in trying to create new possibilities in, not only Sushi, but DeFi itself.

Small callback to our previous interview with GoldenNaim, who spoke in depth about TradingView and its potential to really set SushiSwap apart from the competition.

Speaking of new possibilities, Sushi has its hands in a bunch of baskets. In your opinion, should we focus more or spread our wings even further?

I think we are focused in the sense that we are creating tools that allow us to move faster.

Deploying on other chains is, in the end, a repetitive task, and by doing it so often we actually were able to standardize it.

This means that when a new compatible chain pops up, it takes us a much shorter duration to deploy and adapt our front end than it would when we did our first deployment. Reacting and rethinking our strategies in response to the changing landscape, instead of just sticking to what has worked for us in the past, actually allows us to be better adapted for the future, because it gives us more preparation.

Out of all the different avenues that we’ve explored at Sushi this past year, which has been quite a lot, which do you think was the best move and why?

I think the best move was to listen continuously to our users. I think our real power doesn’t lie in one single product release, but in our individual community members, that do so much to make Sushi the success it is today.

Was there ever any feedback or suggestion from the community that you found really surprising?

I think it’s going to be hard to pick an individual one, but I definitely know that we got a lot of very valuable feedback in terms of front-end design and on the solidity side. Apart from only new ideas, getting sentiment is very important because it helps us to direct the next moves we make. Let’s also not forget that most of us came from that community and share the same origin. Although our community members can attest that I am quite present in the Discord, I, unfortunately, cannot think of a single thing that I found especially surprising now.

There is a “Volunteer-Here” section in the Discord if you ever want to try and get involved!

Going back to the previous topic of new verticals, in terms of MISO, what are some pros and cons for projects using ready-made smart contracts instead of making them in-house from scratch?

I mean, for one, it’s easier and less time-consuming, but I think the biggest advantage is that it really lowers the barrier to entry for many newcomers. If you can deploy tokens and auctions without having to have too much of a technical background through an easy UI, it’s a huge success, in my opinion. One disadvantage could be that you have less customization, but with MISO, the cool thing is that you can, at any point, also bring in something of your own. Templates are not set or restricted. Anything you want to do on your own and add-in, you just might not have price support for it immediately.

In case you want to learn more about cooking tokens from scratch!

Is there anything that people would find funny or surprising about working at Sushi?

I think the number of memes we use to communicate with each other is quite funny on its own. And even though we’ve known each other for ages it seems and know each other’s real names, we still refer to each other by nickname internally.

Keno is probably better to known to our Discord members as: Clearwood.

What do you do for fun outside of Sushi?

I really like to do anything in combination with water. I love swimming, sailing, diving, surfing, really anything! It’s just a shame that during the last year I didn’t get too much opportunity for that.

Finally, what’s your favorite sushi?


Yellowtail has two looks to it, as sushi. Which one looks tastier to you?

Keep on the lookout for more weekly Sushi core team interviews!

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