In a surprising turn of events, Clockwork, the Solana-based smart contract automation project, has declared a halt on its operations. Founded by Nick Garfield, Clockwork’s primary purpose was to facilitate users in scheduling transactions on the Solana network and creating automated smart contracts.
Garfield announced last week that the team would discontinue active protocol development. He justified the decision citing ‘simple opportunity cost’ and admitted minimal commercial advantages linked to its continued evolution. The team sees significant potential in exploring new prospects. However, the Clockwork code will still be accessible as open-source online, and Garfield himself encourages any interested parties to proceed with the protocol’s further development.
Clockwork had attracted substantial investments, raising $4 million in a seed round last August. Co-led by venture firms Multicoin Capital and Asymmetric, along with participation from Solana Ventures, this funding had signalled good faith in Clockwork’s potential.
When asked about the possibility of returning the seed money to investors, Garfield stated that a significant portion remained. However, he allowed that it would be a while before a final decision was reached on this.
Clockwork’s closure has sparked speculation about the future of Solana-based protocols, especially when factoring in the recent shuttering of other Solana protocols. Examples include the decentralized finance (DeFi) platform Friktion and its equivalent, Everlend Finance. Additionally, Cardinal, the nonfungible token (NFT) protocol, also wrapped up due to challenging economic conditions after raising approximately $4.4 million a year ago.
Whilst Clockwork’s closure might be seen as a setback in the crypto industry, it’s essential to observe these developments in a broader context. The crypto world is inherently volatile and as such, some projects succeed while others fall off. A single project’s closure doesn’t reflect on the potential and dynamic innovation capacity of blockchain technologies, their future possibilities, or the credibility of Solana and its other protocols.