Yield Farming Defi Insights for Beginners
Agricultural yield refers to the amount of food harvested. Likewise, followers of the DeFi movement have created the term “yield farming” to refer to a similarly exponential growth of interest on a foundational cryptocurrency stash. These yields come about when assets like USDT, USDC, and Dai are utilized on a DeFi platform such as Compound.
The introduction of a distribution system for the COMP governance token by Compound has further blown up the relatively new yield farming space, completely transformed the field of DeFi, and definitively made Compound the biggest DeFi project. The COMP token is now by far the most valuable DeFi token owing to the swift and massive migration of traders to the Compound platform for COMP “farming.”
Yield farming is this year’s most significant “discovery” in DeFi. It has caused several crypto enthusiasts to shift their focus to yield farming activities via DeFi projects like Sythetix, Balancer, and Curve. However, the ideas surrounding yield farming are not entirely new, but the sudden widespread realization and interest in them definitely is.
For better understanding, let’s delve deeper into some of the hottest yield farming tokens and trends.
The Compound platform is providing a four-year “liquidity mining” offer for liquidity providers. The aim is to reward all borrowers and suppliers of assets on the platform via a proportionate allotment of COMP within this period, with 2,880 tokens allocated daily. This new approach is drawing in a lot of traders who are transferring their crypto assets to the platform to yield-farm COMP allocations.
Furthermore, some other DeFi projects are also promoting COMP yield farming in various ways. For instance, InstaDApp, a smart wallet project, has added a “Maximize $COMP mining” widget to allow users to get in on the action with a few clicks. Basically, this is mining with an advantage. Traders can deposit or borrow assets to gain more COMP. These same actions can be performed manually, but a smart wallet like InstaDApp eases COMP yield farming, and it only takes a couple of clicks.
Instead of the 1:1 pools that Uniswap uses, Balancer, a newer automated-market maker (AMM), lets users create liquidity pools made up of several ERC20 tokens, which makes it more flexible. The designers of Balancer seek a completely decentralized governance that is also capable of doing some bootstrapping. Hence, the platform has just initiated its own liquidity mining campaign, with BAL as its governance token.
So far, 100 million BAL tokens have been minted, with up to 65 million allocated to reward liquidity providers. Currently, 145,000 BAL tokens are distributed to Balancer’s liquidity providers every week, which has attracted a lot of traders interested in yield-farming BAL rewards.
sUSD Liquidity Trial
In March this year, Sythetix commenced its own incentive program for traders of sUSD, the platform’s native stablecoin, via the iearn and Curve exchange protocols. It began with a four-week test campaign aimed at distributing 32,000 SNX tokens proportionately to liquidity providers staking their Curve LP tokens.
Users were to deposit sUSD along with another supported stablecoin like Dai, USDT, or USDC into iearn and, in turn, receive an allotment of Curve.fi sUSD/y.curve.fi tokens. They could then take their tokens to Mintr, the decentralized minting hub of the Sythetix platform, and stake them to qualify for the trial SNX awards.
The driving concept was that traders get a regular pool of APY as well as SNX incentives for supplying liquidity to the platform. It was a very appealing campaign for yield farmers to earn interests on their lodged assets and their liquid assets that they could sell instantly on any DEX and make profits.
The Curve-Ren-Synthetix Farming Meld
One other highly rewarding yield farming prospect owes to the recent partnership between Sythetix, Curve, and Ren, an interoperability project. It’s a rewarding BTC ERC20 liquidity pool set to run for ten weeks.
The exceptional set-up of the system allows users that provide WBTC, sBTC, and renBTC liquidity to the pool to earn SNX, REN, CRV (the upcoming Curve reward token), and BAL. That is nothing short of paradise to a yield farmer.
Is it really possible? Yes. Firstly, the combined teams of Ren and Sythetix have designed a Balancer pool made up of REN and SNX tokens. The pool is to generate both BAL from the liquidity mining campaign of the Balancer platform and liquidity provider rewards in BPT form, which is basically a wrap combo of REN and SNX.
Promoted as being adequate for both yield farmers and traders, Futureswap is a decentralized futures exchange where users also get rewarded for providing liquidity. Although the project is yet to be officially launched, a three-day Alpha test ran at the start of the year.
In just three days of running, owing to the remarkably high demand for the platform, the Futureswap team had to shut down the test for caution’s sake. Nonetheless, those who experienced the exchange attested to its great potential. The team’s analysis reported that the high volume during the Alpha test “translated into the outperforming of holding equal value amounts of ETH/DAI for liquidity providers of over 550% annually.” Now, here’s a margin that will be sure to get a yield farmer at the edge of their seat.
The realization of yield farming has transformed the DeFi arena in such a short time, and its exciting prospects will be sure to keep drawing crypto traders in for a long time. However, as with all other forms of trading and mining, there are risks involved. Yield farming comes with both smart contract risks and liquidation risks, and so you should never farm using funds that you’re afraid to lose. Curiosity is welcome, but recklessness isn’t. The yield farming movement is here to stay, and so there should be no rush.