Nov 302020
 
List of YFI acquisitions from Yearn Finance

Yearn Finance has been on an acquisition spree. The list of YFI acquisitions continues to grow as more and more DeFi projects get acquired or run deep collaborations with the YFI ecosystem.

Before we dive into the list, note the meaning of the word “acquisition” is very differently used than a traditional corporate acquisition. Andre Cronje, the founder of Yearn, explains it as such. Acquisition here could mean any of merger, acquisition, partnership, or collaboration (albeit somewhat deeper collaboration than “crypto-collaborations” which are notoriously unreliable).

Let’s look at the list of YFI collaborations

  • Pickle: Pickle has been working on similar projects to yVault via pJars or pickle jars. Therefore, a merger of sorts here was not unsurprising. Pickle moved faster than Yearn but unfortunately already experienced a $20 million hack. The time was right for YFI to swoop in. Pickle developers will now focus on strategies within the Yearn ecosystem – basically, an acquisition of the dev team.
  • Cream: Even since the early days, Yearn has been focused on money markets, lending, and yield generating products via the y-tokens. Cream was a natural extension of that. Cream is more of a deep partnership or collaboration and Cream can become the go to protocol for lending for Yearn strategies. We’ll see how this plays with Aave, Compound, and Maker.
  • Cover: Similar to Cream, this is more of a deep partnership or collaboration. Insurance has been something the Yearn team has worked on in the past with yInsure. Cover just makes it more robust, scalable, and usable. Read the post here.
  • Akro: Akro, the “Greek DeFi” is similar to Pickle in that it is combining developer effort to building out the yield ecosystem. Akro contributes the frontend and users already using their system and contributes investment strategies to Yearn tailored to their userbase. You can read their announcement here.
  • Sushi: Announcement here

These are the list of YFI acquisitions, mergers, partnerships, and collaborations to date. Yearn has emerged from the DeFi bear market with guns blazing – time will tell if this translates into higher AUM, higher revenue, and higher YFI value, especially with the v2 vaults launching to the public in a few months.

Nov 202020
 

This is a guide on how to buy COVER token from Cover Protocol. Read on to find how you could also earn COVER via liquidity mining incentives.

What is COVER

Let us first look into what Cover Protocol is. In a nutshell, Cover Protocol is a way to hedge smart contract risk. In some ways, this is similar to Nexus Mutual.

However, the tokens on Cover resemble UMA futures tokens in some ways except their payout is not fixed but determined based on whether a smart contract breach occurred or not.

For example, you can buy the following token: COVER_YEARN_2021_02_28_DAI_0_CLAIM. As the name suggests, this token expires on 28th of February 2021. If there is an approved claim on YFI, i.e. if there is a breach in YFI smart contracts where you lose money, you can buy this token and protect your downside. This will expire at 0 if there is no claim and 1 DAI if there is a claim.

The CLAIM token is the “Coverage” token and NOCLAIM token is the “Underwriting” token.

Anyone can buy the CLAIM tokens, whether they have actual money in the smart contract or not. Of course, this generally raises the issue of people betting on a bug before exploiting it and making even more money, but that’s part and parcel of most insurance on DeFi.

How to Buy COVER

COVER is the token for Cover Protocol with a max cap of 160,000 COVER tokens. Most of these tokens (70%) are released via the liquidity mining program over a period of 12 months.

If you want to buy COVER token, there are a few places to go to:

Normally, it is a good idea to buy DeFi tokens like these on Uniswap. However, you should always do your research first. Currently, it is way better to buy COVER on Sushiswap than Uniswap. Why? Because COVER is advised by SBF (of FTX fame, but also Sushiswap) and thus they launched their liquidity mining program on Sushiswap instead of Uniswap. Therefore, Sushiswap has much better liquidity and lower slippage than Uniswap.

The experience of buying on Sushiswap via the link above should be very similar to Uniswap. Hopefully, aggregators like 1inch will add COVER soon, so there is no need to manually check for prices.

How to Earn COVER

COVER has a an ongoing liquidity mining program. Therefore, you can earn COVER from this program for the next 12 months instead of buying from the market.

To earn COVER, head over to the “Shield Mining” section of the Cover app. There, you’ll see the release schedule for how much COVER each bucket has and how much is already staked.

As you can see, there are many different pools, encouraging you to buy Coverage for various smart contracts and creating liquidity pools so price discovery can happen easily. In return, the team is compensating you via the COVER tokens for the risk you take on.

If you are an LP, be careful especially around the contract expiration days and make sure your LP tokens are safe and protected from the downside.

Nov 192020
 
SFI token from Saffron Finance

This is a guide on how to buy SFI from Saffron Finance, a DeFi token.

What is Saffron Finance?

Saffron Finance is a decentralized finance aka DeFi product which is built for investors with varying risk appetite. The product accomplishes this by creating various tranches of risk for investors. Different tranches have different risk from the same underlying pool of returns. The “higher quality” risk tranches get first priority for returns and cash flows but have a limited upside, whereas the “lower quality” risky tranches get last priority but with higher potential upside.

If this sounds similar to collateralized loan obligations or CLOs, infamous for their role in the 2008 financial crisis, then well that’s because this is. The product is, in fact, similar to Barn Bridge and BOND token. It seems like tranches of varying risks is the new hot thing in the DeFi world. It remains to be seen if there is enough investor demand for these products.

In the meantime, projects like Barn Bridge and Saffron Finance are relying on the good old liquidity mining programs to kickstart adoption. They hope organic adoption will follow. We are yet to see the story pan out, which makes sense. After all, these projects are barely a few months old.

If the broader DeFi movement takes off with investors, tranches and pooled risk is a reasonable bet. After all, different investors have different risk appetites and time horizons. Someone may simply be in stablecoins for a few weeks waiting to deploy capital and want a safe return for that time horizon. Others might want to gain an aggressive risk exposure with higher return potential.

Buy SFI token (or earn SFI)

In the meantime, you can earn SFI or simply buy SFI to gain exposure to this project. As of this writing, Saffron Finance has an active liquidity mining program. Currently, there are two pools – DAI and Uniswap liquidity pool. A third USDT pool is planned to be live soon.

SFI pools from Saffron Finance

If you do not want to participate in this program, you can simply buy SFI from Uniswap. This is the link to see the historic SFI liquidity information and here is the direct link to Uniswap to buy SFI.

The liquidity pool on Uniswap is an ETH liquidity pool. If you want to exchange a non-ETH token into SFI, say LINK or YFI or AAVE, then first convert your token to ETH on an aggregator like 1inch so you get the best trade execution, then come back to Uniswap to make the trade with your ETH.

If you’re coming from the non-ETH world, such as Bitcoin, convert your Bitcoin into ETH first via Binance or Coinbase or another traditional centralized exchange, withdraw your ETH to MetaMask or another wallet, and then trade on Uniswap as described above.

Nov 022020
 
how to buy bond token from barnbridge

This is a guide on how to buy BOND from BarnBridge. BOND token is a native governance token of the BarnBridge protocol. Before we dive into the BOND token itself, it is useful to look at BarnBridge first.

What is BarnBridge?

Broadly, BarnBridge is a DeFi protocol for tokenized risk. It is a way to create derivative products on Ethereum where the risk-return profile is broken into tranches, so that different investors can buy exposure to the same underlying asset class at different risk profiles.

Confused? In a nutshell, BarnBridge automates the process of collateralized debt obligations (CDO)s for DeFi protocols. The underlying tokens can be yield generating tokens based on other DeFi protocols, such as DAI in Compound, or even plain old tokens.

Changing Risk Profile

At the heart of the BarnBridge protocol is the idea of different tranches with different risk-return profiles. The senior tranche would get the first preference and therefore has the lowest risk and thus a lower return. The “equity” tranche takes on maximum risk but also provides higher returns.

The big bet is that DeFi is mature enough to start supporting these tranches. The different tranches will appeal to different types of investors.

For example, if you want to use BarnBridge for interest rates on Compound, you’ll divide the returns obtained into tranches. Let’s say the senior tranche gets 3% fixed interest and the junior tranche gets the rest (for simplicity sake – in practice there can be many tranches).

Interest Rate Example

In the example above, the first 3% return flows to the senior tranche, and the rest to the junior tranche. If 200 DAI was split equally between the tranches, and the actual interest rate turned out to be 8%, then the total interest earned would be 200 * 8% = 16 DAI. Of this, 3 DAI goes to the senior tranche due to fixed 3% return on 100 DAI. The remaining, 13 DAI, goes to the junior tranche, thus providing a return of 13%.

As you can see, the risk profiles and returns are as follows:

  • The senior tranche investor seeks safety of fixed yield. For this, they get 3% fixed. If the actual interest earned was 2%, they would still get their 3%. Thus they take on lower risk for more certainty of interest rate.
  • The junior tranche investor seeks higher risk. They are betting that the interest rates in this case will be higher than 3% and are willing to ‘leverage up’ this bet. If they just put money into the protocol, they would have earned 8% but now they earned 13%. Of course if the interest rate moves against them, e.g. 1%, then they lose money.

In addition to the interest rate, you can use any underlying token. For example, if the underlying were LINK, you can either partially hedge your exposure to LINK via senior tranche or leverage up your LINK position for a more bullish position.

Market Appetite

The big question is whether there is enough investor appetite for these tranches and whether the market is mature enough. There are already other ways to gain leveraged or hedged exposure, e.g. via options and other derivatives so investors have choices as well.

Finally, CDOs and CDO-like structures played a big part in the 2008 financial crisis. There is some irony to that, given DeFi wants to do better than the traditional financial system.

How to Buy BOND Token

Now that you understand BarnBridge, it is time to talk about BOND, the governance token. Before we proceed, know that a protocol like BarnBridge could be very promising but a token like BOND may not be able to retain value.

The BOND token has the highest liquidity on Uniswap via BOND/USDC pair. This is because this pair is used for the liquidity mining incentives currently in place. In fact, you can earn BOND via liquidity mining but be aware that you take on the risk of impermanent loss. Also, BOND liquidity mining incentive is strangely implemented by giving out weekly rewards which causes a sudden price dump when this is released.

With all these caveats, here are the steps to buy BOND token:

  • Step-1: Convert ETH (or other tokens) to USDC via 1inch to get the best execution rate via multiple DeFi exchanges (1inch automatically routes your order via the best path).
  • Step-2: Go to Uniswap for BOND/USDC pair and exchange your USDC for BOND.

And that’s it – you now have BOND in your Web3 or MetaMask wallet.

Oct 022020
 
how to buy CORE defi token from cvault finance

This is a guide on how to buy CORE token from Cvault finance.

Like with many other DeFi tokens in recent weeks, CORE is inspired by YFI especially the vaults feature. While YFI had the lead for a couple of months after launch, newer projects like Core and Pickle are nibbling at its heels. This is not surprising since the rewards are high – after all, YFI is close to a billion dollars in marketcap and even if a new project can get 1%-10% of that market, it is worth a try.

CORE has strategy contracts similar to YFI. These charge a 5% performance fee. This fee is used to auto buy the CORE token. There does not seem to be any withdrawal fee from these vaults.

CORE however goes beyond just a usual clone. It has a funky UI which has become the norm after Curve. More interestingly though, it is a deflationary token unlike YFI which is a fixed supply token. The number of CORE tokens is capped at 10,000 but that number will only go down over time.

How to Buy CORE

Currently the best way to buy CORE with ETH is on Uniswap. If you’re starting from a non-ETH token – say you want to diversity from YFI, make sure to first convert to ETH on an aggregator like 1inch so you get the best rate.

As you can see, CORE has healthy trading volume. Over the last 24 hours, the trading volume of CORE on Uniswap is over $70 million. This is pretty impressive by itself. This is almost 3 times as high as YFI in the same time frame.

CORE trading volume on Uniswap

How to Farm CORE

Currently you can also farm CORE with the CORE-WETH Uniswap LP token. Once you have acquired this token, you can go to cvault.finance and stake this token under Wallet > Farm.

Before you farm for CORE, be aware that this is unlike other LP tokens that you may have used to farm. In the team’s own words,

Note that once added, liquidity tokens can not be removed from the CORE Uniswap LP pools. This is by design

Therefore, don’t farm CORE without doing your due diligence and research first.

Sep 182020
 
how to buy pickle from pickle finance

This guide will help you buy PICKLE from pickle finance and understand the value of the PICKLE token in the DeFi ecosystem.

While the ‘food farming’ craze continues unabated, projects like pickle finance bring more to the table than just a useless token. PICKLE is an interesting project that combines elements of YFI and elements of traditional yield farming like SUSHI to create a real financial product for users, all the while accruing value to PICKLE token holders.

The original concept of Pickle was simple, interesting, and valuable to the entire space: Incentivize bringing stablecoins to their $1 peg. They do this by providing higher rewards to lower priced pairs, and lower rewards to higher priced pairs. For example, if DAI is currently trading at $1.02 but USDC is trading at $1.00 then the rewards for DAI/ETH will be lower than the rewards for USDC/ETH liquidity pairs.

How to Farm PICKLE

There are currently 5 pairs with which you can farm PICKLE. The first one is the PICKLE/ETH Uniswap LP pair, and the other 4 are ETH/USDT/SUSD/USDC/DAI Uniswap ETH pairs respectively.

The PICKLE holders seem to prefer a low terminal inflation in order to keep yield farming going for a long time. However, they also keep inflation in check with reducing rewards over time. The idea seems to be that if you were in one of those Uniswap pools anyway, might as well stake them on Pickle to get some PICKLE tokens. This may not prove to be true with the launch of UNI from Uniswap.

Still, even the PICKLE/ETH Uniswap pair provides good PICKLE returns if you were bullish on PICKLE. However, do be aware that this is an extremely risky pool due to high risk of impermanent loss.

How to Buy PICKLE

In order to buy PICKLE token, you are better off using decentralized exchanges since the larger centralized exchanges haven’t listed it yet. Currently, due to the incentives, Uniswap has the best liquidity. On that link, click on ‘Trade’ to buy PICKLE with ETH, or ‘Add Liquidity’ to add liquidity to this pool and get your Uniswap V2 LP tokens. Make sure you are staking these tokens back into pickle finance for that juicy APY.

As a matter of best practice, we always suggest using 1inch to check the prices first. This is because 1inch aggregates prices from all over the DEX space and gives you the best pricing. For example, a 0x relayer might have better pricing for one of the legs of the trade. 1inch is also more flexible in finding the best price for the exchange of any one token into PICKLE, so for example you can start with YFV and end with PICKLE.

PICKLE Jars

Pickle finance recently announced Pickle Jars, modeled after YFI’s y-vaults. Here, you deposit LP assets like DAI/ETH into the jar (vault). There are automated strategies that use this LP token to farm other tokens, convert these farmed tokens into the underlying (DAI/ETH in this case) token, and distribute to users of the jar (vault).

The first strategy they will implement is farming CRV and UNI and selling it for the underlying LP tokens. There are also leveraged stablecoin strategies in the future, given the original premise of Pickle finance.

This is an interesting product development because it provides value to PICKLE holders immediately, similar to how YFI accrues value. It remains to be seen how much AUM pJars can attract.

You can read the original pJar announcement to learn more.

If you want to learn more, make sure to join the pickle discord.

Always double check PICKLE token address.

Sep 162020
 
buy UNI uniswap's governance token

This is a guide on how to buy UNI token – the “governance” token of Uniswap. The long-awaited moment has finally arrived. After months of speculation about when Uniswap would release a token, especially after the ‘vampire attack’ of Sushiswap last month, it was only a matter of time. Now it is official – Uniswap has a native governance token, UNI.

UNI has one of the best distribution you could think of – it rewards all past users of Uniswap v1 and Uniswap v2, along with retroactively distributing UNI to liquidity providers. For all the distribution details, you should read their blog post on the same topic.

Update: UNI has caused gas to spike to unprecedented levels. If you are looking to get your transaction through, make sure to read how to set nonce manually in MetaMask and the right gas price estimation for transactions.

How to Farm UNI

Firstly, the team also announced a way to farm UNI tokens, so instead of buying UNI you could simply provide liquidity to a select few Uniswap pools and earn UNI.

As of now, for the first 1 month, there are only 4 pools where you can farm UNI. These liquidity mining UNI incentives are for the following pools:

  • ETH/USDT
  • ETH/USDC
  • ETH/DAI
  • ETH/WBTC

5,000,000 UNI will be allocated to each pool above, which comes out to 54 UNI per block per pool. If you want to farm UNI, hurry up and add liquidity to one of these pools, since the amount of liquidity and hence your share of UNI will only go down.

How to Buy UNI

As you might expect, UNI has the most liquidity on Uniswap among the decentralized exchanges (DEXes). This is the UNI-ETH pool to buy UNI with ETH or sell UNI for ETH.

As a general rule, if you are trading UNI, first head over to 1inch to check the prices for the token pair. This is especially true if you want to start from a different token than ETH, say LINK, MKR, BAT, REP, YFI, etc. but even for ETH. 1inch now has private market makers who may be able to give you better prices than Uniswap. If 1inch suggests 100% Uniswap, then head over directly to Uniswap to trade. Otherwise, execute the trade on 1inch.

Also, Binance has already listed UNI. Given the gas prices on Ethereum and the expected increase in gas prices with UNI trades going on in full swing, Binance might just be the more economical option.

In case you’re looking to buy UNI with fiat, you can first get some ETH on Coinbase and then follow the steps above.

Update: Not to be left behind, Coinbase Pro has announced they will start trading UNI as well. You can now simply go to Coinbase and buy UNI