Jul 292020
how to buy YFII token

This is a guide on how to buy YFII token, a fork of the original YFI DeFi Token. If you are looking to buy YFI instead, check out this guide or our guide on how to buy DeFi tokens without KYC.

YFII is a fork of the original YFI project from Andre Cronje by a community within the original YFI community. The split occurred mostly over the proposal “YIP-8” in the original YFI community. The YFII community adopted this proposal whereas the original YFI community rejected it (it did not reach the required quorum). The proposal essentially continues yield farming rewards on a weekly halving schedule (10,000 YFII in week 1, 5,000 YFII in week 2 and so on)

So why care about YFII? In many ways, YFII has retained the original ethos of the YFI project namely there is no developer pre-mine (i.e. no YFII is allocated to the dev team – they need to farm or buy it like everyone else), there are no VCs or advisors or any other sort of entities that want to dump on the community.

The biggest contention about YFII in the original YFI community seems to be around not forking the holders of YFI, i.e. YFII is starting the community from scratch instead of starting from a point where holders of YFI also hold YFII. Depending on your point of view, this may be good or bad – good because the project can develop without the baggage of YFI holders and bad because the original YFI community has no stake in YFII.

Also, please do your own research into YFII and smart contract safety – several prominent “western” crypto companies like etherscan, metamask, and even Balancer have put phishing warnings against YFII – something the emergent YFII community (a lot in China) is vehemently opposed to. Balancer in fact completely removed the YFII pool from their frontend (without any input from BAL “governance token” holders), a controversial decision to say the least.

Update: After some Twitter wars and lots of back and forth, all of them have partially relented – for example Etherscan simply lists YFII as “high risk” and Balancer has brought back the YFII pool on the frontend with a warning instead of outright censorship.

How to Farm YFII

Before we discuss buying options for YFII, it would be better to mention the ways you can farm YFII (again, please do your own due diligence around smart contract safety).

As of this writing, there are two ways you can farm YFII:

  • Staking yCRV (yTokens in the Curve y pool) via the staking contract at yfii.finance (note that at the time of this writing, MetaMask still shows a phishing error and doesn’t even let you access the site).

If you don’t want to farm or limit your risk exposure to YFII via farming, you can of course just buy the token. There is a community-written guide that has more information on farming YFII.

How to Buy YFII

There are a few options available to buy YFII right now:

As of this writing, the Uniswap pool of YFII/ETH seems to have the best liquidity and pricing. So the best execution steps would be:

  • Go to 1inch and trade your tokens for ETH (optional – if you are trading a token into YFII)
  • Go to Uniswap YFII/ETH pool to trade your ETH for YFII.

1inch hasn’t integrated YFII natively yet. Once they do, you don’t need the second step at all and can just trade there for best execution.

Keep an eye out on YFII – the farming yield APY is over 1000% in the second pool right now, and trade volume is $1.5 Million on Uniswap YFII/ETH pool so far just in the last 24 hours.

Important Resources

Since there seems to be a lot of censorship going on, here are the major details about YFII (again – do you own research and due diligence)

Jul 252020
Understanding YFI token DeFi

This guide will help you understand what the YFI token from yearn.finance is, what the role of the token is, its economic and governance rights and future potential and an explanation of how yTokens work. If you are looking to buy YFI, please read our guide on how to buy YFI.

What is YFI Token?

YFI token is the governance and economic layer on top of the yearn protocol, which is a suite of smart contracts that track the best yields on underlying assets.

YFI token was released to the world in the fairest possible launch:

  • There was no pre-mine
  • No ICO – not a single token was sold by the team before launch
  • No VCs – the bane of a lot of crypto projects
  • No “advisors” to shill the token on Twitter and make money by dumping their bags on you
  • No developer allocation. Yes, really.

The most interesting thing? It is all built by a single developer, Andre Cronje!

If you want to buy YFI, you want to do this for two purposes:

  • Govern the protocol by setting parameters on everything from inflation rate to protocol fees.
  • Earn fees from “assets under management” based on how well the protocol does in providing returns.

Unlike other vaporware tokens like BAL from Balancer which are a promise of future governance and have a marketcap of $1 billion fully diluted with literally 0 economic utility (and currently 0 governance utility as well), YFI has both governance and economic utility since launch. As the assets under management for yTokens goes up, the value of YFI also goes up and holders can expect a real non-speculative return.

YFI has been steadily going up in price over the last week since launch. A passionate community has formed around it and is building tools from governance to returns trackers.

What are yTokens?

Let us also understand what yTokens are. yTokens are simply wrappers around existing tokens, currently stablecoins. Therefore ydAI is a wrapper around DAI, yUSDT is a wrapper around USDT, yUSDC is a wrapper around USDC, and yBUSDC is a wrapper around TUSDC.

But what does this wrapper do? Simply put, it takes the underlying asset, like DAI, and finds the best possible yield for that asset. So for example if Aave yields 8% on DAI and Compound yields 6%, then yDAI would move your DAI into Aave. yTokens are ‘yield optimized tokens’ based on the underlying.

Therefore, you don’t need to worry about trying to track aDAI vs. cDAI and where you can get the best returns. The yearn protocol automatically does this for you. Since it is currently managing a few hundred million dollars, it can move around large sums of money without gas being an issue either.

Things get more interesting with the yield farming and liquidity mining incentives, so that yTokens can actually be much more powerful than simply yield seeking instruments, but can combine yield maximizing based on yield farming. A lot more of this will become a reality in V2, slated to be released in a few days.

In a nutshell, yTokens are super-charged DeFi wrapper tokens that seek out the best yield for you. Therefore if you are new to DeFi or don’t want to spend every waking minute of your existence refreshing twenty web pages to track everything, just let yearn do its thing while you sit back and enjoy your yield.

What is yCRV

A quick detour into yCRV is warranted. This was the first pool where you could “mine” for YFI at launch. Essentially, it is a stablecoin pool (therefore well suited for Curve) on Curve where you can trade between different yTokens derived from USD stablecoins, i.e. yDAI, yUSDC, yUSDT, yTUSD.

You can think of the yCRV pool tokens as a basket of yield maximizing stablecoins, but in addition they also accrue liquidity provider fees on Curve! Pretty neat.

Jul 192020
Buy YFI token yield farming defi

This is a guide on how to buy YFI token from yearn.finance team. YFI is a really interesting DeFi token, which helps regular users utilize the full power of Decentralized Finance (DeFi) tools, including the now famous “yield farming”. This means you can simply own, for example yDAI, and get exposure to all yield farming opportunities from Compound to Balancer while also maximizing your yield in the process.

The YFI token is also interesting in that it is pretty much run and created by a single developer, Andre Cronje. This just shows how much impact a single developer can have on the entire ecosystem and create a protocol worth tens of millions of dollars on other money legos already built on Ethereum.

YFI is gaining momentum because it has proven to be a truly bottoms-up community driven project. There is no pre-mine or pre-sale or VCs or ‘thought leaders’ or other shenanigans. What is remarkable is that Andre, the developer, doesn’t even have any YFI reserved for his own work! That has attracted a lot of passionate community members to become stewards of the project.

After you’ve learned the basics, it is time to start learning how to buy YFI tokens. However, before that, let’s first learn about how to “farm” YFI tokens. Farming YFI tokens may be a better strategy than buying YFI tokens for some people. This is especially true for those who are ‘liquid’ in USD or DAI since most of the pools and farming opportunities for YFI are based on DAI and not ETH.

How to Farm YFI

There are three ways currently to farm YFI –

  • On Curve, with the “Y” tokens (original reward completed)
  • On Balancer, with the 2/98 YFI/DAI pool (original reward completed)
  • On Balancer with the YFI/yCRV pool (reward expires on July 26, 2020)

How to Buy YFI

There are several places you can currently buy YFI via Decentralized Exchanges without account creation/KYC etc.

Centralized exchanges where you can buy YFI are –

Balancer has a pool that is being used to farm YFI, so there seems to be higher liquidity there. If you want to buy large amounts of YFI, Balancer may be a better bet. The downside with Balancer is that the gas price is much higher than Uniswap, almost by a factor of 3x. Therefore for smaller amounts, Uniswap may give better returns including the gas fee.

However, in any case, always make sure to check on 1inch before you buy directly on Unswap or Balancer. This is because 1inch will tell you the best execution for the trade. For example, going from ETH to DAI and then to YFI may be more profitable than buying directly in the ETH/YFI pool or vice versa. Also, the site will include the gas prices in the calculation, so you don’t need to worry about the best execution at all.

Also, 1inch is really good with converting the crypto you have via the best possible execution via multiple decentralized exchanges. For example, here is an example of their ‘Pathfinder’ algorithm – something very hard to replicate manually.

Pathfinder on 1inch for best trade execution

We suggest using DeFi exchanges like Uniswap, Balancer, and Kyber instead of centralized exchanges since you can execute the trade directly from your Web3 wallet like Metamask or Ledger instead of going through account creation, KYC, withdraw limits, etc.

All of these can be accessed via MetaMask. If you have a decent sized crypto portfolio, make sure to use a hardware wallet like Trezor or Ledger, which you can easily connect via MetaMask.

Jul 132020
Trading Defi tokens

Here is a guide to buying “DeFi” tokens like $COMP, $BAL, $CRV, $REP, $AAVE, $KNC, $BNT, $LRC, etc. without having to go through KYC or time-consuming registration processes.

Decentralized Finance, or “DeFi” for short, has seen an emergence on Ethereum over the last few months. Many investors are now looking to get exposure to this area via DeFi tokens. Several tokens like COMP from Compound, a lending protocol, and BAL from Balancer, an automated market maker, currently trade at valuations of over $1 billion (fully diluted marketcap).

If you don’t care about KYC or prefer using a centralized exchange, go with the ones that are most trusted, like Coinbase. Coinbase actually lists a lot of these DeFi tokens like KNC, COMP, etc. In fact, Coinbase listed COMP even before Binance did!

You may of course be familiar with many “Decentralized Exchanges” or “DEXes” for short, like Uniswap, Kyber, Balancer, etc. However, we don’t recommend going through these to get the best price. This is because at any given time, there is price variation between them. Also, there are nuances, such as Uniswap V1 vs. Uniswap V2. Finally, there are exchanges that you may not know about or forget to check.

Instead, we recommend going through an aggregator because it can not only find you the best price but also the best way to route the order. If your order is large, it would get the best price when you use multiple exchanges and orderbooks in one transaction. In addition, aggregators are able to use exchanges like Bancor that may be restricted in your country (like the US).

Among all the aggregators we’ve reviewed, we recommend going through 1inch. The team is highly competent technically (they find smart contract bugs in other projects!) and they deliver at a high speed. They also build new amazing features like the Pathfinder which can compute order routing and paths that other aggregators can never find (such as multiple hops to get to your desired output currency)

Step-1: Go to 1inch exchange and connect your Web3 wallet like MetaMask. Here is what it looks like – specifically, take note of all the exchanges that they connect to.

Step-2: Enter the tokens you with to buy, and with what token. This is where 1inch shines. Here, I am trying out a test trade to sell 200 COMP for LEND. 1inch gives me 145,068 LEND for this trade whereas the best individual exchange, Uniswap, only gives 141,053 LEND.

Why this difference? You can see when you hover over the Pathfinder algorithm

As you can see, this is a fairly sophisticated order routing that would be quite hard if you were to manually try to do this.

Step-3: Just hit ‘Swap Now’ and you’ll be all set. You may need to ‘Unlock’ your tokens for trading, which is something you need to do for any DEX trading ERC20 tokens.

1inch actually gives you the option to unlock the exact amount of tokens or ‘infinite approval’. If you’re security minded or trade large volumes, take the first option because if you take the second option, you are taking on smart contract risk (the 1inch smart contract will have authorization to spend infinite COMP on your behalf in this case). Exchange like Uniswap only allow for infinite approvals, so 1inch is a step up for security. However, the downside is you need to approve tokens every time you trade. If you trade often, infinite approvals might just be the way to go.

This is how you get the best prices for DeFi tokens and trade these without worrying about KYC and your identity getting stolen in an exchange hack.

Jun 112020

You can set nonce in MetaMask but it is hidden by default. You may want to set your nonce because the gas prices are high and you want to unstuck your transaction. By setting your own nonce, you can try to override a pending transaction. You may not be able to do this via the MetaMask UI – for example if you imported your Ethereum wallet.

Before we begin, note that you need to double-check the nonce that you’re setting. If you set the nonce too low or too high, the transaction won’t get confirmed. This is definitely for advanced users of MetaMask and Ethereum, so do this with care. Read more about nonce on Stack Overflow.

Now that you’re ready, let’s get down to setting your own nonce in your MetaMask

Step-1: Go to your account on the top right corner of your MetaMask extension and click on Settings.

MetaMask Account Settings

Step-2: Under Settings, click on Advanced Settings. Then find the setting that says: “Customize transaction nonceTurn this on to change the nonce (transaction number) on confirmation screens. This is an advanced feature, use cautiously. Toggle this to “ON” state.

MetaMask Advanced Settings

Step-3: Now you can create a transaction as you normally would (e.g. if you want to send a 0 ETH transaction to yourself) and you’ll see a new field appear called “Set Custom Nonce“. This will show up in the confirmation screen when you try to send the transaction out.

MetaMask Set Custom Nonce

Here, we have manually set the custom nonce to 10000. Make sure you double check the nonce value!

When you hit confirm, MetaMask will broadcast your transaction with the custom nonce that you chose above.

Related: Learn how to speed up your MetaMask if it is slow

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Nov 022018

Slow Metamask Speed up Metamask

Are you experiencing a slow Metamask and looking to speed up Metamask while your browse the decentralized application (DApp) world? This guide will walk you through all the steps to get it up to speed.

Metamask has become a staple of the DApp ecosystem on Ethereum. It lets you interact with the Ethereum blockchain via a browser extension. This is really convenient as you don’t need to download Ethereum node, connect hardware wallets, or download other software. As a simple extension, it really is a browser’s gateway into Ethereum’s DApp world. Metamask is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Brave browsers.

But there is a big problem with Metamask – it gets really slow for power users. After a while, it seems to be taking longer and longer to load a transaction and send it to the network. When does it happen? It happens when you submit many transactions. This is especially the case for crypto-gamers that play games like CryptoKitties, Axie Infinity, Gods Unchained, etc. since they submit many transactions. For example, CryptoKitties players in aggregate birthed over a million cats so far, each birth recorded on the Ethereum blockchain! Those are large numbers.

If this describes you, here are the action items that you can take now to speed up Metamask. Hopefully this makes your crypto-gaming experience smoother.

1. Reset Metamask Account

The very first thing to do with a slow Metamask account is to remove the transaction history. As the number of your Metamask transactions increases, your Metamask becomes slower. I think most users have already noticed that. If you have many transactions, the first thing is to ‘remove’ all these transactions. Since all your previous transactions are already sent to the Ethereum blockchain, there is no need to keep a history in your local Metamask.

How to reset Metamask Account?

Here are the steps you need to follow to reset your Metamask account:

First, click on your Metamask plugin to open the app. Below is how it appears on Brave. It is similar in Chrome and Firefox as well.

When the app opens, click on the circle on the top right corner of the app to display a menu.

Metamask Settings Screen

From the menu, click on the Settings at the bottom.

Metamask Reset Account Screen

Scroll to the bottom of the Settings, and you’ll see an option for ‘Reset Account’. Click on this button.

Metamask Confirm Reset Account

Metamask will ask you for a confirmation, along with telling you what exactly this ‘Reset Account’ feature is. “Resetting your account will clear your transaction history.” Click on the RESET to confirm. This will remove your transaction history and make Metamask run much faster.

2. Change Ethereum Network, and Change it Back

After you’ve done the reset account, you can try this other trick for slow Metamask. You will need to switch the network that your Metamask connects to. Don’t worry – you’ll change it right back to the main Ethereum network.

First, open your Metamask in your browser as shown above, and click on the dropdown at the top of the app that says ‘Main Ethereum Network’.

Metamask Network

Now change this to another option, such as Ropsten Network. You’re telling your Metamask to connect to a Ropsten node now instead of the Mainnet Ethereum.

Metamask Ropsten Network

After this, switch back to the ‘Mainnet Ethereum’ option to connect back to the mainnet Ethereum network.

This step ‘resets’ your Metamask connection to the main Ethereum network. It helps with, for example, flushing your transactions. You may have noticed for example that sometimes Metamask doesn’t tell you that the transaction has been confirmed. This step will force Metamask to recompute the transactions and give you a notification for when your transaction has been broadcast. Some DApps like CryptoKitties also recommend this step for some errors on their application. This is a handy little trick to not only speedup your Metamask but also update its state.

3. Disable, then Re-enable Metamask

In your browser extension/add-on section of Options/Settings, disable and then re-enable Metamask. This will likely ask for your password again, so make sure that you have your Metamask password handy. This step is helpful to ‘reload’ the Metamask extension, and helps speed up Metamask by restarting it, thus getting rid of its current state and restarting.

Here’s how you would do it on Brave, as an example (similar steps for Chrome and Firefox)

Go to Settings (three horizontal lines on the top right of your Brave browser), and click on Preferences

Brave Preferences for Metamask

Then go to Extensions on the left side, where you’ll see Metamask installed.

Brave Extensions Metamask

Under the ‘enabled’ column, disable (just click to disable) and then re-enable Metamask.

Note that when you do this, you’ll be asked to enter your password again. Make sure you have that handy before trying this step.

4. Close and Re-Open Browser

Sometimes your browser can take up an ungodly amount of memory on your RAM. Chrome is especially notorious for this. In these situations, Metamask will slow down as well. The best solution is to close your browser and re-open it. Make sure your browser settings are set to re-open all your sites, so you don’t lose your tabs when you restart.

When you do this, you will be asked for your Metamask password again.

In general, freeing up some computer RAM will make your Metamask faster as well, so close any large programs that you may not be using, especially browsers running in the background.

5. Change Browsers

As a final step, Metamask is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Brave currently. Try switching your browsers to make it faster. You can also exclusively use one of the browsers for all your DApp needs, and use another for regular browsing.

Hope at the end of this, you’re able to solve your slow Metamask issue. If not, feel free to leave a comment and we’ll try to help.

Tip: 0x5109110A484D4E20e1e5f5E94dc9620d7DD0819E

Nov 292017

How to buy fractions of Ether
This is a guide to help you on how to buy fractions of Ether. Before starting, let’s get something straight – yes, you can buy fractions of Ether. Like other cryptocurrencies, Ethereum network’s native currency, Ether, is divisible. This is similar to how Bitcoin works, since you can also buy fractions of a Bitcoin. In fact, 1 Ether can be divided into 10^18 units, each unit called a Wei. Wei is the smallest fractional unit of Ether.

To write it out, 1 Wei = 0.000000000000000001 ETH. As you can see, there is ample scope to buy fractions of Ether!

As a quick refresher, the Ethereum network is created similar to Bitcoin, but has a Turing complete smart contract platform. This allows programmers to create decentralized applications that can be arbitrary complex. Bitcoin has a much more limited support for smart contracts. Ether is also fueling a lot of token sales, or ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings). To participate in many of these ICOs, you need to buy Ether first, to send to a smart contract.

Buy Fractions of Ether on Online Exchanges

Now that we know how Ether fractions work, it’s time to buy some. The simplest way to buy fractions of Ether is via online exchanges. You will need to connect your bank account, so you can purchase Ether directly with fiat (USD, GBP, etc.) Here are your options:

  • Coinbase: Coinbase is the simplest way to buy fractions of Ether. It is perhaps also the most trusted source of buying digital currencies and storing them. It’s a venture backed unicorn (valued over $1 billion). The San Francisco based company started in the US, but is fast expanding in many other countries as well. If Coinbase is available in your country and you’re new to crypto-assets, Coinbase is your best bet. The list of countries that Coinbase supports are: Singapore, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Canada, United States, . You can see the full list here.
  • Bithumb: This is a Korean exchange, which at the time of this writing, does the most Ether trading volume in the world! Part of the reason for high volume is there’s no fees, so the volumes get inflated. If you’re in Korea, you don’t have access to Coinbase, so Bithumb would be your best bet.
  • Buy ETH with BTC: If you have some Bitcoin already and want to convert that to Ether, then there are other options to follow, such as Bittrex, Poloniex, and Binance. This may be a good strategy even if you’re completely new to crypto-assets. In many places, it is easier to buy Bitcoin with local fiat money, and then convert into Ether, than buying Ether directly with local fiat.

Photo Credit: Flickr