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Introduction to yield farming

Yield farming 101: Discover the features, potential, and risks of this innovative investment strategy

Introduction to yield farming
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Yield farming is a method to generate more crypto with your crypto holdings. The process involves you lending your digital assets to others by means of the power of computer programs known as smart contracts.

Cryptocurrency holders have the option of leaving their assets idle in a wallet or binding them into a smart contract to assist with liquidity. Yield farming allows you to benefit and gain rewards from your cryptocurrency without spending any more of it. Sounds quite easy, right?

Well, hold on because it isn't that straightforward and we are just getting started. 

Yield farmers employ highly advanced tactics in order to improve returns.

They constantly move their cryptocurrencies among a variety of lending markets in order to optimize their returns. After a quick Google search, you would wonder why there isn't more content surrounding strategies and why these yield farmers are so tight-lipped about the greatest yield farming procedures.

Well, the answer is quite simple: the more people are informed about a strategy, the less effective it becomes. Yield farming is the lawless territory of Decentralized Finance (DeFi), where farmers compete for the opportunity to grow the highest-yield crops. 

As of November 2021, there is $269 billion in crypto assets locked in DeFi, gaining an impressive almost 27% in value compared to the previous month of October.

The DeFi yield farming rise shows that the excitement in the crypto market has extended far beyond community- and culture-based meme tokens and planted itself in the centre of the hype. What exactly does it take to be a yield farmer?

What kinds of yields can you anticipate? Where do you start If you're considering becoming a yield farmer?  Here, we'll guide you through everything you need to know.

What is Yield Farming? 

Also referred to as liquidity farming, yield farming is a method for generating profits using your cryptocurrency holdings instead of leaving them idle in an account on a crypto website. In a nutshell, it involves bidding cryptocurrency assets into platforms that offer lending and borrowing services and earning a reward for it.

Yield farming is similar to bank loans or bonds in that you must pay back the money with interest when the loan is due. Yield farming works the same way, but this time, the banks are replaced in this scenario by crypto holders like yourself in a decentralized environment. Yield farming is a form of cryptocurrency investment in which "idle cryptocurrencies" that would have otherwise been held on an exchange or hot wallet are utilized to provide liquidity in DeFi protocols in exchange for a return. 

Yield farming is not possible without liquidity pools or liquidity farming. But, what is a liquidity pool? It's basically a smart contract that contains funds. Liquidity pools are working with users called liquidity providers (LP) that add funds to liquidity pools. Find more information about liquidity pools, liquidity providers, and the automated market maker model below.

How Does Yield Farming Work?

Liquidity pools (smart contracts filled with cash) are used by yield farming platforms to offer trustless methods for crypto investors to make passive revenue by loaning out their funds or crypto using smart contracts.

Similar to how people create bonds to pay off a house and then pay the bank interest for the loan, users can tap into a decentralized loan pool to pay for the bonds.

Yield farming is a type of investment that involves the use of a liquidity provider and a liquidity pool in order to run a DeFi market. 

  • A liquidity provider is a person or company who puts money into a smart contract.
  • The liquidity pool is a smart contract filled with cash. 

Liquidity providers (LPs), also known as market makers, are in charge of staking funds in liquidity pools enabling sellers and purchasers to transact conveniently by executing a buyer-seller agreement utilizing smart contracts. LPs earn a reward for providing liquidity to the pool. Yield farming is based on liquidity providers and liquidity pools, which are the foundations of yield farming. These work by staking or lending crypto assets on DeFi protocols to earn incentives, interest or additional cryptocurrency. It's similar to how venture capital firms invest in high-yield equities, which is the practice of investing in equities that offer better long term results. 

Yield farmers will frequently shuffle their money between diverse protocols in search of high yields. For this reason, DeFi platforms may also use other economic incentives to entice more capital onto their platform as higher liquidity tends to attract more liquidity. The method of distribution of the rewards will be determined by the specific implementation of the protocol. By yield farming law, the liquidity providers get compensated for the amount of liquidity they contribute to the pool.

How Are Yield Farming Returns Calculated?

Estimated yield returns are calculated on an annualized model. This estimates the returns that you could expect throughout a year. The primary difference between them is that annual percentage rates (APR) don't consider compound interest, while annual percentage yield (APY) does. Compounding is the process of reinvesting current profits to achieve greater results (i.e. returns).  Most calculation models are simply estimates. It is difficult to accurately calculate returns on yield farming because it is a dynamic market and the rewards can fluctuate rapidly leading to a drop in profitability. The market is quite volatile and risky for both borrowers and lenders.

Before Getting Started, Understand The Risks Of Yield Farming

Despite the obvious potential benefits, yield farming has its challenges. Yield farming isn't easy. The most successful yield farming techniques are quite complex, recommended only to advanced users or experts who have done their research.

Here are the different risks: 

Smart contract

Smart contracts are computerized agreements that automatically implement the terms of the agreement between parties and predefined rules. Smart contracts remove intermediaries, are less expensive to operate and are a safer way to conduct transactions. However, they are vulnerable to attack vectors and bugs in the code.

Liquidation risks 

DeFi platforms, like traditional finance platforms, use customer deposits to create liquidity in their markets. However, if the collateral's value falls below the loan's price, you would be liquidated. Collateral is subject to volatility, and debt positions are vulnerable to under-collateralization in market fluctuations.

If you borrow XX collateralized by YY a rise in the value of XX would force the loan to be liquidated since the collateral YY value would be inferior to the value of the XX loan.

DeFi Rug Pulls

In most cases, rug pulls are obvious exit scams that are intended to entice investors with a well-manufactured promising project in order to attract investors. 

A crypto rug pull happens when developers create a token paired with a valuable cryptocurrency. When funds flow into the project and the price rises, developers then seize as much liquidity they can get their hands on resulting in losses for the investors left in. 

Impermanent loss

Impermanent loss happens when a liquidity provider deposits their crypto into a liquidity pool and the price changes within a few days. The amount of money lost as a result of that change is what is called an impermanent loss. This situation is counter-intuitive yet crucial for liquidity providers to comprehend.

Exercise Caution When Getting Into Yield Farming

If you have no prior knowledge of the cryptocurrency world, entering into the yield farming production may be a hazardous endeavour. You might lose everything you've put into the project. Yield farming is a fast-paced and volatile industry. If you want to venture into yield farming, make sure you don't put more money in than you can afford, there's a reason why the United Kingdom has recently implemented serious crypto regulations.

What The Future Holds For Yield Farming

We hope that after reading this article you will have a much deeper understanding of yield farming and that it answered some of your burning questions.

In summary, yield farming uses investors' funds to create liquidity in the market in exchange for returns. It has significant potential for growth, but it's not without its faults.

What else might the decentralized financial revolution have in store for us? It's difficult to anticipate what future applications may emerge based on these present components. However, trustless liquidity protocols and other DeFi technologies are driving finance, cryptoeconomics, and computer science forward.

Certainly, DeFi money markets have the ability to contribute to the development of a more open and inclusive financial system that is accessible to everyone with an Internet connection. 

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