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What is Curve (CRV)?

Get to know Curve (CRV), the decentralized exchange (DEX) designed for stablecoins and learn how it's disrupting the DeFi landscape.

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The Curve protocol and Curve DAO token form another innovative project to come from the DeFi movement and one that provides a particularly unique and well-designed concept. Improving on functionalities that DeFi platforms like Uniswap and Sushiswap have otherwise neglected, Curve focuses on providing a viable alternative solution to traditional financial platforms in the blockchain industry.  

The Curve Finance platform, launched in January 2020, later released a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) alongside the Curve DAO token eight months later. CRV functions as the in-house token of the platform.  

What Is Curve DAO (CRV)?

The Curve platform, formally known as Curve Finance, provides traders with a decentralized exchange on which to swap digital assets. Curve aims to provide minimum price slippage between two tradable crypto assets by focusing on stablecoins or assets of similar value. Through an automated market maker (AMM) and focused smart contracts, the decentralized exchange is able to manage liquidity.  

While the platform can be compared to Uniswap, in reality, it has some key differences and a much higher amount of locked liquidity. The platform and its liquidity providers are more focused on stablecoins and other coins of that nature. CRV tokens fuel the network and are a tradable asset for crypto users.

The Curve DAO provides more decentralized governance to Curve's trading platform. The Curve protocol has grown into a well-respected financial asset within the DeFi ecosystem with its strong DeFi protocol.

Who created the Curve protocol?

The Curve platform was created by a Russian scientist with ample experience in the crypto industry. Michael Egorov both founded the platform and acts as its CEO. He previously co-founded a crypto business focused on building privacy-orientated protocols and infrastructure, NuCypher, in 2015, as well as LoanCoin, a decentralized bank and loans network.

As of August 2020, Egorov holds 71% of the governance tokens after locking up a large amount of CRV tokens in response to’s increasing voting power in the Curve network. In a statement made later, Egorov admitted to “overreacting”.  

How does Curve work?

Launched prior to Uniswap V2, Curve Finance operates similarly to the DeFi platform but has implemented some key differences. The decentralized exchange differentiates itself from the original AMM platform by innovating the liquidity pool trading structure and relevant smart contracts.

The Curve DAO trading platform is managed by a mathematical function called a bonding curve, which is designed to let cryptocurrencies trade for the best possible price amongst each other. Bonding curves are also used by other DeFi trading platforms, like Uniswap.

Due to the Curve DAO platform being primarily focused on stablecoins, its bonding curve is specifically focused on these pegged digital currencies and is able to trade a larger amount of stablecoins with less change in their relative prices in a liquidity pool.

Lending Pools

In order for the Curve DAO platform to operate, it requires a group of users who are willing to lock up their cryptocurrencies in order for them to be traded by others. The platform provides a return on their coins plus a portion of the fees from trades when incentivizing liquidity providers.

The platform manages the coins in the liquidity pools by making them more expensive or cheaper, based on their fluctuating amounts, thereby making them more attractive to buyers and sellers using the platform.

On Uniswap, liquidity pools are based strictly on predetermined trading pairs while on Curve DAO the liquidity pools comprise multiple assets. On Curve DAO, entire liquidity pools can also be used as an asset inside another liquidity pool.

How does a trader use the liquidity pools?

Once a trader adds liquidity to a specific pool, through stablecoins or other digital assets, the user will receive a token specific to that pool. 3pool is an example of one of the most popular liquidity pools on the Curve platform.  

While the platform is known to provide trading for stablecoins, it also supports mirrored assets such as renBTC and wBTC. These assets are both built on the Ethereum blockchain and track the price of Bitcoin in a typical derivatives fashion. Since the prices are close in value they can function in the same pool and be traded using the Curve DEX.

What is the Curve DAO token (CRV)?

The CRV token is the utility token and governance token of the Curve DAO platform, providing users with governance rights, an incentive structure for fee payments, as well as providing long-term rewards to liquidity providers. CRV tokens are awarded to users based on their liquidity commitment and length of ownership.  

The Curve DAO token was launched alongside the Curve DAO in August 2020. The maximum supply is 3.03 billion CRV tokens, with 62% of that being distributed to liquidity providers. The rest is allocated between employees (3%), and shareholders (30%), and a small percentage is kept for community reserves (5%). Employee and shareholder allocations work off of a two-year vesting schedule.  

At the time of writing, over 531 million CRV tokens are in circulation, roughly 16% of the total supply.  The market cap at the time was around $365 million, positioning the Curve DAO token network in the top 20 biggest platforms in the DeFi ecosystem.

How can I buy Curve DAO tokens?

If you’d like to buy Curve DAO tokens to include in your crypto portfolio, you can do so through a cryptocurrency exchange. You will typically need to create an account and complete the purchase using either bank cards, EFT or other cryptocurrencies. Always ensure that you use a reputable and regulatory-compliant exchange.


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