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Launched in February 2020, Yearn.Finance is an aggregator service for decentralised finance markets. It serves DeFi investors by automating yield farming for maximum returns. The protocol aims to simplify the ever-expanding DeFi space for investors who lack the technical understanding needed to interact with various platforms in the space. So the project caters to the investor who lacks the know-how but wishes to interact with yield farming in a less committal manner than serious traders.
The protocol was previously known as iEarn and has seen tremendous growth over the past few months, thanks to the launch of various products and the release of the YFI token. Andre Cronje is the brain behind this protocol. What makes Yearn.Finance special is how it simplifies DeFi investment and activities such as yield farming for the broader investor sector. The platform makes use of various tools to act as an aggregator for DeFi protocols such as Compound, Curve, and Aave thereby bringing those that stake crypto the highest possible yield. Incredibly, new features continue to be rolled out, and these aim to help preserve the platform’s long-term value.
The protocol makes its money by charging withdrawal and gas subsidisation fees. The fees charged vary over time and can be changed by consensus among the community. All in all, this protocol targets investors who don’t have the time to study the increasingly complex DeFi phenomenon from scratch and those that wish to optimize their returns.
Yearn Finance got off to a rocky start. A rebranding and shifting developer control over to nine different people turned the project around. Like the plethora of other DeFi projects, Yearn Finance has its own governance token, YFI, but it comes with a little twist. The tokens are very scarce (36,666 in total) and were completely distributed to selected early investors.
This has propelled the token’s value and as of early August 2021, YFI has a price tag of more than $31,000
The rise of YFI has caught many people off guard. Before being rebranded to Yearn Finance, the platform was the subject of an exploit that had left many people disgruntled. At that time Cronje was single-handedly running the protocol. His decision to rebrand and hand over the development and control to nine people turned the platform around.
The low quantity of tokens, as well as services such as yield farming and lending aggregation, meant the token’s demand rose quickly and at one time, the price even surpassed that of Bitcoin.
Yearn Finance’s YFI token was released with practically no value. The token was distributed to Curve ypool and YFI Balancer pool investors who had deposited assets in the first week of the pool’s launch. (YFI swiftly rose to a peak around $4,500 on 25 July, before a market correction)
Yearn Finance started gaining more momentum and interest in the YFI token soared. The price per token overtook Bitcoin as YFI continued to rise. (YFI eventually hit about $39,000 on the last day of August)
YFI was listed on Coinbase, a major boost to the coin as it surged during the days beforehand. In the coming weeks, Bitcoin slowly gained momentum and altcoins also rallied, but eventually saw major corrections, with YFI shedding more than half of its value. (Yearn Finance token rose as high as $43,678.11 and afterwards fell to $21,383.77)
Yearn Finance seemed to run out of steam as the start of autumn continued the downtrend. Many blamed the bearish market sentiment on the large volume shorted by the CEO of Almeda Research. He had placed a net 200 YFI short at $16,400. (The YFI token nose-dived and after repeatedly struggling to break resistance at $15,000, dipped as low as $9,953.12)
Yearn Finance went on a merger spree, acquiring Pickle Finance, Cream and Cover. Bitcoin also struggled to rise, leading to an influx of interest in DeFi tokens for higher profit options. (YFI went as low as $7,716 in the first week, but confidence in the YFI token returned and it rose to $29,392 later in November)
Yearn Finance announced the launch of its next version. DeFi witnessed another boom and YFI followed suit. (Two attempts to reach the $40,000 mark failed, with a monthly close at a tad above the $30,000 line)
A weakness in Yearn Finance’s v1 Vault led to an exploit of $11 million in the DAI stablecoin. While the news led to a sharp decline in value, bullish sentiment returned soon and YFI broke through the $50,000 barrier two days before Valentine’s. (YFI reached an impressive $51,302. Later, a massive correction drove bearish sentiment and YFI price went below $30,000)
After months of relatively normal activity, YFI suddenly skyrocketed. V2, acquisitions, weakened competition and a sideways trading BTC were pointed out as the likely reasons that bulls took control. (An all-time high was achieved on 12 May, with YFI going as high as $90,786.89)
June and July 2021:
As YFI became overbought in May, the decentralised finance token saw a steady sell-off and price overall declined. (YFI began August trading at about $33,500).
Like many other DeFi tokens, Yearn Finance’s YFI coin is relatively new to the market. However, due to the innovative services the multi-protocol platform is providing (such as yield farming and lending), the token has shot into prominence very quickly and so has its price.
To have a better understanding of YFI’s performance, let’s compare it against a few other profitable ventures.
Compare Yearn Finance with the US dollar
The US dollar has a reputation worldwide as one of the most stable fiat currencies and provides buying power at the international level. Even then, it is ultimately a fiat currency and the whole system is designed to be inherently inflationary. The Federal Reserve acts as the only point of issuance and has total control over its supply, effectively printing as many bills as it sees fit. With COVID-19 wreaking economic havoc across the globe and the USA, the Coronavirus Relief Fund has seen trillions of dollars being created out of thin air to boost the United States’ economy. At the same time, the Federal Reserve has also lowered bank interest rates. This has led to the US dollar weakening and is one of the many reasons that people have taken an interest in DeFi as it can provide much larger profits.
On the other hand, YFI is scarce and there are only 36,666 tokens in existence. This very small amount has already been distributed and with its high demand, the token is potentially one of the most profitable ones, outstripping the dollar thousands of times.
Compare Yearn Finance with Bitcoin
When it comes to Bitcoin, YFI stands firm and is a strong contender in the crypto race against Bitcoin. No doubt, Bitcoin is leading all decentralised assets but recently with more and more innovative projects emerging, Bitcoin seems to be somewhat lagging behind when it comes to profitability. YFI gave its investors maximum returns and created a fanbase in a significantly short amount of time.
CoinGecko lists the Yearn Finance token from 18 July 2020. At that time, it was trading at a mere $31.65, while BTC had started waking up and had reached $9,156.28. While Bitcoin did attain a significant sixfold jump to touch its all-time high of $64,804.72, YFI had risen 142,084% in the same time, doing more than 230 times better.
The numbers become even more favourable for YFI if you take into account that its all-time high was an astounding $90,786.89, offering a 286,746% increase in price since 18 July 2020.
Compare Yearn Finance with Ethereum
The complete Yearn Finance platform is built on top of the Ethereum ecosystem. Depending on the workings of the second-largest crypto blockchain system, one would expect ETH to be inherently better than YFI, but the numbers tell otherwise.
The performance of the last 12 months or so shows that YFI has done much, much better than ETH. Between July 2020 and July 2021, ETH had an overall price increase of 977%, while YFI did a hundredfold better at 99,884%. Even taking into account the all-time highs, YFI leaves ETH far behind with 286,746% in comparison to the latter’s 1,772%.
Compare Yearn Finance with Gold
Many aspects make Gold a strong safe-haven investment. Assets like Gold usually perform as a strong pillar of profit for investors for hedging since whenever there is a financial turmoil, fiat’s value falls, but not Gold’s.
That being said, Gold has not had much of a good year, with the price fluctuating in the short term, and the long term profitability hasn’t been too good either. 2021 opened with Gold trading around $1,943 per troy ounce and took a downturn in the spring, bottoming out on 1 April at $1,684. Gold has since recovered to near January values, but for long-term holders, it has yielded near-zero profits.
Compared with that, in 2021 alone YFI has been able to offer an overall 39% year-to-date (YTD) profit. Even being an extremely volatile asset and a high-risk investment, YFI has had a far better run.
Despite only being around for little more than a year, the Yearn Finance platform’s success has pushed the YFI token to very high values, with the price rivalling (and surpassing) Bitcoin’s many times. Having greater price movements than even Bitcoin, the YFI token represents a high-risk investment. On the other hand, the volatility also provides the chance for the Yearn Finance token to appreciate much more than other coins and tokens.
So, what’s in store for the YFI token in future? It’s not possible to tell with certainty. But certain elements of the crypto industry and overall global factors can be studied to assess how these might unfold and give YFI a certain direction.
The Yearn Finance platform has come a long way in less than a year and its popularity has propelled the YFI token’s price to thousands of dollars. There is talk among crypto experts of the resurgence of the DeFi market before the summer is over. At the same time, the world has still not freed itself from the grips of the coronavirus and deadlier strains have the potential to bring battered and slowly recovering economies down again.
Considering these factors, there is a good chance that the decentralised finance sector will see an uptick and so will YFI. Lower interest for borrowers and at the same time good rates to lenders, yield farming and the scarcity of the token make YFI the perfect candidate to capture the most of the imminent DeFi boom.
Leading analysts predict that YFI will cross the $36,000 line at the end of December 2021
With the significant recovery of the global economy, there is a chance that DeFi will see a downturn as people will start relying on fiat since it still rules day-to-day financial usage. With talks of tighter regulations on crypto and institutes offering its services, this will also slow down the use of DeFi.
Even then, if the profitability trend continues, there will also be growing interest in DeFi due to its higher returns than any other mainstream investment. YFI is primarily a governance token and offers token holders a say in the services rendered. This means that token holders will continue to put forth proposals to protect their investments and enjoy benefits that fiat-based opportunities will not be able to offer.
The increased demand and scarce token supply mean that the YFI token could be pushed far above other tokens, with analysts predicting it to be above $100,000 and even as high as $125,811 in the last month of 2022.
Looking that far into the future with such a short history and the unpredictability of the blockchain arena makes it even harder to say anything with certainty. However, taking into account the massive work being done by central authorities to create their own versions of crypto stablecoins, evermore adoption of the technology and coins, and the unstoppable inflation of fiat, one thing is certain: cryptocurrencies will gain momentum. There will be more push for these and considering the tokenomics of YFI, the price jump could be exponential.
Analysis of YFI has yielded a positive outlook, with values set to touch $182,285 in the next 5 years.
There is no doubt that Yearn Finance is one of the fastest-growing DeFi projects, and because of its adaptability among the crypto community and easy-to-understand framework, it is a good investment. The YFI token has seen price drops due to market shifts and has experienced its fair share of ups and downs but is so far showing that we’ve barely scratched the surface of its potential to grow.
While the short-term movements might put off some investors, this can also come in handy. YFI has always shown a strong growth after price falls and this can be used in trading the asset by buying low and selling high to increase overall wealth.
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