While I would not typically say I have been in the DeFi space for very long with how explosive DeFi has been I guess I really have been. I first dipped my toe in with Coinbase when they first had COMP tokens for free and I downloaded the Coinbase Wallet and threw some DAI into it and let it sit for a few weeks before I found Harvest Finance. This was towards the end of last year and when I was really green in this new area of cyrpto, DeFi, and I was not sure what to do.
Since I did not have a ton of crypto or money to invest at the time I had to be particularly careful (I thought gas fees were outrageous back then and I wish they would go back to those levels!) about what I invested in and how I moved my crypto around. Harvest gave me the ability to finally take part in yield farming in a hands off way. All I had to do was put whatever token or coin into said pool and let it grow! Even if a pool became inactive my funds were safe and I would be able to withdraw them!
Harvest's Development team created the token FARM to decentralize its goverence. The first irrteration of the goverence token FARM was a good governance token that had a ton of benefits to it. From the token buy backs to support its price and the fact that by staking your FARM you earned more FARM! With the rise of gas costs and a few other issues FARM became harder and harder to utilize thus leading to the creation of iFARM or the second irrteration of Harvest's goverence token.
iFARM came with a few HUGE benefits that really cannot be ignored. The biggest thing in my personal opinion was the auto compounding feature. No longer did you have to spend gas on staking your iFARM it was done just by holding it in your wallet and autocompounded! This saved me a small fortune alone in Eth that I was able to utilize for other things. iFARM also was able to be collateralized thus making it able to be used on other yield farms and exchanges which previously was not able to be done! It seems like almost everyother day the Harvst team announces another partnership or another place where iFARM can be used.
These developments are huge as they cut costs immensely to both users and the platform. This in turn allows for more buybacks and better returns to all involved! If you still have FARM sitting around too you can easily change it by staking it in the FARM pools but you MUST click the deposit in iFARM box and make sure it is check! This transforms your pretty expensive FARM into iFARM. iFARM also has a higher price compared to FARM due to people preferring the ability to grow their FARM without doing anything.
This allows for small stake holders to more easily build up are iFARM amounts over time and in turn be able to vote with more and more impact on governance ideas or topics! I have voted on different things before on both Compound and Harvest but it was never like I had a ton of the either token and so it really made me feel over time there was no point in participating now though that is changing as I watch the amount of iFARM I have grow and that is a really unique and important thing about Harvest that sets it apart from other yield farming platforms.