So you want to be a defi farmer but have no clue what to do? Have no fear as some - probably industry veteran level finance guys - have created the most perfect tool to do all of the farming for you.
Full Risk Disclosure: What you are about to read is in no way an endorsement by me, you must assume I have no clue about anything and that you will be a good citizen and DYOR. (As with all my musings: links are in bold and if you get upset about an image being yours then do contact me and we can have a discussion). By continuing to read this article you accept that everything you do as a result of reading this post is your own choice blah blah blah.
Now that my EULA is out of the way, go find a bench with a view and make yourself comfy because I think I can hear a tractor coming over the hill, so let me quickly give you a 30 second back story....
With the folks at Uniswap open sourcing all of their warez and the great Chef Nomi teeing up possibly a first in crypto liquidity heists with sushiswap, there have since popped up countless sushiswap clones - most of which have rekt people within days of starting. Before that window of madness (yes it's only been a few weeks) there were other ways to make some serious bread in DeFi but the list is getting endless: curve, yearn.finance, cream.finance, balancer.finance, swerve, compound, pylon.finance... omg.finance - when will it end?! (OK I made the last one up, but jeez the domain is registered, so who knows?).
Even for an OG farmer it's getting quite a daunting task keeping up with all of them and where to put your hard earned crypto.
.....ah, the tractor has arrived - and it's being operated by the most degen chad farmer do grace our digital world...
Welcome to harvest.finance
WTF? You cant be serious?
Yup. That's the exact same first response I had when I first loaded up the page over at harvest.finance. To your average person it looks like some [insertDigit]Chan/pewdiepie influenced meme fest, but it's actually a very sophisticated automated yield farming solution.
Damn. I got all grown up there, apologies.
So before we go any further lets get a few things out in the open.....
- As of the 12th of September 2020 there are no time locks in place on any of the contracts.
- It is currently in audit with PeckShield (they did pre-announce that they had done a sanity check with no serious issues found).
- Certik has been commissioned for an audit starting around mid September 2020.
- Haechi Labs are expected to also have a gander last September.
- The farmhands get 20% of FARM distribution & emission (more on this later).
- The operational treasury get 10% of FARM distribution & emission (more on this later).
I've been in the harvest.finance discord server for a number of weeks now and I must say the farmhands - the role assigned to those in charge - certainly talk the talk, in fact I would say quite a large segment of the members of the server can also talk the talk. What talk is that? Well it reminds me of professional finance institutional types - those that manage billion pound portfolios, people who understand risk, leveraged credit default swaps and other financial instruments that are rightfully kept away from Joe public. Ahh balls, I slipped back into city talk, didn't I? Lets get back to why you're here.... to FARM!
Well, the sun is shining and the combines are out in full force and by using this site you can literally set it and forget it, only returning occasionally to collect your FARM tokens. It really can be that simple.
A word of warning before we fire up the tractors: In my humble opinion, you really need to be playing with at least $1,000 worth of crypto to get the benefits of this system. Some of the contracts that you execute cost a wedge of gas and I wouldn't want you to be like this guy:
There are other ways to get in on the action for less cash, but you might be better staking whatever you have direct into another site instead. Bye!
Have they gone? Just the big boys & girls left? OK, lets crack on...
As with most things crypto these days you're gonna need a web wallet - I use and have only ever used MetaMask for these Ethereum based efforts. It's easy to install and setup so I won't go in to detail about that on this post, if it's new to you have a read of this most excellent medium article here. For this walk through we're going to be using USDC and Ethereum, but as you'll see on your travels; this place supports quite a few crops, sorry I mean ERC20 tokens, so you don't have to do exactly as I say.
One more thing - we're going to be using a chunk of gas (do you know a tractor's average mpg?), so please make sure you have at least half an ETH to cover gas costs - you don't want to be left hanging half way through this guide!
So what are we waiting for? Go to harvest.finance, click "Connect Wallet", agree to MetaMask's prompts about trusting the site and lets get going.
Once you've connected your wallet you are presented with Page 1 of 3 pages of ways to generate returns. For the most noob farmers amongst us, the first page is the easiest to get cracking with - so this is going to be where you make your first deposit.
Simply click the MAX+ button against whatever token you currently have in your wallet, then click the Deposit button at the bottom. You can type whatever value you want in those boxes, but if you enter an amount larger than what you have, the Deposit button will disable and state "Insufficient XXX balance", so stop messing - it knows.
Now MetaMask will popup wanting your approval for such shenanigans, you know what to do.
Next MetaMask will want you to confirm the deposit and it is at this point you can complain about gas fees. If you are in a rush, click the EDIT button and select the Fast option to spend even more GAS to not have to sit waiting for what sometimes can feel an age. (See why we're not messing with less than a grand now?) Go on, stop being tight, click Fast. Such Chad. Damn, wrong meme coin.
Top Chad Tip: If you cancel MetaMask, the Harvest site might sit there thinking you're not gonna let it down as the deposit button will still read "Depositing USDC", just simply wait patiently for it to realise you have indeed been a messer and for it to re-enable the button, or just refresh your browser and reconnect the wallet (which can sometimes be the quicker option).
Wait for hopefully a few seconds for the transaction to process and you'll then see the "Your balance" column on the page update with however much you put in. Congratulations, you now own some fUSDC. Wtf is fUSDC? Well its a wrapped up version of the USDC you deposited - it enables the farmhands to utilise your USDC and stake it in the underlying pools (such as curve etc). It's OK, the farmhands have you covered, they just need you to give them the keys to your tractor so that they can take it for a spin. Think of it like a concierge service for farmers.
Next head on over to the Earn tab.
From here you'll get flashbacks of the sushiswap menu but don't go grabbing yer pitchforks just yet.
Select the box relevant to what you did on Page 1. For our most exciting example we'll continue with USDC. Notice how it says to deposit fUSDC, good job we made some of that eh? Once you click the yellow button with the %APY you'll be taken to the next page:
Click the Stake button and the Amount box underneath should update to however many fUSDC you created earlier, now click the large STAKE button underneath and you'll get another MetaMask transaction prompt. Hooray for GAS fees! Once your transaction confirms, the "Your unstaked fUSDC" value will appear in the "Your Staked fUSDC" column.
That's it. You don't have to worry about anything else. The "Total FARM Earned" value will now slowly tick up. The more you stake, the quicker your FARM balance grows.
Once your "Total FARM Earned" balance gets to something chunky (probably at least 1 whole FARM to justify the gas fees), simply click the "CLAIM REWARDS" button to get the FARM tokens transferred to your wallet. FARM tokens can be exchanged on Uniswap here or Sushiswap here. (As at time of writing sushi didn't have any liquidity, but I suspect that will change in time).
A word on slippage: The Page 1 tokens DAI, USDC, USDT etc can all encounter a degree of slippage when you deposit and withdraw - meaning if you deposit, leave it for an hour then withdraw, you'll probably be worse off. You must let the farmhands to their job. They call a process named dohardwork() which basically triggers the whole harvest/invest process twice a day at random times (to prevent front running). So you have to leave it alone. Remember when your mother told you to stop picking that spot? This is that time.
Did I mention extra rewards?
So like any good co-operative operation harvest.finance offers you the ability to get a slice of the whole operations revenue by staking FARM back in to the Profit Sharing V2 pool instead of simply transferring it into your wallet. This from the wiki: How much yield farming revenue is shared with Profit Sharing stakers? 30% of yield farming revenue. It is paid out using a seven-day moving average, so for the first week after launch, payouts may be small. Yield farming revenue depends on the profitability of available yield farming opportunities and the total assets available for farming by Harvest.|
So that's pretty much it. The farmhands are running a pretty decent operation here; that treasury ops fund that they credit with that 10% slice has already proved it's worth - a few people noticed extreme slippage when depositing in & out of DAI a few days ago, so the farm hands used some of the ops fund to narrow the gaps. Could there be a rugpull? Of course. This is crypto defi farming at its best. But it really is at its best - the dev team take a 20% rake so I really can't see why they'd want to destroy something that's generating them a fair revenue. The whole team is anonymous - but if they are professionals in the finance sector that's probably a wise move - I should imagine their CRO would want a word if they were public. They have a fair justification for no time locks on the contracts too - this space moves quickly and they want to stay on top of their game, a 48hr delay is a ages in this space (for example; within 16 hours of Swerve launch, Harvest added SWRV farming support for DAI, USDC, USDT). They also at present refuse to make the site work on a mobile device - citing that it's too much money to be carrying around on a mobile. Hats off to them for giving that reason. That's called risk management.
A top bloke once said to me; fortune favours the bold - and I believe harvest.finance is for the bold. It's new, it's fresh, it's well managed, and it's strapline is at best a bloody understatement: It ain't much, but it's honest work!
There is some really cool stuff being developed by the community around this project too - something we're not seeing with the 20 minute git pull sushi clones - stuff like this builds community confidence in the harvest.finance platform.
PS: Don't be a noob and assume APY can be divided by 365 to get your daily interest rate - it doesn't work like that as it's a compounded rate.
If you feel like throwing me some crypto - use this wallet address: 0xb56eA43efaf3d46733247Ab77c870BBCB06A37EC - but that's your call. I write this stuff for fun and to help others.