Screenshot from pearl.finance

A Plankton Goes Yield Farming

By nauxxlov | onajourney | 6 Sep 2020


Disclaimer: I only started my crypto journey in May this year, so basically an embryo in this space. This post only serves as a documentation of my journey into yield farming so far and is not a recommendation to follow in my steps. Make your own judgement!

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Much of what I've learnt is from googling and trial and error. I might use some terms inaccurately or have misunderstood certain concepts. Open to being corrected :)

Yield farming is all the rage now. And with insane gains to be gotten every other day, I was itching to get in on the action. However the high gas fees were a deterrence and there was no way I could make it out without a loss, much less profit. Lo and behold, I came across an alternative to the ETH Defi pools - TronFi's pearl.finance.

So yes, I've taken the plunge and put in a small sum of monies into this pool. For context it's 3 digits that's why I'm a plankton yo. I'm not expecting to make gains out of this, just dipping my feet in and learning as I go.

This post will mainly be about the process of how I got crypto into the pool and mistakes I made. Hopefully you won't make the same mistakes in case you wanna try out.

Why Tron (TRX)? Cheap and fast. Its txn fees are way way lower than ETH and it's speedy too. On average, each of my txn costs around $0.xx. Bear in mind I'm only transacting small amounts though.

 

pearl.finance farms. Looks cute but don't be fooled.

pearl.finance. Looks cute but don't be fooled.

The UI is straightforward. Add USDT or USDJ or DZI or TAI and you'll earn PEARL. pearl.fi launched about a week ago and most of these pools have closed, 2 will close in a couple of days, and there's the final TRX pool that's opening soon.

I managed to get into the USDT pool 3 days back and farmed a tiny bit of pearl before it ended. Chose USDT as it's the only token I recognized LOL. Plus safer as it's a stablecoin so its price shouldn't fluctuate too much.

My first step was to figure out how to get USDT so I could start my farming adventure.

I didn't wanna create more accounts, do KYC, and get charged high fees from exchanges for buying USDT. So my best move was to swap. I turned to my own portfolio. Eliminated all ETH based (erc20) tokens as they will incur high fees. Left with Ripple (XRP) which is a good fit as it's also known for low fees and fast txns. 

Now on to swapping XRP to USDT. To do that, I used changeNOW which charges no extra fees other than the usual network fees. Awesome possum. I was ready to roll.

changeNow after entering necessary info

changeNOW after entering necessary info.

Do note that there are several flavours of USDT. Make sure you select the trc20 (Tron based) one, not the erc20 one. Luckily changeNOW displays an error message if you select USDT-erc20 with a Tron address. That's how I found out I had selected the wrong USDT actually. 🤞

I was supposed to enter the destination address + destination tag in my portfolio exchange before hitting send. Somehow I totally missed out on the destination tag and the txn was stuck at the processing stage for 30 mins before I decided something was wrong. BALLS. I swear my heart dropped thinking my XRP was gone forever. 

Shot off an email to support but they didn't reply till 2 days later so I was on my own. The txn page was so bare bones, it didn't have the necessary information for me to figure out what's wrong. Like this:

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Showing only the crypto, fee, amount transferred, destination address, and status.

By the way, the status was stuck at 'processing' the entire day before finally getting updated at night but I didn't get a screenshot of that.

I dug around and managed to find the txn hash thank goodness. Every txn made in the cryptoverse is recorded and publicly available and searchable with the txn hash.  Entered this hash into the XRP blockchain page and found out this txn had failed within seconds because I hadn't entered the destination tag. So don't be too trigger-happy like me and check the fields properly. Also, the exchange ended up withholding my XRP and I couldn't do anything with it until the end of day.

I tried transferring again and the XRP finally showed up in my Tronlink wallet as USDT yay. (You'll get prompted to download Tronlink as a chrome extension on the pearl.fi page).

Happily I clicked on 'Approve USDT ' and then 'approve' again on a popup. Protip: do check that your browser has allowed popups in case a popup doesn't appear.

Example on salmonswap

Example on salmonswap.

Nothing happened. Pretty frustrating.

Turns out you need to hold TRX to activate the wallet. Thereafter, every txn whether successful or failure, will burn both bandwidth and energy. These two will replenish themselves slowly throughout the day after use.

An activated wallet will provide 5000 bandwidth daily. Usually 5k would be enough per day unless you're doing crazy amounts of txns. If not enough, you can freeze your TRX for 3 days to get more bandwidth.

As for energy, it's not given for free. Again you'll need to freeze your TRX for 3 days. Otherwise you can forgo the freezing and a small amount of TRX will be burned per txn. There's another option available on the wallet called TronLending, basically pay a small amount to borrow energy. DO NOT PAY FOR THIS! I paid for it and I didn't get energy sobz.

Oh and because TRX is needed for every txn, make sure you don't max out your TRX for a single txn else it'll fail. Always keep some TRX in your wallet or ensure you have enough energy for the txn to go through.

Anyway I swapped more XRP for TRX so that I could finally start my staking. Wanted to swap USDT for TRX on JustSwap (tron alternative to Uniswap) but could do nuts without TRX . Chicken egg problem.

Started staking. Harvested my pearls when the pool closed. And decided to go into the PEARL/TRX pool. This is riskier than the USDT pool as the PEARL price can be so volatile. It started at ~4k, dropped half by yesterday, and even further today. 😱

PEARL/TRX pool

 

At first I thought I could stake either PEARL or TRX into this pool. But no. This comes as a pair. LP stands for Liquidity Pair? Liquidity Pool? Liquidity Provider? Not sure but it doesn't really matter.

To get this pair, you'll need to go to JustSwap > Add Liquidity tab and input equal values of PEARL and TRX. You can then stake this pair and get more pearls. 

Pool option on JustSwap

Pool option on JustSwap

 Always triple check and make sure you are swapping/buying the legit token. When in doubt, hop over to the official page to get the correct token address.

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Typing just the token name gives you a list of scam addresses.

Also triple check your destination address. Some folks in the community have lost pearls forever by sending their pearls to the pearl address instead of their wallets. 😱

That's my journey so far. Hope it has been useful!

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