Compound Finance is a decentralized lending platform that uses an autonomous interest rate protocol that lets users earn interest on or borrow assets against collateral. Asset holders can contribute liquidity to the market, for which they are rewarded. Rates depend on supply and demand, and different assets hold different rates.
The platform was launched in August 2017 by Robert Leshner, who also acts as the company’s CEO. The team currently has 15 members, with Geoffrey Hayes serving as CTO. The team expects that its protocol will increase the possibilities with open financial applications, and to that end has seen investment from some of the biggest names in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. Notable investors include a16z, BainCapital Ventures, Coinbase, Paradigm, Polychain Capital and Dragonfly Capital.
It currently works in 9 different markets: Ether (ETH), Basic Attention Token (BAT), DAI, USD Coin (USDC), Tether (USDT), Augur (REP), Wrapped Bitcoin, 0x (ZRX) and SAI. The process by which users can begin earning interest on their assets is straightforward, requiring not more than a few steps to begin supplying liquidity and earning interest.
The project’s mainnet was first launched in September 2018, with version 2 following in May 2019. Compound achieved recognition when it launched the $COMP token in June 2020. The governance community, led by Polychain Capital, approved the use of the token on the mainnet following a testing period, which subsequently led to a large influx of users and investment.
The introduction of the COMP token has resulted in Compound Finance quickly becoming the largest contributor to the decentralized finance (defi) space, with its total locked valued exceeding $630 million.
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Balancer is a market maker protocol that allows its users to contribute liquidity to various assets and consequently earn a portion of the generated trading fees. Fees are collected from traders and portfolios are continually rebalanced through arbitrage opportunities.
Founded in 2018 by Balancer Labs, the platform itself was officially launched in March 2020. It distinguishes itself from other automated market makers by considering various assets and weightage. The fees that can be earned from executed trades can be customized for each liquidity pool. Furthermore, it removes the middlemen that are portfolio managers - using traders’ fees and arbitrage opportunities to rebalance the portfolio instead.
The project’s whitepaper, published in September 2019, offers a detailed explanation of the design of the liquidity and trading formulae that underpin the network’s economics. A succinct, high-level explanation of the network’s features can be summed up as follows: the protocol offers various types of liquidity pools with varying levels of permissions. Private pools are controlled by the pool creator, who may determine its parameters at will, while shared pools’ parameters are permanently fixed with the creator holding no special privileges. Smart pools are controlled by smart contracts and allows for a range of logical conditions and restrictions.
The project launched on the mainnet in late March 2020 alongside exchange and pool management dapps, among other launches. The BAL token itself was launched in June 2020, with 435,000 tokens set aside for distribution to liquidity providers, which will be handed out over the course of 3 weeks. The development team has stressed that the protocol is new and subject to change and development, both for refinement and security purposes.
Learn more about Balancer (BAL) here, including news, price predictions, opinions and analyses created by users.