YFI is the governance token behind the platform Yearn.Finance, which opened its doors in mid-May by Andre Cronje. It is an ERC-20 token that is built on top of the Ethereum blockchain. The YFI token itself was launched on July 17th, 2020, and it was considered to be a completely fair launch with zero pre-mine, founders fee, or pre-sale, or investors.
The Yearn Finance platform was single-handedly developed by Cronje himself as he was frustrated with the manual work behind finding the best yields inside the DeFi Sector. At the time, Cronje was managing his family’s wealth by depositing the funds onto lending platforms in the hunt for the best returns. The frustration came when Cronje would have to manually switch between lending platforms as the APR value changed. With each switch, Cronje was forced to pay for increasing GAS transaction fees.
As a result, Cronje created Yearn Finance, a liquidity aggregator that provides an automated yield farming strategy that actively searches for the highest yields on lending platforms such as Aave or Compound. Initially, the platform was coded just for his own use, but as Andre could not handle the financial side of the project himself, he released it to the wider public.
With the launch of the YFI token, the community is now in control of which direction Yearn Finance will head toward as they use the token for voting on governance proposals. The ‘fair launch’ saw many liquidity providers scrambling to deposit liquidity into the allocated pools to farm and earn YFI as a reward. This distribution method meant that everybody had an equal ground to be able to get their hands on YFI tokens.
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