Some Numbers That Show Why Yield Farming COMP Is So Seductive


It’s arduous to determine what the brand new governance token from Compound, COMP, prices.

Not its value, however its price: How a lot will a person pay to earn freshly minted COMP? That is made particularly difficult as a result of the price isn’t what a person deposits or borrows, it’s how a lot web curiosity they finally pay.

Insanely, proper now, it’s potential to earn COMP on extraordinarily dangerous trades for successfully no price, as we’ll present under. This isn’t a scenario that’s more likely to finish nicely for a lot of.

Compound rewards traders with COMP each for supplying capital and borrowing. To maximise returns, most customers do each. They deposit and borrow towards that deposit. There are even methods to spin this into loops that eke out much more yield (at greater dangers).

Learn extra: Compound Tops MakerDAO, Now Has the Most Worth Staked in DeFi

That is how Compound has immediately develop into the world’s high decentralized finance (DeFi) platform by way of complete worth locked (TVL), in line with DeFi Pulse. With a small provide and many pent-up demand, crypto customers are speeding in to earn a return – one which could be very robust proper now, however not more likely to final than 2017’s preliminary coin providing increase.

Let’s do the numbers

To estimate price, a web site known as Predictions Alternate provides an affordable thought of how a lot an investor will spend to earn new COMP, and it helps to indicate why this asset is so enticing at present costs. The Compound staff confirmed to CoinDesk that the positioning’s estimates are correct sufficient to offer helpful pointers, in a market the place elements are altering on a regular basis.

COMP at present sits at $222, in line with CoinGecko. The final week has seen wild swings for the brand new governance token, rising to $338 on June 23 and briefly dipping under $200 on Wednesday. Complete worth locked (TVL) has been falling in a staggered vogue since June 21, all the way down to about $570 million as of this writing, from a excessive this weekend over $600 million.

Learn extra: A Coinbase Professional Itemizing and Different Eye-Opening Knowledge Factors on Compound’s Surge in Demand

Under, we sport out three eventualities – from conservative to very dangerous – utilizing Predictions Alternate, assuming every thing stays the identical for a 12 months (which is a really unhealthy assumption). All these eventualities will make the belief of a modest funding of $10,000 in capital, with a COMP value of $200. 

The purpose of this train is to offer some sense of what traders can pay for every newly minted COMP underneath totally different eventualities. It’s necessary to notice that these numbers change very quick and this put up is simply meant to clarify the present frenzy.

The safe-by-crypto-standards manner

The bottom-yield stablecoin that may be equipped as collateral on Compound is USDC. It earns an APY of solely zero.12% as of this writing.

The protected transfer right here is to borrow one other stablecoin, so let’s go together with DAI. At a collateralization charge of 75% on Compound, this implies the person may borrow 7,500 DAI. Then, there’s nothing stopping the person from turning round and depositing that DAI once more, growing their COMP earnings on the provision aspect.

This earns 2.29 COMP on the finish of the 12 months, or $458 on the assumed token value of $200.

Over that point, the person would pay $107.25 in curiosity and earn $76.50 on the 2 deposits, a web loss on the deposits of $30.75. So, the price per COMP over that point could be $13.43.

If the investor bought the COMP instantly, it could web $427.25.

In actual fact, if an investor solely put the 10,000 USDC in and did nothing else, they might earn 1.06 COMP and $12 in curiosity, for a web of $224. 

By taking over simply ever so barely extra threat, the much better transfer for the conservative investor is to do it with USDT. That would earn three.21 COMP and $450 in yield on the deposit, for a web of $1,092.

The reasonably dangerous manner

That is crypto so the low-risk, low-return transfer above was by no means the one driving the motion.

Simply after COMP started meting out on June 15, the optimum commerce was really on stablecoins, which meant consumers had been pretty protected against swings within the underlying property.

Customers had been enjoying with USDC and tether (USDT), two stablecoins. If somebody did mainly the identical commerce now (that’s, deposit USDC, max out their borrow for USDT after which deposit it once more), they’d get extra COMP however it additionally prices extra.

The commerce earns COMP in a 12 months. The deposits earn $349.50. The mortgage prices $866.25, although, for a lack of $516.75.

So COMP prices $64.60 on this state of affairs, and if it had been all bought on the finish of the 12 months for $1,600, the person would web $1,083.25.

Nevertheless, yield farmers have now shifted away from buying and selling stablecoins. We noticed an unprecedented uptick on the stablecoin DEX Curve final week however there was an enormous fall-off in quantity there Monday, dropping from $110 million on Sunday to round $30 million.

The very dangerous manner

Since final week, Courageous’s fundamental consideration token (BAT) and 0x’s ZRX have spiked in yields on Compound, so that they earn far more COMP.

Not like enjoying with stablecoins, this exposes traders to monumental underlying volatility and the free cash is far too good to final.

The provision of BAT on Compound has skyrocketed. One week in the past, it was $1.89 million. It has risen to $237.71 million on Thursday (dipping somewhat since Wednesday). That means 63.5% of BAT’s complete market cap is locked into Compound as we converse, in line with CoinMarketCap.

Courageous, because the creator of BAT and a serious holder, has confirmed to CoinDesk that it didn’t transfer its reserves into Compound in an effort to earn a return, as some on Crypto Twitter and elsewhere have speculated.

In the meantime, ZRX is the subsequent costliest token to borrow. Its provide has additionally spiked on the appliance, going from $5.63 million per week in the past to $41.38 million on Thursday (once more with a dip since Wednesday). That means 17.5% of the ZRX market cap is on Compound. 

So, if an investor ran the identical commerce (deposit BAT, borrow ZRX at its 60% collateralization charge after which deposit what’s borrowed), the deal seems to be too good to be true.

First, they might earn 33.6 COMP. Word that that is the quickest technique listed and it’s nonetheless solely zero.65 COMP every week.

Then they might additionally earn $2,538 on the BAT deposit plus $367.20 on their ZRX deposit. Complete earnings of $2,905.20, towards a borrowing price of solely $978.60. Wonderful! That’s a revenue simply on the deposits of $1,926.60.

In the event that they bought the COMP earned, that may be $6,720. Complete revenue: $eight,646.60.

Value of COMP? Threat. Loads.

ZRX has been as little as $zero.13 this 12 months and as excessive as $zero.43. BAT has had comparable swings, as little as $zero.11 and as excessive as $zero.31. All it takes for these cash is to maneuver towards one another for a person’s collateral to get slashed by liquidators and make the value of working this commerce very uncomfortable.

Robert Leshner, Compound founder, supplied a word of warning on Twitter, writing:

There’s already one proposal to additional decrease the quantity of augur (REP), BAT and ZRX that may be borrowed per greenback of property, and the stakeholders in the neighborhood have entered right into a broader dialogue about including extra methods to tame this increase.


It’s necessary to notice that each one the estimates above are simply that – estimates – and possibly not very dependable. This can be a brand-new market evolving on the velocity of crypto. If nothing else, COMP returns rely closely on participation ranges.

In actual fact, we ran these numbers final evening and once more this morning, and plenty of of them had already shifted. There’s little or no doubt that COMP earnings will change lots over the course of a 12 months. 

Compound Labs made a reasonably easy system for distributing COMP tokens, however in a bizarre manner that makes it considerably advanced to estimate what customers would possibly anticipate every day.

Every day, the software program distributes 2,880 COMP tokens to debtors and lenders on the platform. The quantity doesn’t change, so clearly the extra exercise there may be the much less every participant will get (and vice versa). 

That is additional difficult by the truth that COMP yield accrues the quickest to markets which have probably the most demand and this may change on a dime.

So long as there’s a giant hole between the value of COMP and what it prices to earn it, yield farming will persist, however as there may be extra liquid COMP, extra of it’ll transfer onto exchanges. (Coinbase promptly listed COMP final week for its Professional merchants; Binance adopted swimsuit Thursday.)

As the provision grows folks will promote. That is more likely to deliver the value down into equilibrium with the precise market demand for borrowing crypto for makes use of moreover yield farming. 

The query is what number of retail traders will get caught up within the frenzy and lose their financial savings earlier than that occurs.


The chief in blockchain information, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the best journalistic requirements and abides by a strict set of editorial insurance policies. CoinDesk is an unbiased working subsidiary of Digital Forex Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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