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Decentralized Finance (better known as DeFi) is buzzing within the financial industry all around the world. By using it, someone managed to earn 16.000 USD in 13 seconds, and some others took six million dollars after one week or so. Seeing those cases, isn’t difficult to figure out why everybody wants to suddenly make investments on DeFi tokens and Dapps, but, it really works in the same way for everybody?

La réponse, bien sûr, est un grand non. Ensuite, aucun revenu pour votre crypto-monnaie moyenne user? Is all this a scam, Ponzi, or similar? Not everything, for sure. But there’s some of that as well. Let’s check some facts and tricks.

TL; DR pour DeFi

You can describe “DeFi” as a whole industry made of decentralized apps and tokens focused on offering a long list of traditional financial tools and products, but without a company, government, or organization behind them. The only authority is the software, the code, and la blockchain since they’re built within smart contracts. So, in theory, you don’t need trust to use them.

Image par Pete Linforth / Pixabay

La principale promesse de DeFi est d'ouvrir le monde financier à tous. By using DeFi apps, you won’t need any official requirement (only Internet) to access platforms and tools like loans, savings, trading, insurance, derivatives, exchanges, and so on.

If you’re thinking that peut-être Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and each “classic” cryptocurrency may count as DeFi, you’re probably not so far from the truth. However, in our current context, when we use the term “DeFi” we’re usually talking about brand new tokens and platforms based on smart contracts, that offers some very specific financial service. And, highly probably, some juicy earnings in the short term. Or that is what everybody wants to believe.

Comment fonctionne DeFi?

Aka, how to earn some money with this. That’s depending on the platform you use: according to DeFi Prime, there’re in existence more than 200 projects on this category. And DeFi Pulse describes, by its part, there’re +7.8 billion dollars locked (invested) in these projects. A quantity not higher than the individual market capitalization for the top 3 cryptocurrencies, but nothing insignificant either.

L'important, cependant: comment les gens gagnent-ils de l'argent avec ce truc? Comme ils le font habituellement avec la crypto: les avantages d'échanger de nouveaux jetons (dont les prix vont très vite sur la lune) et, d'autre part, de créer de nouveaux jetons utiles (ou inutiles) dont les prix vont rapidement sur la lune parce que tout le monde souffre de FOMO (Peur de passer à côté).

Image par Nattanan Kanchanaprat / Pixabay

There’s another way, though. Plusieurs plates-formes et jetons DeFi vous récompensent simplement pour fournir des liquidités à leurs marques. Cela signifie qu'il vous suffit de participer à la plate-forme avec un investissement et / ou une activité pour obtenir des récompenses juteuses en échange.  

Let’s check the example of Composé (COMP), one of the most popular. This a protocol on Ethereum that lets people earning some returns only for saving and/or lending their cryptocurrencies. Of course, there’re also borrowers paying this variable returns: 3.41% as a prize to hold some DAI (a stablecoin) during a year, for example.

On the other side, we have its governance token, COMP. This one is available to buy through several exchanges, and its price started around 61 USD in June of this year (CoinMarketCap). Now, less than three months later, the price per token is 171 USD. Therefore, the “early birds” in Compound may have earned +180% only by owning these tokens.

It doesn’t sound bad per se, but that’s nothing compared to other succulent (and very risky) promises…

Yield farming and “DeFi food”

Let’s back to Compound one moment: remember, just by holding your cryptocurrencies within the platform, you can earn some actual rewards. But this DeFi isn’t the only one doing that. Some other platforms are offering “to mine liquidity” as well, and with even higher rewards for the participants.

Futureswap, for example, is a decentralized futures exchange whose alpha version offered up 550% annually for the task of liquidity. And that’s exactly what the “agriculteurs de rendement” are looking for: de nouvelles applications DeFi passionnantes pour semer leurs investissements dans la cryptographie et exploiter des intérêts élevés et des revenus d'arbitrage entre eux et leurs jetons. Ces agriculteurs ont même mis des montants élevés de fonds de garantie pour prêter des quantités qui leur permettaient d'acheter (cultiver) plus de jetons.

Image par TheDigitalWay / Pixabay

The practice doesn’t come without risks, of course. And this is probably when the “DeFi food” enter the scene: the first one was YAM Finance. Yeah, after the edible tuber. This platform was intended to be “an elastic supply cryptocurrency” with attractive rewards for their Liquidity Providers (LP).

The final result wasn’t exactly like that. YAM finance was born on August 12, with calculated (and extraordinary) rendements annuels up to 5.600% (for the staking in Compound). Less than 24 hours later, a fatal bug was found in the smart contract, causing the project’s death with 750.000 USD blocked inside. But this was just the appetizer for the next dishes.

Jetons douteux comme PIZZA, HOTDOG et KIMCHI sont également apparus et ont expérimenté de grandes pompes suivies de décharges mortelles en moins d'un jour. Les rendements promis pour eux variaient de + 11.000% et même 1 million pour les LP, mais ils étaient comme une étoile filante. En quelques minutes, tous (et l'argent investi) ont disparu pour de bon.

Développer: l'autre côté

Un fait inévitable de DeFi (pour l'instant) est celui-ci: si vous pouvez coder, vous pouvez gagner plus que d'autres. Vous souvenez-vous de notre petite introduction et du truc à propos des gars qui gagnent des milliers et des millions de dollars? Eh bien, c'étaient des développeurs. Développeurs de contrats intelligents, pour être plus précis.

There’s a thingy inside DeFi called “flash loans”: cryptocurrency loans you take and pay in the same block (transaction). How is this even possible and how could it be useful at all? It’s possible if you know how to write (code) a smart contract to make an automatic transaction with several elements, and it’s useful for arbitrage. This means you could take advantage of differing prices for the same asset in distinct markets.

Juste comme un développeur a fait début août, lorsqu'ils ont emprunté 2.048.000 USDC à la plate-forme dYdX, les ont échangés contre 2.028.367 DAI en Curve and Pool, puis ont remboursé le premier prêt; gagner 16,182 USDC en 13 secondes et investir uniquement les prix du gaz dans Ethereum (environ 50 USD). Tout cela via un contrat intelligent, bien sûr.

D'autre part, nous avons le fondateur anonyme de Sushiswap, connu sous le nom de NomiChef. Tout d'abord: Sushiswap est une bourse décentralisée qui propose également l'extraction de liquidité to anyone who wants to participate with their SUSHI tokens. It’s basically a copy of the exchange Uniswap with larger rewards, and invente à 1 milliard de dollars bloqués à l'intérieur des investisseurs.

Image par Jumi Kang / Pixabay

NomiChef a juste attendu ce résultat pendant une semaine, avant de vendre tout son SUSHI pour acquérir 17.971 ETH, évalué actuellement à environ 6 millions de dollars. Bien sûr, le prix par SUSHI a chuté mal; bien que le pauvre ait survécu à l'accident. Pour l'instant.

What’s up with DeFi, then? Can I make money?

We can’t deny it: DeFi est un très rentable market and there’s a gold rush right now after its dapps, providing a lot of liquidity and opportunities. Something similar happened in 2017 with the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) fever, and we all know how that ended. In case you don’t: not so sweet.

ICOs and DeFi have introduced interesting and useful products within everyone’s reach, but they’ve also brought a lot of useless tokens, fraudulent platforms, failed projects, and big losses. Most of those extraordinary ROI percentages are probably just fleeting fame like already happened with some “DeFi food”.

Grave risks are waiting around every corner: smart contract’s bugs, hacks, exit scams, fake tokens, failed projects, extreme pump-and-dump schemes, etc. This is an early-stage technology, so, you may make thousands of dollars in no time… and you can lose them in no time as well. Try it, have fun, maybe even get some or much money, but never be reckless about DeFi investments. Don’t bet anything you can’t afford to lose.

Auteur

Professionnel de la littérature dans le monde de la cryptographie depuis 2016. Écrivain, chercheur et bitcoiner. Travailler pour un monde meilleur, avec plus de décentralisation et de café.

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