Yearn Finance

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Yearn Finance (YFI) is a decentralized finance protocol which began in early 2020 under the name iEarn Finance. iEarn was maintained by Andre Cronje but the current Yearn is maintained by a DAO.


Originally, iEarn was a series of yield bearing tokens which rebalanced to the lending markets with the highest yield (usually AAVE or Compound).[1]During DeFi summer, the protocol released a fair-launched governance token called YFI and rebranded to Yearn Finance. The launch is credited to have birthed the concept of Pool 2[2], it took place on Curve Finance and Balancer. Today the protocol is maintained by various independent developers and contributors of the Yearn DAO and it is governed by $YFI holders.

Yearn Finance

The current user-facing core product of Yearn is yVaults, which provide automated yield generation to many different crypto assets, each driven by one or more Strategies.


Yearn Vaults (yVaults)

yVault is short for Yearn Vault. In Yearn’s current version (v2) these are the characteristics of a yVault:

  • The token you deposit in a yVault is the token that receives yield, always automatically compounded into the yVault.
  • A yVault may have many strategies active at the same time. A yVault may change its strategies capital allocation when it deems necessary.
  • Unlike many other yield aggregators there are no deposit/withdrawal fees charged to the user.
  • yVault tokens implement the ERC20 standard, this means that they can be easily moved between wallets and markets and can be used by any app that communicates with this standard (like decentralized exchanges).

Strategies and Strategists

Strategists are people that build one or more underlying Strategies for yVaults.

Anyone can build a Strategy, but in order to get it added to a yVault, the strategist needs to pass the strategy through the strategy vetting process[3] which includes concept vetting, code review, security review, and mainnet testing.

For their efforts, strategists are rewarded with a portion of the strategy’s performance fee.

  • Up to 10% of the generated yield fees by a specific strategy (performance fee) goes to the strategist
  • 10% of the generated yield fees by all strategies (performance fee) goes to the Yearn DAO treasury.
  • Over the year 2% of the vault’s total assets are taken as fees which go to Yearn to pay for expenses like gas, developer grants, and other services.

YFI token

In July 2020 the YFI token was introduced as a way for Andre to decentralize control of Yearn by distributing 30.000 YFI tokens. The 30.000 YFI would be distributed only to uses who provided liquidity on Yearn. YFI launched with no pre-mine, no pre-sale, and no allocation to the team.[4] Another 6,666 YFI were minted by YIP-57 in order to fund Yearn's future, so the total supply of YFI is 36,666.

As the governance token of Yearn, YFI tokens allow holders to vote on various decisions proposed by community members. Starting with Yearn Improvement Proposal 36 (YIP-36) a portion of staking rewards were used to cover operational expenses and reward token holders. YIP-56 disbanded the staking system in favor of a buyback system. Check this article for more information about governance at Yearn.

External Links