Yellow Capital Blog/Liquidity and Tokenomics/Exploring DeFi: Yield Farming, Lending, and More

Exploring DeFi: Yield Farming, Lending, and More

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Introduction to Decentralized Finance (DeFi)

Decentralized finance (DeFi) is transforming the traditional financial world. The idea of DeFI is innovative as it uses the modern blockchain approach to establish an equal, clear, and borderless monetary market. Unlike traditional finance, which relies on centralized institutions like banks and brokerages, DeFi operates on a decentralized network, empowering individuals and businesses to take control of their finances and participate in a more democratized financial system.

The essence of DeFi is the underlying values of decentralization, accessibility, transparency, security, and inclusivity. Even though the wider crypto-asset area contains diverse elements, as well as speculation trades, DeFi stands out as a system that is designed to replicate and enhance traditional financial services through decentralized protocols.

Smart Contracts

  • Smart contracts are self-executing contracts that are stored on a blockchain. They are computer programs that can automatically verify and enforce the terms of a contract without the need for an intermediary.
    Smart contracts are the backbone of DeFi that allow the decentralized execution of agreements related to handling assets inside the blockchain. Once a smart contract is deployed it becomes immutable ensuring no one can manipulate the code or funds. The blockchain technology underpinning DeFi ensures that every transaction is securely saved and cannot be manipulated, thereby enhancing credibility within the network.

The Essence of DeFi: Democratizing Finance

  • In essence, at the heart of DeFi is the notion of decentralization. This implies that any single entity cannot control the flow of money as no one has authority over it but distributed among many computers. Eliminating the middlemen in this decentralized way enhances transparency, and makes transactions cheaper, thereby leading to more people having access to financial resources and services.
    Key Differences:
  • ​Intermediaries: There are no third parties such as banks or financial institutions involved in DeFi.
  • ​Accessibility: DeFi is inclusive and provides access for people with a simple internet connection and a device to financial activity.
  • ​Global Reach: For example, traditional crypto markets may have limitations with the access but DeFi offers a global and borderless financial infrastructure.
  • ​Transparency: DeFi protocols operate on blockchain technology, providing transparent and verifiable transaction histories accessible to anyone.

Yield Farming:

What is Yield Farming?
One key attribute of DeFi is Yield Farming which entails maximizing return from investing in decentralized protocols. The key difference compared to traditional crypto trading lies in participants becoming liquidity providers, earning rewards through staking or lending.

How Does Yield Farming Work?
Yield Farmers lock their assets in smart contracts, contributing to the liquidity of decentralized platforms. Unlike traditional crypto trading, which often relies on speculative buying and selling, Yield Farming generates returns through dynamic participation in decentralized financial protocols.

Notable DeFi Projects:
Compound (COMP): An algorithmic, autonomous interest rate protocol, Compound enables users to lend and borrow various cryptocurrencies.
Uniswap (UNI): A decentralized exchange allowing users to swap various ERC-20 tokens directly from their wallets, promoting liquidity provision.
Aave (AAVE): A decentralized lending platform facilitating lending and borrowing a wide array of cryptocurrencies.

Lending in DeFi:

Lending Protocols:
On the contrary, DeFi lending platforms like Aave and Compound have some notable distinct features compared to a conventional model. Smart contracts enable users to loan out assets and make interest without using banks.

Risks and Rewards:
Lending is decentralized in DeFi and therefore removes credit checks while presenting smart contract risks. Depositors are paid interest on their assets while borrowers can obtain finance without conventional financial institutions controlling them.

Key Differences:

  • Direct Peer-to-Peer Lending: Smart contracts bypass intermediaries in the case of DeFi lending which happens directly between users.
  • Automated Interest Rates: Unlike banking, which features static, predetermined rates, algorithms fluctuate depending on supply and demand, determining interest rates accordingly.
  • Transparency: Lending transactions are recorded on the blockchain, ensuring transparency and immutability.

Decentralized Exchanges (DEXs):

DEX Functionality:
Decentralized Exchanges like Uniswap or SushiSwap allow peer-to-peer crypto trading from an individual’s digital wallet. Unlike centralized exchanges, users do not have to hand over their private keys during transactions on DEX.

Advantages and Challenges:
The main difference is about user control. Unlike centralized exchanges that act as custodians for user funds, decentralized exchanges enable trustless, peer-to-peer trading directly from user wallets.

Notable DeFi Projects:
Uniswap (UNI):
A leading DEX that pioneered automated market-making, enabling users to trade without order books.
SushiSwap (SUSHI): A decentralized exchange and AMM platform that offers additional incentives to liquidity providers through yield farming.


The volatility of crypto market is stabilized by using stablecoins. Explore how stablecoins like USDC and DAI offer a secure haven for users, providing stability while participating in DeFi activities.
Challenges and Risks:
Stablecoins face challenges in maintaining stability, regulatory uncertainty, transparency, and technical risks. They also carry risks of peg failure, counterparty risks, operational risks, regulatory risks, and market risks.

Governance Tokens:

Participatory Decision-Making:
Governance tokens in DeFi, such as COMP and UNI, provide holders with voting power to influence protocol decisions. This key feature distinguishes DeFi governance from traditional crypto markets.
The Rise of DAOs:
Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) utilize governance tokens to enable community-driven decision-making. DAO is perhaps the most obvious representation of democracy in the DeFi space.

Key Differences:

  • Community-Driven Governance: Token holders play the role of active participants in determining how DeFi projects are meant to evolve.
  • Token-Based Voting: Traditional crypto markets lack the explicit involvement of token holders in decision-making processes.
  • Security: Governance decisions are secured by blockchain technology, ensuring transparency and immutability.

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Challenges and Risks:

There are new challenges and risks associated with smart contract vulnerabilities and network congestion, as well as financial risks like impermanent loss, rug pulls, and market manipulation. Also, operational risks include oracle attacks, governance failures, and hacking, while regulatory risks involve uncertainty, potential crackdowns, and compliance burdens. As such, it requires taking a cautious step that includes continued education, proper governance, and responsible engagement.

The Future of DeFi:

The future of DeFi is great and has a lot of potential. However, as the ecosystem develops we should see new DeFi applications such as more complex yield farming strategies, decentralized derivatives, and various financial products and services. In the financial sector, DeFi could transform the current state of affairs by bringing democracy to the provision of financial services, promoting invention, and redefining the financial systems of the future.


As we conclude this exploration, the distinctions between DeFi and traditional crypto markets become evident. DeFi's commitment to decentralization, accessibility, transparency, security, and innovative financial services not only sets it apart but also shapes the future of global finance. Whether it's Yield Farming, Lending, engaging with DEXs, or influencing governance through tokens, understanding these nuances empowers individuals to navigate and contribute to the evolving landscape of decentralized finance.

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