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Crypto yield - too good to be true?

Great video from Uncommon Core taking a look at a commonly asked question, why are DeFi/token yields so high? It's something we hear often and have asked ourselves and when you look at the tokenomics of the typical protocol, it's easy to see why yields can be as strong as they are compared to traditional finance.

In this video, the crew show 3 key reasons why yields are so high, and it is basically due to supply and demand. This includes:

Leverage - the demand for leverage which pushes up demand is something that's only seen in the cryptocurrency space but markets like commodities and other traditional financial markets experience this kind of demand side push as well.

Protocol Tokens – In providing liquidity to the protocol the investor is provided tokens in that protocol which are effectively like ownership of what goes on in that group.

Earning from protocol activity – By having ownership in a protocol and seeing that being used more as it gets popular or is being utilised more, investors gain beneficial ownership and it is akin to owning equity in a company.

In the rest of the video, they go through more factors such as:

  • what works in terms of the use of levarage (it depends on risk tolerance and having good risk controls),

  • how GBTC (Grayscale Bitcoin Trust) can trade at a large discount to NAV even though its mostly been at a premium in its lifetime (profit taking and timing as part of this),

  • how it is possible that new protocols can pay users such high yields to utilise the platform and the key points there are that demand and supply drives this

    • demand side of markets coming from analysis of the growth of the toke, the team, and its current cash flows

    • supply side comes from users getting given tokens and users deciding to hold or sell the token and whether users believe in the token or not

  • project legitimacy and the risks that can come from tokens that launch to much fanfare but pull the rug on unsuspecting investors

  • the ultra-fast feedback loop in the world of DeFi is also another key aspect of this space with concepts of open source at play

One of the last point here is in how they draw the comparison to what users are used to in non-DeFi worlds (off-chain) with some players being those who supply liquidity and others being those who trade between assets. The same actions happen on the blockchain (on-chain).

They finish up talking about how transformational DeFi is compared with traditional finance and how we are in a paradigm shift. Compared with normal finance there is either shorter time to market as you may not be waiting on various financial licenses that you'd normally need, there are fewer people needed to get a company started and there is lower need to raise money from venture capitalists and banks.

Great video here and if you are looking at the risks of rug pulls, its worth checking out to see if they have provided a risk rating on a token you’re interested in.


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