Yield farming is the practice of staking or lending crypto assets to generate high returns or rewards in the form of additional cryptocurrency. In short, yield farming protocols incentivize liquidity providers (LP) to stake or lock up their crypto assets in a smart contract-based liquidity pool. These incentives can be a percentage of transaction fees, interest from lenders, or a governance token. These returns are expressed as an annual percentage yield (APY). As more investors add funds to the related liquidity pool, the value of the issued returns rise in value.
At its core, yield farming is a process that allows cryptocurrency holders to lock up their holdings, which in turn provides them with rewards. More specifically, it’s a process that lets you earn either fixed or variable interest by investing crypto in a DeFi market.
How does Yield Farming work?
Yield farming is closely related to a model called automated market maker (AMM). It typically involves liquidity providers (LPs) and liquidity pools. Let’s see how it works.
Liquidity providers deposit funds into a liquidity pool. This pool powers a marketplace where users can lend, borrow, or exchange tokens. The usage of these platforms incurs fees, which are then paid out to liquidity providers according to their share of the liquidity pool. This process is the foundation of AMM.
On top of fees, another incentive to add funds to a liquidity pool could be the distribution of the protocol token. For example, there may not be a way to buy a token on the open market, only in small amounts. On the other hand, it may be accumulated by providing liquidity to a specific pool. Liquidity providers get a return based on the amount of liquidity they are providing to the pool.