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What is Aave? An Overview of the Budding DeFi Lending Platform

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Aave is a decentralized, open-source, non-custodial liquidity protocol that enables users to earn interest on cryptocurrency deposits, as well as borrow assets through smart contracts.

Aave is interesting (pardon the pun) because interest compounds immediately, rather than monthly or yearly. Returns are reflected by an increase in the number of AAVE tokens held by the lending party. 

Apart from helping to generate earnings, the protocol also offers flash loans. These are trustless, uncollateralized loans where borrowing and repayment occur in the same transaction. 

Assets on Aave as of 3/7/21 (source: aave homepage)

Assets on Aave as of 3/7/21 (source: aave homepage)

The following article explores Aave’s history, services, tokenomics, security, how the protocol works, and what users should be wary of when using the Aave platform.

How Does Aave Work?

The Aave protocol mints ERC-20 compliant tokens in a 1:1 ratio to the assets supplied by lenders. These tokens are known as aTokens and are interest-bearing in nature. These tokens are minted upon deposit and burned when redeemed. 

These aTokens, such as aDai, are pegged at a ratio of 1:1 to the value of the underlying asset – that is Dai in the case of aDai. 

The lending-borrowing mechanism of the Aave lending pool dictates that lenders will send their tokens to an Ethereum blockchain smart contract in exchange for these aTokens — assets that can be redeemed for the deposited token plus interest.  

atokens on Aave

atokens on Aave

Borrowers withdraw funds from the Aave liquidity pool by depositing the required collateral and, also, receive interest-bearing aTokens to represent the equivalent amount of the underlying asset.

Each liquidity pool, the liquidity market in the protocol where lenders deposit and borrowers withdraw from, has a predetermined loan-to-value ratio that determines how much the borrower can withdraw relative to their collateral. If the borrower’s position goes below the threshold LTV level, they face the risk of liquidation of their assets.

Humble Beginnings as ETHLend 

Aave was founded in May 2017 by Stani Kulechov as a decentralized peer-to-peer lending platform under the name ETHLend to create a transparent and open infrastructure for decentralized finance. ETHLend raised 16.5 million US dollars in its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) on November 25, 2017.

Kulechov, currently serving also as the CEO of Aave, has successfully led the company into the list of top 50 blockchain projects published by PWC. Aave is headquartered in London and backed by credible investors, such as Three Arrows Capital, Framework Ventures, ParaFi Capital, and DTC Capital.

ETHLend widened its bouquet of offerings and rebranded to Aave by September 2018. The Aave protocol was formally launched in January 2020, switching to the liquidity pool model from a Microstaking model.

To add context to this evolution from a Microstaking model to a Liquidity Pool model, Microstaking was where everyone using the ETHLend platform. Whether one is applying for a loan, funding a loan, or creating a loan offer, they had to purchase a ticket to obtain the rights to use the application, and that ticket had to be paid in the platform’s native token LEND. The ticket was previously a small amount pegged to USD, and the total number of LEND needed varied based on the token’s value. 

In the liquidity pool model, Lenders deposit funds to liquidity pools. Thus creating what’s known as a liquidity market, and borrowers can withdraw funds from the liquidity pools by providing collateral. In case the borrowers become undercollateralized, they face liquidation.

Aave raised another 4.5 million US dollars from an ICO and  3 million US dollars from Framework Ventures on July 8th and July 15th, 2020. 

Aave Pronunciation

Aave is typically pronounced “ah-veh.” 

Aave’s Products and Services

The Aave protocol is designed to help people lend and borrow cryptocurrency assets. Operating under a liquidity pool model, Aave allows lenders to deposit their digital assets into liquidity pools to a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain. In exchange, they receive aTokens — assets that can be redeemed for the deposited token plus interest.

Aave's functionality

Borrowers can take out a loan by putting their cryptocurrency as collateral. The liquidity protocol of Aave, as per the latest available numbers, is more than 4.73 billion US dollars strong. 

Flash Loans

Aave’s Flash loans are a type of uncollateralized loan option, which is a unique feature even for the DeFi space. The Flash Loan product is primarily utilized by speculators seeking to take advantage of quick arbitrage opportunities. 

Borrowers can instantly borrow cryptocurrency for a matter of seconds; they must return the borrowed amount to the pool within one transaction block. If they fail to return the borrowed amount within the same transaction block, the entire transaction reverses and undo all actions executed until that point. 

Flash loans encourage a wide range of investment strategies that typically aren’t possible in such a short window of time. If used properly, a user could profit through arbitrage, collateral swapping, or self-liquidation.

Rate Switching

Aave allows borrowers to switch between fixed and floating rates, which is a fairly unique feature in DeFi. Interest rates in any DeFi lending and borrowing protocol are usually volatile, and this feature offers an alternative by providing an avenue of fixed stability. 

For example, if you’re borrowing money on Aave and expect interest rates to rise, you can switch your loan to a fixed rate to lock in your borrowing costs for the future. In contrast, if you expect rates to decrease, you can go back to floating to reduce your borrowing costs.

Aave Bug Bounty Campaign

Aave offers a bug bounty for cryptocurrency-savvy users. By submitting a bug to the Aave protocol, you can earn a reward of up to $250,000.

Aave Tokenomics

The maximum supply of the AAVE token is 16 million, and the current circulating supply is a little above 12.4 million AAVE tokens.

Initially, AAVE had 1.3 billion tokens in circulation. But in a July 2020 token swap, the protocol swapped the existing tokens for newly minted AAVE coins at a 1:100 ratio, resulting in the current 16 million supply. Three million of these tokens were kept in reserve allocated to the development fund for the core team. 

Aave’s price has been fairly volatile, with an all-time high of $559.12 on February 10, 2021. The lowest price was $25.97 on November 5th, 2020. 

Aave Security

Aave stores funds on a non-custodial smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain. As a non-custodial project, users maintain full control of their wallets. 

Aave governance token holders can stake their tokens in the safety module, which acts as a sort of decentralized insurance fund designed to ensure the protocol against any shortfall events such as contract exploits. In the module, the stakers can risk up to 30% of the funds they lock in the module and earn a fixed yield of 4.66%. 

The safety module has garnered $375 million in deposits, which is arguably the largest decentralized insurance fund of its kind. 

AAVE Token Price

Aave emerged as one of the fastest-growing projects in the Summer 2020 DeFi craze. At the beginning of July 2020, the total value locked in the protocol was just above $115 million US dollars. In less than a year, on February 13, 2021, the protocol crossed the mark of 6 billion US dollars.

Final Thoughts: Why is Aave Important?

Aave is a DeFi protocol built on strong fundamentals and has forced other competitors in the DeFi space to bolster their value propositions to stay competitive. Features such as Flash loans and Rate switching offer a distinct utility to many of its users. The project currently allows borrowing and lending in 20 cryptocurrencies.

Aave is important because it shows how ripe the DeFi space is for disruption with new innovative features and how much room there is to grow.


Looking to see how Aave compares to another rapidly-growing DeFi project? Check out our guide on Aave vs. Compound.

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Source: https://coincentral.com/what-is-aave/

Blockchain

Amid Rumors Of Dumping Its BTC Holdings, Elon Musk Maintains Tesla Hasn’t Sold Any Bitcoin

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Amid Rumors Of Dumping Its BTC Holdings, Elon Musk Maintains Tesla Hasn't Sold Any Bitcoin

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Elon Musk has been dragged under the bus by countless bitcoin proponents as the price of the flagship currency continues to take a downward movement. Bitcoin dropped 20%, sending prices to $45,000 as of yesterday.

As of publication, Bitcoin imitates analysts’ predictions that the asset could continue to dip for the most part of this week, and with Bitcoin now trading at $45,065 at press time, their analysis remains valid.

BTCUSD
BTCUSD Chart By TradingView

The Bitcoin selloff continues

Asides from the “bearish” tweets from Musk, which to many is simply just the Billionaire’s expression of his dissatisfaction with Bitcoin, Bitcoin could sustain more losses if Tesla sold its remaining Bitcoin holdings.

Following Tesla’s announcement, onlookers spotted a Bitcoin transfer of 19,259, worth over $872 million at press time. Analyst William Clemente observed that the transfer time coincided with Musk’s tweet, hinting that Tesla may have indeed called it a day for Bitcoin.

Musk reveals Tesla’s $1.5 billion holdings still intact, prices soar

However, Musk has recently cleared the air on whether the Bitcoin holdings are still under Tesla’s belt. In what could be considered the most recent positive tweet from Musk on Bitcoin, he wrote “To clarify speculation, Tesla has not sold any Bitcoin.”

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Some excited Bitcoiners are holding on to the news as a sign that Tesla has not lost all interest in Bitcoin, despite Musk’s tweets that Dogecoin is a superior asset to Bitcoin. On the other hand, skeptical Bitcoiners are convinced that in a matter of time, Tesla will pull through with its Bitcoin sale.

Recall that Elon Musk teased that this could be the case, given that Bitcoin proponents have continued to critique Tesla’s decision. Shortly after hinting that Tesla might give up its $1.5 billion Bitcoin holdings.

However, Bitcoin has since surged by 7% since Musk’s clarification on Tesla’s Bitcoin holdings.

Bitcoin doesn’t need Elon Musk

Meanwhile, analysts’ who heavily bought the dip have insisted that Bitcoiners pay no mind to the bear market.

In unison, key players agree that “Bitcoin doesn’t need Musk. Rather, Musk needs Bitcoin.” It is unclear where the market is headed going forward, but the sentiments from top Bitcoin proponents similarly claim that the bear trend is only temporary, as Bitcoin is still yet to bottom.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://zycrypto.com/amid-rumors-of-dumping-its-btc-holdings-elon-musk-maintains-tesla-hasnt-sold-any-bitcoin/

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Blockchain

Live Dealer BTC Casino Games – What Can I Play?

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Discover if you can play live dealer casino games at leading crypto casinos using Bitcoin and other options with our guide.

In many ways, Bitcoin casinos can offer virtually the same experience as a conventional online casino. This is terrific news if you are thinking of making the jump but are concerned about missing out on games, promotions, and other services. Where do live dealer games fall, though? As only a handful of software providers have committed to introducing cryptocurrencies into the accepted range of currencies for their games, are cryptocurrency casino players set to miss out on playing the hottest live dealer games around? We have had a look, and we have got an answer.

Can You Play Live Dealer Games with Cryptocurrencies?

In a word – yes. Admittedly, not every casino software provider has taken to cryptocurrencies. Many Evolution Gaming live dealer games can be played at cryptocurrency casinos, but you may not be able to “wager” using BTC on some of them. Instead, your Bitcoin deposits will be converted into US dollars for gameplay. It is the same story for many of the smaller live casino software providers out there, too. However, you can certainly expect to play live dealer games at cryptocurrency casinos, even if you cannot wager with them. There are, of course, one or two providers who go one step further and do permit BTC wagers.

Which Software Providers Allow This?

Ezugi is the leading casino software provider to approve Bitcoin as one of their games’ accepted currencies. Ezugi has made sure that you can deposit, wager, and withdraw using BTC on many of their most popular titles. Naturally, you do not have to do this if you choose to play at a cryptocurrency casino that accepts FIAT currencies, as you will be able to wager using FIAT options, too.

What Types of Games Can I Play?

There are several types of gambling and casino games that you can choose to play. If you merely want to play live dealer games at cryptocurrency casinos, you will have an ample array of all the most popular games, ranging from baccarat to blackjack, roulette, table poker and money-wheel and game show titles. Alternatively, if you pop over to Ezugi’s collection, you can also find dice games, lottery-style titles and even keno games, and these can be played using Bitcoin.

Top Casinos Offering Live Dealer Crypto Games

To make the most out of playing live dealer cryptocurrency casino games, you need to find a top site offering them. However, we would advocate that you choose a casino that also accepts FIAT currencies alongside Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency options. Sites such as BitcoinCasino.io fit the bill rather nicely. The main reason for choosing to do this is that you will have access to a full array of games from many live dealer providers. This way, even if you cannot play live casino games using BTC, you can still use FIAT currency options to enjoy an ultra-realistic, live-streamed casino gambling experience.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.livebitcoinnews.com/live-dealer-btc-casino-games-what-can-i-play/

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Blockchain

Galaxy Digital report details Bitcoin consumes less energy than banking and gold.

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Galaxy Digital has released a report on Bitcoin energy consumption, detailing how it consumes less than traditional financial industries and the value it can bring. The analysis uses several calculations to ascertain how much energy the Bitcoin network uses and how it stacks up against the banking and gold industries. The authors also noted that the energy usage criticisms are not usually applied to traditional industries. 

Bitcoin’s annual energy consumption is estimated to be 113.89 TWh/yr.

Galaxy Digital report lauds Bitcoin for being transparent, while incumbent companies are opaque and don’t often disclose their energy footprint. The authors accept that the Bitcoin network consumes a great deal of energy but assert that this is exactly what secures the network and makes it so robust. According to Galaxy Digital’s calculation, the annual electricity consumption of Bitcoin is estimated to be 113.89 TWh/yr. For some perspective, the energy consumption of always-on devices in the US is 1,375 TWh/yr — 12.1 times that of Bitcoin’s consumption. 

The total energy consumption of the gold industry is estimated to be 240.61 TWh/yr.

For the gold industry, the analysts took a look at all of the processes involved, including those directly emitting greenhouse gasses, those indirectly emitting them, and emissions stemming from refinement and recycling. Multiplying the total 100,408,508 tCo2 in emissions with the global IEA carbon intensity multiplier estimates the total energy consumption of the gold industry to be 240.61 TWh/yr. The analysts also noted that the consumption of the gold and banking industries is hard to estimate because of a lack of data on energy usage. This makes it difficult to “have an honest conversation” about Bitcoin’s energy use. The report estimated the banking industry’s energy consumption to be 238.92 TWh/year. Earlier, Tesla announced to discontinue bitcoin payments citing environmental issues.  

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://coinnounce.com/galaxy-digital-report-details-bitcoin-consumes-less-energy-than-banking-and-gold/

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