How Normies Are Getting Crypto-Rich With DeFi
Ethereum whales undoubtedly drive the decentralized finance (DeFi) movement, but many people making money on DeFi trends are just regular Joes, so to speak.Â
One such trader, who asked to go only by Joe, is a math student at a Canadian university. Just by playing with Ethereum software and his own calculations, he managed to make hundreds of thousands of dollars in 2020. This wasnât his first rodeo, however; heâs been trading on decentralized exchanges (DEXs) for more than a year.
âIâm not a whale in the crypto world but Iâm one of the top users of the DeFi protocol I use,â he said. âBefore, when DeFi was smaller, there was a lot less competition.âÂ
Since Weird DeFiâs food craze began, Joe said âhigh yieldsâ are now available to newcomers âwithout a lot of technical knowledge.âÂ
Itâs impossible to say just how many rookie traders raked in unusually high profits during the YAM debacle in August, when an unaudited crypto experiment garnered $465 million in crypto then imploded within 72 hours.Â
One such anonymous YAM user, who said he rarely trades on exchanges, said he found the YAM trading game fun and relatively easy. He participated in the community vote to âsaveâ YAM, then said he promptly âdumpedâ his tokens when he realized the software experiment was not sustainable. All things considered, he said he earned $15,000 from participating in YAM, having spent up to $800 on transaction fees.Â
For both of the above-mentioned DeFi fans, this is a life-changing amount of money. These users often rely on service providers to access the DeFi ecosystem. As such, traders werenât the only winners of the Yam gambling game. Companies that run the Ethereum network also accrued traffic and transaction fees during the rise of Yam and Sushi, CREAM and now Pickle.
âI access farming and do most one-time things with MetaMask,â Joe said. âThe only other [service] I use is the Web3 provider Infura.âÂ
The DeFi mentality emphasizes open-source access to tools, services with low barriers to entry and distributed teams. Sometimes, this includes low barriers to entry for high-risk games.Â
According to Uniswap founder Hayden Adams in June 2020, most of the Uniswap ecosystem relies on ConsenSys infrastructure services, like Infura. This has also proven to be the common pattern for copycat DeFi projects like SushiSwap. ConsenSys spokesperson James Beck said the Ethereum conglomerate restructured to make infrastructure and wallet services, like Infura and the DeFi-friendly wallet MetaMask, pillars of the companyâs âcore software business.âÂ
ConsenSysâs head of product for Infura, Michael Godsey, said his team handled the âincreased usageâ from the food-themed yield farming spike, watching closely to understand âthese new usage patterns.â Such DeFi experiments provide inspiration and research data for Ethereum startups, not chagrin.Â
In reference to the DEX tools people use to access these trading games, Godsey added, âUniswap and MetaMask are two of our amazing customers and many yield farmers are utilizing their platform to participate in this new activity.â
As for Joe, the Canadian college student, he said he plans to keep stacking tokens because the broader DeFi movement is âsustainable and has been growing at a relatively slow pace for years.âÂ
On the other hand, he said the trends over the past few months were heavily influenced by Compoundâs token model. Joe reasoned these DeFi experiments might end in a âbig crashâ or slow fizzle.Â Â Â
âAs long as risk-adjusted yield is higher than for other opportunities, I will keep using them,â he said.
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