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About Compound

In the fast-paced world of decentralized finance (DeFi), Compound emerges as a trailblazing lending platform, revolutionizing how digital assets generate value. By transforming cryptocurrencies into earning entities, Compound allows investors to dive into its diverse liquidity pools. Here’s how it works: users lock their digital currencies into the platform’s pools, receiving cTokens in exchange. These cTokens aren’t just placeholders, they’re power-packed with potential, growing in value and representing a stake in the pool’s assets.

Borrowers seeking liquidity without selling off assets can secure loans from these pools, offering collateral to back their borrowings. This creates a dynamic ecosystem where assets are continuously at work, fostering a robust financial environment.

At the heart of Compound’s innovative framework is the COMP token, more than just a digital asset, it’s a ticket to governance. Token holders wield influence, steering the platform’s future through proposals, discussions, and votes on protocol amendments. In essence, Compound is not just a platform but a participatory digital economy, redefining asset management in the DeFi realm.

Origin and History

Diving into the genesis of Compound reveals a story steeped in academic excellence and innovative zeal. Birthed in September 2018, Compound is the brainchild of two University of Pennsylvania alumni, Robert Leshner and Geoffrey Hayes. With Leshner’s economic savvy at the helm as CEO and Hayes’ technical prowess guiding the ship as CTO, this San Francisco-based powerhouse, Compound Labs, has been on an upward trajectory.

Since its inception, the platform has metamorphosed through its updates, each iteration refining its DeFi capabilities. The saga saw a pivotal chapter in May 2019 with the rollout of Compound v2, further expanding its financial horizons. Fast forward to August 2022, and the world witnessed the dawn of Compound III (also dubbed v3 or Comet), marking another milestone in its ambitious journey.

Compound Labs’ trajectory is underscored by a robust financial backbone, with nearly $71 million in venture capital fueling its ascent. Among its esteemed backers is the powerhouse Andreessen Horowitz, attesting to Compound’s significance and potential in the ever-expanding universe of decentralized finance.

How Compound Works

Compound is a groundbreaking platform that revolutionizes the way lenders and borrowers interact by leveraging the power of smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain and incentivizing users with cryptocurrency rewards.

The platform caters to two primary user groups: lenders and borrowers. Lenders can effortlessly earn interest on their cryptocurrencies by sending their tokens to a designated Ethereum address managed by Compound. On the other hand, borrowers can access a wide range of supported cryptocurrencies by posting collateral in the form of their own digital assets. The amount they can borrow is determined by a percentage of the collateral’s value.

Compound’s unique incentive system rewards lenders with COMP tokens based on the number of cTokens they hold in their wallets. The interest rate for these rewards varies depending on the available supply of each asset, with higher liquidity resulting in lower interest rates.

One of the most attractive features of Compound is its flexibility. Users who lend assets to the protocol can also take out loans in any other supported cryptocurrency, up to the value of their posted collateral. This allows for a wide range of financial strategies and opportunities.

However, it’s crucial for borrowers to be mindful of the risks involved. If the value of the borrowed asset increases beyond the value of the posted collateral, borrowers may face liquidation. This mechanism ensures the stability and security of the platform.

In summary, Compound is a cutting-edge platform that harnesses the potential of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies to create a seamless, efficient, and rewarding lending and borrowing experience for its users.

COMP Tokens and Governance

Compound’s native token, COMP, seamlessly integrates with the Ethereum blockchain by adhering to the ERC-20 standard, ensuring compatibility with all other assets on the network.

COMP serves a dual purpose within the Compound ecosystem. Firstly, it empowers users to actively participate in the governance of the protocol by proposing and voting on various platform changes. This decentralized decision-making process ensures that the community has a strong voice in shaping the future of Compound.

Secondly, COMP acts as a powerful incentive for users to engage with the platform. By lending or borrowing assets, users accumulate COMP tokens proportional to their activity, effectively rewarding them for their participation and contribution to the platform’s liquidity and growth.

The total supply of COMP tokens is capped at 10 million, creating a sense of scarcity and value. The distribution of these tokens is strategically allocated to different stakeholders. A significant portion, 42%, is earmarked for gradual distribution to platform users over time, ensuring a continuous incentive for participation. The founders and team members have been allocated 26% of the tokens, while investors and shareholders have been promised 24%. The remaining 8% is reserved for community initiatives and governance incentives, fostering a vibrant and engaged ecosystem.

To ensure a fair and controlled release of tokens, the allocations for founders, team members, investors, and shareholders are subject to a four-year vesting schedule. This measured approach prevents sudden market fluctuations and promotes long-term stability, with the final tokens set to be released in June 2024.

In essence, COMP is the lifeblood of the Compound platform, driving governance, incentivizing participation, and creating a sustainable and thriving decentralized finance ecosystem.

The Compound Ecosystem

Diving into the Compound ecosystem reveals a dynamic digital arena powered by core components: users, smart contracts, developers, and the pivotal COMP token.

Users: The lifeblood of Compound, these players take on dual roles. Borrowers tap into the platform’s resources, accessing cryptocurrencies and stablecoins, while lenders fuel the ecosystem with their funds, earning interest in return. This interplay drives the vibrant market activity within Compound.

Smart Contracts: Acting as the ecosystem’s architects, these automated contracts orchestrate the exchange between borrowers and lenders. They meticulously manage funds, compute interest earnings, and fine-tune interest rates, ensuring a balance between supply and demand. These smart contracts are the unsung heroes maintaining the ecosystem’s equilibrium.

Developers: The open-source nature of Compound invites a legion of developers to its fold. These tech savants dive deep into the code, innovating and resolving issues, propelling the platform towards continual enhancement. Their contributions are pivotal in shaping Compound’s evolutionary path.

COMP Token: At the core of Compound’s token economy is the COMP token, a beacon of value and reward. It’s not just a currency, it’s a badge of contribution, rewarding users for their active participation and offering them a stake in the platform’s financial growth. Through this token, the Compound ecosystem thrives, marrying financial incentive with user engagement to foster a self-sustaining digital finance landscape.

How Compound Crypto Liquidity Pools Work

In the dynamic world of Compound, the ebb and flow of interest rates are intricately tied to the size of its crypto pools. Picture this: a vast ocean of crypto assets pooled in Compound, leading to lower interest rates. Why? The abundance of available funds diminishes the reward for contributing additional assets. Conversely, when the pool shrinks, it becomes more lucrative, offering higher interest rates to attract fresh capital.

This scenario sets the stage for a strategic financial dance. Savvy investors are incentivized to inject new cryptocurrency into leaner pools, capitalizing on the higher interest potential. Meanwhile, reducing personal exposure in smaller pools by repaying borrowed funds and shifting borrowing activities to larger, more affordable pools becomes a prudent strategy.

Diving deeper into Compound’s mechanics reveals a robust safety net. Borrowers must pledge collateral exceeding their loan value, ensuring the loans are over-collateralized. This buffer guards against market volatility. However, if the collateral’s value nosedives too close to the borrowed amount, the cToken smart contract springs into action, initiating liquidation or a margin call. In this scenario, while borrowers retain the borrowed amount, their collateral is forfeited, underscoring the critical balance between risk and reward in the Compound ecosystem.


Compound was founded in 2017 by Robert Leshner and Geoffrey Hayes. Leshner previously worked at Postmates while Hayes was previously a software engineer at Augur. Together they envisioned a protocol to unlock the capital in cryptocurrencies to make money markets using blockchain technology.

Compound’s native token COMP can be purchased on major exchanges including Coinbase, Binance, FTX and others. COMP is an ERC-20 token that runs on the Ethereum blockchain. Make sure to use reputable exchanges when buying COMP.

There are several options to store COMP safely. Leading non-custodial wallets like IronWallet provide support for COMP and other Ethereum-based tokens. IronWallet gives users total control of private keys while also offering features like trading and staking. Hardware wallets like Ledger and Trezor also provide secure storage for COMP offline.

Compound differentiates itself from other DeFi lending protocols with its elegant algorithmic approach to setting interest rates. This automated market maker engine provides real-time interest rates based on supply and demand. The Compound protocol is also highly composable with other DeFi applications.

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