DeFi Compound Finance Explained

DeFi Compound Finance Explained

Lending and borrowing cryptocurrencies are made easy with Compound Finance's user-friendly platform. By utilizing an Ethereum wallet and having funds available, individuals can easily participate in borrowing or earning interest. The process of supplying assets to Compound is straightforward, and importantly, funds are never entrusted to any external entity.


Compound Finance has revolutionized borrowing and lending in Decentralized Finance (DeFi), making it incredibly convenient. As one of the top protocols in the DeFi realm, Compound offers a reliable platform for borrowing and lending cryptocurrencies. Essentially, it functions as a secure savings account, enabling users to earn interest without the need to rely on a third party with their funds.

The user experience provided by Compound is seamless, thanks to its extensive real-world testing. Moreover, numerous yield farmers utilize Compound to borrow assets, which they then supply to other DeFi protocols. This further highlights the platform's significance and popularity within the DeFi community.

What Is Compound Finance?

As an algorithmic money market, Compound Finance is a DeFi lending protocol that enables users to deposit cryptocurrencies and either earn interest or borrow other crypto assets using them. It functions as an open marketplace for currencies, allowing users to deposit cryptocurrencies and either earn interest or borrow other crypto assets using them. This is facilitated through the utilization of smart contracts, which automate the storage and management of the funds involved.

One of the key features of Compound is its permissionless nature, enabling any individual with a Web 3.0 wallet, such as Metamask, and an Internet connection to connect to the protocol and start earning interest. This eliminates the need for negotiation between suppliers and borrowers, as both parties can directly interact with the protocol itself. By doing so, the protocol handles matters such as collateral and interest rates, eliminating the need for counterparties to hold funds. Instead, the assets are securely held in smart contracts known as liquidity pools.

Interest rates on Compound are determined algorithmically, adjusting dynamically based on the prevailing supply and demand conditions. Moreover, the holders of COMP tokens possess the authority to make adjustments to these interest rates, further contributing to the flexibility of the protocol.

How Does It Work?

Compound operates by utilizing cTokens as tokens representing supplied assets within the protocol. These cTokens are ERC-20 tokens that correspond to specific portions of the asset pool. For example, when users deposit assets like ETH or DAI into Compound, they are converted into cETH or cDAI respectively. Each asset earns interest based on its interest rate, meaning cDAI earns the cDAI interest rate and cETH earns the cETH interest rate. By redeeming cTokens, users can access the portion of the asset pool they represent, making their supplied assets available in their connected wallets. As the money market generates interest and borrowing activity increases, cTokens also accumulate interest, resulting in a larger conversion to the underlying asset.

To interact with Compound, users connect their Web 3.0-enabled wallets, such as Metamask, and unlock the desired asset they wish to engage with. Once unlocked, users have the flexibility to participate in both borrowing and lending activities. Lending is straightforward: users unlock the asset they want to supply liquidity for, sign a transaction through their wallet, and supply capital. The assets are instantly added to the pool and start earning interest in real-time, concurrently converting into cTokens. On the other hand, borrowing entails users depositing collateral to cover the loan. In return, they earn "Borrowing Power," which determines their borrowing capacity. Compound employs the concept of overcollateralization, requiring borrowers to provide more value as collateral than the amount they borrow to mitigate the risk of liquidation.

Each asset in the Compound possesses its unique borrow and supply Annual Percentage Rate (APR). These rates dynamically adjust based on supply and demand, resulting in distinct interest rates for both lending and borrowing. Therefore, different assets earn varying interest rates within the protocol.

Compound's Governance

Robert Leshner founded Compound Finance as a company with venture capital funding. However, the governance structure of the Compound has gradually transitioned towards decentralization, thanks to the introduction of the COMP token. This token grants the holder both governance rights and a share in the fees generated by the protocol.

Through the COMP token, holders possess the ability to influence the protocol by submitting improvement proposals and participating in on-chain voting. Each token represents a vote, enabling holders to express their opinions on various matters. In the future, it is envisioned that the complete governance of the Compound protocol will be entrusted to COMP token holders.

Some of the key issues that COMP holders commonly vote on include determining which cToken markets to list, setting interest rates for assets, and establishing required collateralization levels. Additionally, they can also contribute to deciding which blockchain oracles should be utilized within the protocol. These voting rights empower COMP holders to shape the direction and policies of the Compound ecosystem actively.

Pros and Cons of Compound Finance

Compound offers not only a simple way to earn interest but also provides opportunities for experienced traders to leverage their positions. Let's consider an example: a trader who is bullish on ETH can supply their ETH to the Compound protocol and borrow USDT against it. They can then use the borrowed funds to buy more ETH. If the price of ETH rises and the profits outweigh the interest paid for borrowing, the trader can make a profit.

It is important to note that this strategy also comes with increased risks. If the price of ETH declines, the trader is still obligated to repay the borrowed amount along with interest, and there is a possibility of their collateral (ETH) being liquidated.

In addition to market risks, it is crucial to consider other potential risks when interacting with Compound. Although Compound has undergone audits by reputable firms like Trail of Bits and OpenZeppelin, vulnerabilities and bugs can still arise, as with any software.

Before sending funds to a smart contract, it is essential to carefully evaluate all risks involved. Regardless of the financial product or platform, it is advised to only risk what you can afford to lose. Sound risk management and due diligence are vital in navigating the world of decentralized finance.


  • Offers a simple way to earn interest
  • Provides opportunities for experienced traders to leverage their positions


  • Comes with increased risks, including market risks and the possibility of liquidation
  • Vulnerabilities and bugs can still arise, despite undergoing audits by reputable firms


With its smart contract integration with various applications, Compound Finance has become a prominent lending and borrowing platform in the DeFi space, gaining significant popularity. Its smart contract integration with various applications has made it an essential component of the DeFi ecosystem.

With the ongoing process of decentralization, where governance rights are gradually transitioned to token holders, Compound is poised to solidify its position as a fundamental money market protocol in DeFi. This shift towards full decentralization holds the potential to enhance Compound's role and influence within the DeFi landscape.

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