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Curve is a decentralized exchange and automated market maker that focuses on stablecoins. It not only offers exchange between different dollar-pegged stablecoins, but also between other pegged assets such as wBTC, renBTC and sBTC – all Bitcoin pegged assets. Curve is built on the Ethereum network and works in a similar way to other AMMs like Balancer and Uniswap, where users provide liquidity to its various pools in exchange for yield.

Curve’s goal is to allow stablecoins and pegged assets to be traded on-chain, with the absolute bare minimum of slippage, and at fees low enough to rival centralized exchanges. For those for whom centralized exchanges are anathema, the Curve protocol currently offers the best way to exchange high volumes of stablecoins on-chain.

How Does Curve Work?

Curve uses, as its name might suggest, a bonding curve formula to ensure stablecoins are traded at the best possible price. Due to the narrow lens of its focus, it does an excellent job of making sure traders get the optimum price at the point of exchange, even when large volumes are involved. 

The usefulness of Curve is that, by acting as a central trading post for stablecoins, it lets traders who are participating in multiple DeFi protocols gain access to a quick and easy way to get the coins they need, without the need for centralized solutions. 

Curve has many broad pools consisting of multiple stablecoins and, when a user makes a trade, it optimises the route through the coins in the pool so that the absolute minimum of slippage occurs. Curves’ most popular pool, 3pool, contains USDC, USDT and DAI, within which trades that run up to tens of millions of dollars can be achieved with as close to a 1:1 ratio as can be reasonably expected. 

If you were to execute trades of that value on Uniswap, it’s likely you’d end up losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in slippage alone. Even on a CEX the fee for the exchange would be so brutal as to make frequent switching – as a DeFi crusader might need – ruinous for any kind of sensible trading strategy. Indeed, this is what the founder envisaged Curve being useful for when it was first created.

How Does Curve Reward Liquidity Providers?

Curve is a liquidity aggregator. This means it will let anyone add their stablecoins to the protocol’s pools for providing standard liquidity in exchange for potential yield, which is paid out in $CRV tokens.

There are currently 20 pools on Curve with a volume over $1 million, and a smattering of other pools with significantly less volume. As with all DeFi protocols, pools offer their own risk/reward spreads to suit the appetite of the investor. For example, when you are participating in the 3pool, which contains USDC,USDT, & DAI, you are trusting that each of the assets will remain solvent. If one of those assets “fails”, you could potentially lose some of your capital through something known as impermanent loss.

What is the $CRV token?

$CRV is distributed to liquidity providers as a reward for providing liquidity to the pools on the protocol. Being a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) the ownership of $CRV also confers governance rights. 

The Curve protocol also offers significant above-market yields if liquidity providers lock up their $CRV for four years, in a process which is known as veCRV (vested CRV). This rather epochal timescale (in crypto terms) can put many people off, but for those who are long-sighted and want to earn impressive yield on their stablecoin reserves, it’s an alluring option.

Moreover, the longer $CRV is locked up, the greater the voting weight the tokens locked grant to its holder. This can lead to some interesting effects, with pools ‘bribing’ CRV stakers to vote the way they want, as governance includes deciding how much and how often yield is awarded to various pools. It would be noted that $CRV is also now deflationary, further adding to its appeal to investors and holders.

DeFi Foundation

With its mathematical bonding curve giving excellent stablecoin exchange rates, Curve has become something of a centerpiece to the modern DeFi economy. Protocols like Yearn and Convex use Curve as a central part of their strategies. With differing protocols all built on different stablecoins, and the current jockeying for position to be the true stable token of the crypto world, it’s likely that Curve will continue to be a pillar of the DeFi community for years to come.

How can I get CRV?

Getting CRV is easy on Numio. You can use your credit or debit card to purchase ETH or USDC, which can then be exchanged for CRV*, you can swap or trade it for other ERC-20 tokens (up to 100x cheaper than other wallets), and you can send or receive it as a payment. Whatever way you choose you can be sure that you are always in full control of your CRV.

*direct CRV purchases coming soon.

Download Numio to get Curve

How can I get CRV?

Getting CRV is easy on Numio. You can use your credit or debit card to purchase ETH or USDC, which can then be exchanged for CRV*, you can swap or trade it for other ERC-20 tokens (up to 100x cheaper than other wallets), and you can send or receive it as a payment. Whatever way you choose you can be sure that you are always in full control of your CRV.

*L2 trades for other tokens coming soon

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