Aave is a decentralized finance protocol that allows people to lend and borrow crypto.
Lenders earn interest by depositing digital assets into specially created liquidity pools. Borrowers can then use their crypto as collateral to take out a flash loan using this liquidity.
Aave (which means “ghost” in Finnish) was originally known as ETHLend when it launched in November 2017, but the rebranding to Aave happened in September 2018. (This helps explain why this token’s ticker is so different from its name!)
LEND provides holders with discounted fees on the platform, and it also serves as a governance token — giving owners a say in the future development of the protocol.
Aave, and its predecessor ETHLend, were founded by Stani Kulechov. At the time, he was frustrated at the lack of lending applications on Ethereum — and his project was built before decentralized finance even existed.
Kulechov is a serial entrepreneur who went to law school and began programming when he was a teenager. He was an early adopter in the blockchain space. The CEO has said that he wanted to rebrand ETHLend as Aave so the company could offer a wider range of services beyond Ether lending.
According to Kulechov, Aave’s main target market are people who are already engaged in the cryptocurrency community.
Aave has several unique selling points when compared with competitors in an increasingly crowded market. During the DeFi craze in the summer of 2020, it was one of the biggest projects in terms of the total value of crypto locked in its protocol.
The project allows people to borrow and lend in about 20 cryptocurrencies, meaning that users have a greater amount of choice. One of Aave’s flagship products are “flash loans,” which have been billed as the first uncollateralized loan option in the DeFi space. There’s a catch: they must be paid back within the same transaction.
Another big selling point is how those who borrow through Aave can alternate between fixed and variable interest rates. While fixed rates can provide some certainty about costs during times of volatility in the crypto markets, variable rates can come in handy if the borrower thinks that prices will fall in the near future.
At the time of writing, LEND has a circulating supply of about 1.3 billion tokens. Circulation is linked to the total value locked on Aave, as tokens are burned whenever the protocol gathers fees.
An initial coin offering was held in November 2017, where $16.2 million was raised by selling one billion LEND tokens at a rate equivalent to $0.0162 a piece. At the time, 23% of LEND tokens were assigned to its founders and project.
LEND tokens have been built based on the ERC-20 standard, and they are designed to be deflationary. In the event of a shortfall in the DeFi protocol, staked tokens would be used as collateral as a last resort.
In July 2020, Aave unveiled plans to hold a token swap. This means that the 1.3 billion LEND tokens in circulation would be swapped for the newly minted AAVE cryptocurrency at a ratio of 1:100, creating a total supply of 16 million AAVE. (Three million of this would be held in reserve.)
Some of the biggest exchanges that list LEND tokens include CoinDCX, Binance, CoinBene and OKEx. You can find out more about how to convert fiat into crypto here.