What are the best / worst parts of Yearn?

I’ll start

Best parts

  • Friendly people in all communication channels helps create a welcoming environment for those in the community

Worst parts:

  • no snapshot vote for 8 months shows perhaps lack of transparency, though more effective decisions perhaps need to be made faster and in private
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To reinforce your point: the seeming disconnect between publicly stated openness of collaboration and the opaqueness of the work being done along with the difficulty in contributing to it.

Other pros: funny bunny on twitter. enthusiastic friendly people when you do get over the intimidation factor to actually talk to them.

This thread baited me into finally creating a forum account, so another threshold crossed :muscle:

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Best parts:

  • Ease of use. Zapping in/out of pools makes my life (and my accountant’s) far easier.

  • Yearn team is well-reputed in the community for its white-hat skills; saving unrelated projects and their users from complete financial devastation on a frequent basis.

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Best part :

  • the team

  • committed to running an open org

  • security focus and attention to the users of yearn products

  • extremely transparent and governance driven

  • good diversity of vaults and ape vaults (can be hard to find for some users)

Worst parts :

  • lack of flexibility in some of the products ( would love an option to compound some of the rewards of some vaults potentially “aka” not selling everything ) or opt-in a more risky strategy where the yield is sold in a longer timeframe rather than immediately. (more yield helper products?)

  • drop the management fees

  • revamped tokenomics with a ve-model or stk-model

  • the beta v3 is an improvement on the UI front but slow pace of implementation it feels :frowning:

The first and last point is mostly a staff issue and a shortage of technical talents is difficult to fix so no one should feel like taking the blame here btw

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The best part of Yearn?

YFI discord. I have been having the time of my life since coming here, my life has changed so far into the positive it feels weird saying it happened in discord hah. The culture is just right here - professional but not too serious we cant laugh at a dang joke or a meme. Super friendly mods, volunteers, regulars, newcomers, regular industry names stop by. Even the team pops in every once and a while to chat! I have made valuable and meaningful connections with people who I continue to learn from and hang out with daily. This is truly a hidden gem of this space and I cherish every moment of it.

Worst part of Yearn?

Look to others for their assessment on protocol. I have only positive things to say about YFI and community.

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Best: community, teams, people, big brains, openness, speed, anime

The people in, of, and around Yearn are great. The several interconnected teams are interesting to watch in how effective each role is addressed. The speed of addressing issues and priority given to security shows me confidence. I like the involvement of anime because it’s so unconventional and so many people are triggered by it.

Worst: accessibility, complexity, speed, fees

Because of how complicated all of the pieces fit together, it may be intimidating for a newcomer interested in understanding Yearn to dig through everything. While the speed of shipping and addressing issues is great, this may sometimes leave behind transparency and accessibility for users. High fees.

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Yearn Finance heavily advertised on twitter locking up your curve tokens for approximately 60% yield (backscratcher). On the website it basically said follow these steps. Lock up curve then take your token and place in the pickle dill jar on pickle finance. People including me followed these steps as described. At the time i had about 12k value of curve tokens by the time it was in the pickle jar it looked like it was worth 4k (from slippage not shown) (ignoring the large gas costs) i thought it must just be something to do with pickle pricing wrong. months later i withdrew (high gas fees to get fully out) and i had 1/3 of what i put in!!! The slippage on following yearns advise was huge…

Why wasnt there compensation or a discussion of it for people who lost so much after it was heavily advertised to follow these steps. There was no warning when following the guide on yearn.finance when using the swap function advised!

This was not a sophisticated hack etc but poor set up by yearn. No tweets about compensation etc. Has this been looked into? How much did people loose following this? As I have said already it was advertised on twitter and on the front page of yearn to just follow these steps as you were competing for crv tokens. This was not an experimental vault.
Other protocols like Indexed finance etc look to compensate people for hacks etc.
I want to know what was the extent of the slippage using this and how many people who interacted with backscratcher early on suffered losses from this. And if this is the case I believe people should be compensated

Note: This is unrelated to the thread. Please join the Discord for support and questions.

The CRV lock is permanent. It is not meant be returned to the user ever.

From the Tweet:
Screenshot 2021-11-04 23.30.15

From the website:
Screenshot 2021-11-04 23.31.19

The USD price going down is a result of having a secondary market at a premium.

~Please stay on topic~

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Good tings - transparency + open org + most of the waifus + bringing the ecosystem together + yearn war room

Bad tings - ease of use + high fees + value add

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Curious how you reckon transparency could be improved? Do you think a newsletter looking to ‘expose’ the areas of Yearn people want to know more about?

Great to have you on the forum :grinning:

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Good:

  • The best Discord community in the crypto world. I am a mod there, so I am biased, but my day is just not complete without spending time in the Yearn Discord channels. I went from knowing nothing about defi to being a full degen and developing on top of defi thanks to all the help there.

  • Outside the Discord, the community of contributors is also amazing. I have deep and rewarding conversations in these various contributor groups on Telegram and get to talk to really smart and diverse set of people who all care about Yearn.

  • Yearn vaults are dead simple, safe, and in good hands. I came to Yearn as a disgruntled tradfi user who had no way to make a good yield on stable assets. I saw my friends high yield interest account go from 2% to 0% interest during Covid, when economic measures in the USA destroyed all yield. Yearn expanded my investment strategy in ways tradfi never could. I was in a Yearn vault for 8 months with stables and made a solid 15% or so in that time which felt unbelievable. I didn’t have to manage the position, all I did was sit and wait. No gas intensive maintenance, no claiming taxable income from token incentives, just getting some dead simple yield.

  • Really strong minds in the strategist group. I talk to them daily since I help them with multisig operations and automation. These folks know what they are doing and are dedicated to safe and secure management of user collateral.

  • Impressive track record with incident management. I was in a Yearn war room once during a WETH vault bookkeeping issue. I work in high stakes cloud environments for my day job and deal with incident management all the time. The folks fixing this vault issue were calm, cool, collected, and executed brilliantly. My confidence in yearn soared after this experience.

  • The Yearn team handles risk management and due diligence way better than our competitors. It shows because the Yearn big brains save our competitors from being exploited like every other week at this point.

  • Yearn SDK, Yearn Exporter, Lens and all the other components of Yearn infrastructure are great. Very important to have these pieces carefully designed as Yearn scales up and scales out.

  • Yearn invests heavily in MEV protection as evident in stealth keeper transactions and the use of Flashbots RPC for strategist transactions. MEV protection is an arms race and we have big brains here.

  • Ability to attract multiple billions of TVL without any token incentives. Just excellent.

  • As a contributor, I feel very valued. Yearn takes special care of me and it keeps me always wanting to do anything I can to help Yearn out. Coordinape is just brilliant for contributors. I have been using it since its birth and it just fits the bill so well. Simple and effective way to handle rewarding community contribution.

  • Big fat juicy treasury.

  • Strong partners build on top of Yearn including Abracababra, Badger, Alchemix, Pickle, Inverse.

  • V2 vault design is brilliant.

  • Multisig signers are responsible, diligent, and productive.

  • The Yearn squad goes beyond their duties with protecting all of defi, not just themselves.

Bad:

  • We need more L2 and alt-chain support. I know this is coming but I am so excited for cheaper TXs. Most people are priced out of mainnet yearn vaults. FTM launch and Tesseract are encouraging steps in the right direction.

  • We let some vaults die silently. There are some vaults that harvest after 3 weeks and make $0 because of fees. We need to fix this.

  • Fantom release was done poorly. I know Abracadabra shipped our ape.tax vault too early, but we need to get to the bottom of why that happened. We need to ship vaults with the ability to yield and cannot just spend all day fighting of the mob saying that “strats are coming”. Having too many idle funds in a vault should be seen as a large negative. Bring things to prod when they are ready and don’t let our less risk adverse friends in the space pressure us into shipping ASAP.

  • If we don’t have enough strats, set a deposit limit to keep yields accurate. When shipping vaults from ape.tax, make sure the price per share isn’t biased by early withdrawal shenanigans that skew APY calculations. Start vaults from a fresh slate to avoid this issue and ask ape.tax users to migrate.

  • Also, when coming to new chains, we need to have feature parity. People need to know APYs to make decisions and in my opinion, it is better to wait for tooling to be ready (such as the Yearn exporter) before we ship, else we are flying blind.

  • Governance feels non-existent. YFI holders have nothing to vote on. YFI feels truly valueless and I rarely see excitement about the token in our Discord or social channels. I haven’t fully processed my thoughts on this, but I feel like we have a big opportunity to take YFI to the next level in terms of utility and also bring in practical governance that doesn’t slow down operations but allows users to better signal what they want to see at Yearn. However, I am conflicted on this because I see other projects with tight governance like Comp, Aave, and Uni and I don’t really like what I see. I saw Comp get drained while they waited for a vote. Saw Aave sit on a risky 11 fig vuln for days. And Uni is just a meme with some of their proposals. Yearn multisig is pretty productive and to bring in strong governance too early could be bad. However, I do want perception of YFI to be good. Maybe we don’t need to strengthen governance just yet, but still believe a strong YFI in the future would be great for us.

  • Really weird “acquisitions”. I still don’t know what Akropolis does and why we are affiliated with them. I want to see more about these partnerships and acquisitions and understand what the KPIs are and if they were of any value to Yearn.

  • V2 website was disappointing. V3 looks better but it takes us so much longer to ship that than it seems to take any other team in Defi to do the same. It looks bad on our track record to not be done with that yet. However, I do appreciate the time and effort put in to make components reusable and make sure the infrastructure is well modularized. Also, having multiple frontends (like yearn.fi) always felt unnecessary and confusing to me, but it is sometimes useful when one of them has an issue. Still conflicted on that, but for now I am glad we have yearn.fi instead of not having it.

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First off, many have remarked on high fees - just wanted to share that I don’t think fees are necessarily bad at this juncture, as securing a strong treasury is needed in order to guarantee a long-term future for Yearn and to be able to weather bear markets. Also, it’s clear that there is market fit, as evidenced by Yearn’s high TVL. But not all vaults are created equal when it comes to fees, as some vaults produce little yield to begin with. As an end user, it sucks to pay high gas fees to park assets in a vault, only to see the yield drop to 0.

Now, for the good:

  • Trusted team (both in terms of technical capability, and the seeming pure ethics/motivations)
  • Safe, easy to use product
  • Respected brand. I am particularly impressed with Yearn’s leadership in pioneering new mechanisms for human collaboration (i.e. Coordinape)
  • Transparency in terms of analytics, financial reporting, etc. - Yearn excels at this.

And the bad:

  • Some yield strategies (i.e. “farm and dump”) seem short-sighted - a good example being the dumping of CRV, which opens attack vectors on Yearn’s ability to offer the best yields in the long run (thinking primarily of CVX here… though a lot of bigger brains don’t seem too concerned witih Yearn falling behind in it’s share of veCRV - but thus far I have not heard a convincing rebuttal to this concern.)
  • Lack of attention to tokenomics. YFI price matters. This is crypto… a flashy token is a major Schelling point to attract new investors and developers alike.
  • Transparency could use improvements in some areas - particularly a roadmap around when certain milestones are expected to be hit (e.g. L2 vaults)
  • Marketing/UI are sub-standard, IMO (not intended as a criticism of anyone specifically, just overall that they could use a facelift).
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I am absolutely loving this thread! This is one of the primary examples of what I think Yearn gets really, really right: being open and transparent about our flaws (despite the optics), and willing to put in the work to fix them. Put that firmly in the “pros” column

Other pros:

  • One of the most capable and motivated team of contributors in DeFi. I am consistently impressed with our ability to attract and onboard newcomers into contributing to Yearn. Absolutely high quality people as well. This is definitely a core competency of ours, and we should never lose this.
  • A single-minded focus on security. Yearn has one of the most seasoned set of contributors, who have worked many different hacks together, the ones you’ve heard of and many more you probably haven’t. Far from those heedy “test in prod” days, Yearn has learned how to work the right balance of live experimentation, simulations, deep protocol hardening, and continuous innovation. Never lose this.
  • An amazing brand and culture. Every once in a while, I am truly floored by amazing graphics, unique stories, and groundbreaking ideas that yearn contributors come up with. It’s my favorite aspect of Yearn, and part of what makes us second to none!

And in keeping with my first comment about being open about our flaws, here are some not-so-pros:

  • YFI tokenomics (as others have mentioned). We’ve been really conservative about using YFI to help govern Yearn and make it better. In some ways, this has worked to our advantage, as increased autonomy leads to higher productivity (putting the A in DAO), but in other ways it has stunted growth and engagement within our DAO. I’m also not saying we should add gimmicks for the sake of adding them, but deeply consider how we can improve the role of YFI within Yearn is an important thing to focus on.
  • It is sometimes unclear what goals we are working towards. Autonomy has its downsides, I think we’ve managed to use it effectively to grow and respond to threats within our initial framework of vaults and strategies, but growing the protocol with new ideas and finding new directions to scale into hasn’t seemed to find traction. I think that is because there is a constant focus on putting out fires, which for autonomous contributors is very easy for them to find, but it comes at a loss of the bigger picture. I think contributors should be given time to explore new ideas and find new paths for Yearn to grow, as a reward for hard work and a form of downtime from the pressures of the day-to-day operations of the protocol.
  • We are not growing our sphere of influence. The partnerships and other agreements we have made in the past with other groups have been controversial (to say the least). But, one thing I think it has done well is grow Yearn’s sphere of influence as a partner and collaborator in this great DeFi experiment. I think others see us in a good light, as one of the strongest DAOs in DeFi, and we should be making moves to work with other protocols and find positive-sum ways of growing, not only our protocol and community, but also DeFi/Web3 as a whole. There has been some negativity in our interactions with others lately, and I find it mostly counterproductive when what we are working on is so transformational and historic. Focus on positive growth!
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Pros are endless. Some product/token recs:

One Big Product Rec:
Expand product offering by owning the whole user experience. If a user commits to depositing fiat directly into a vault, we can front their wire costs. Coinbase/Binance aren’t going to implement Yearn vaults–they’re going to implement their own yield aggregating products, via hiring top talent with their massive war chests. We have to frontrun that battle and go after their strength (custody/on-ramp) now.

Smaller Product Recs:
-Let users choose which coin to earn yield in on a given vault. Some players do this already–it’s a no-brainer.
-Next Convex type fork—accumulate the token itself too (from fees of the users who choose to recieve yield in CVX) . Gives power in that protocol, and keeps other people from buying by keeping price up (which gives us more power in the future). Should be able to collectively farm and at least have a significant minority stake in any protocol that copies any Yearn product, if we accumulate the governance tokens accumulated

Token Rec:
Incentivize long-term YFI holders via some sort of locking and gauge/reward mechanism. I think that’d be a great-start–maybe all of the stakers are on the hook for insurance too if YFI can’t get a loan against YFI tokens again, although this is already sort of the case. Incentivize certain pools too that maybe we want to accumulate more fees for the treasury in (i.e. incentivize the Eth or stETH pool since we’re all probably bullish on Eth)

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this is an awesome post @fubuloubu .

you’ve mentioned goal setting and some in the thread have referenced messaging.

maybe i just missed it, but one common communication format that i dont believe i’ve seen from yearn is a product roadmap.

i’m not surprised. the team doesn’t bullshit. roadmaps are speculative. and they’re also perhaps a bit antithetical for an emergent, community-led project.

but maybe something like a yearn “long-range weather forecast” could serve as a goal-setting exercise and public rallying point for the future of the project?

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the best part - easy to use thanks to the zap and UI, easy to contribute thanks to the team and community, many yPeople like anime, learn not only about money but also how to live and think.

the worst part - don’t have yearn ecosystem map

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Love the way this is framed. Yeah, I think something more akin to a “Yearn wish list” would be very valuable to see where we would want to go to, at least as far as big stretch goals. It’s something our “emergent, community-led project” could use as a north star for where to target to.

I do agree in general that “project roadmaps” are usually used by other projects as some sort of meme rallying point for pumping token price, which is definitely not something we are about, but don’t throw out the underlying purpose of such a tool from the needless hype machinery it usually becomes.

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