Dear Bankless Nation,

If you ever feel like crypto moves too fast for you to keep up, you're not alone! Bankless Guides is here to give you starter courses on some of crypto's most popular apps, networks and protocols.

In this month's Guides drop, we're giving you the rundown on some of DeFi's most popular protocols, including Maker, Uniswap, Compound, Curve and Aave. Click through below to learn 🫡

- Bankless team

The Bankless Guide to Maker

Most commonly referred to as “Maker,” MakerDAO is a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that operates on Ethereum and is best known for creating the Dai stablecoin and being one of the pioneering borrowing protocols of decentralized finance (DeFi).

Maker fundamentally exists to provide a stablecoin that is pegged to the value of the U.S. dollar, while also being transparent and decentralized. Its smart contract system uses collateralized debt positions (CDPs) known as “Maker Vaults” to maintain the stable value of Dai, with users depositing ETH and other tokens as the underlying collateral.

Read on for a detailed history, token breakdown and steps to getting onboarded!


The Bankless Guide to Uniswap

Uniswap is a decentralized exchange (DEX) built on the Ethereum blockchain that allows users to trade a wide range of cryptocurrencies directly from their wallets without relying on a centralized entity.

As an automated market maker (AMM), Uniswap uses liquidity pools instead of order books, providing a seamless and efficient trading experience. This innovative design has made Uniswap one of the most popular and widely-used decentralized exchanges in the crypto space.

Read on for a detailed history, token breakdown and steps to getting onboarded!


The Bankless Guide to Curve

Curve is a decentralized exchange (DEX) built on Ethereum and now deployed on more than 10 additional blockchains and layer-two (L2) scaling solutions, including Arbitrum, Optimism and Polygon.

In particular, Curve focuses on providing highly efficient and low-slippage trading between “pegged assets” like stablecoins, e.g. DAI and USDC, and also among “non-pegged assets” like ETH, WBTC, and so forth.

As an automated market maker (AMM), Curve lets users earn passive income by providing liquidity to the protocol’s liquidity pools, while simultaneously allowing traders to swap between top DeFi tokens with minimal fees and price impact.

Read on for a detailed history, token breakdown and steps to getting onboarded!

THANKS TO METAMASK PORTFOLIO

You can now stake your ETH through MetaMask with liquid staking providers, Lido and Rocket Pool. Head over to MetaMask Portfolio to get started! You can also view your assets in one place and discover other features such as Buy, Swap, and Bridge.

The Bankless Guide to Aave

Aave is a decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol that allows users to borrow, lend, and earn interest on various cryptocurrencies. For this reason, the project is commonly referred to as a “borrowing protocol,” a “lending protocol,” or a “decentralized money market.” For its part, the Aave team refers to the project as a liquidity protocol.

First built on the Ethereum blockchain but now deployed across five chains and counting, Aave uses smart contracts to facilitate borrowing and lending transactions without the need for a middleman financial institution, providing a secure and transparent way for users to manage loans.

Additionally, as a non-custodial lending protocol, Aave ensures users can put their crypto to work while still maintaining full control over their funds, a dynamic that mitigates the counterparty risks associated with centralized financial services.

Read on for a detailed history, token breakdown and steps to getting onboarded!


The Bankless Guide to Compound

Compound is a decentralized finance (DeFi) money markets protocol that allows users to 1) lend cryptocurrencies to earn interest on their holdings, or 2) lend crypto to then borrow more crypto against their holdings for do-it-yourself loans.

This non-custodial lending platform operates on Ethereum and uses smart contracts to enable seamless, secure, and transparent transactions between borrowers and lenders. By removing the need for middleman financial institutions, Compound has helped democratize access to financial services in the burgeoning cryptoeconomy.

Read on for a detailed history, token breakdown and steps to getting onboarded!

Action steps

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