Curve Finance Review
Curve Finance is a decentralized exchange and liquidity pool built on the Ethereum blockchain. Curve is geared towards efficient stablecoin trading and generating low-risk fee income for liquidity providers. Is this platform worth using? Read out in-depth review to find out.
- Dozens of stablecoins & stablecoin pairs
- Truly decentralized
- Detailed statistics section
- Low fees
- Very few non-stablecoin assets
- Clunky and lackluster interface
Curve Finance is technically a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) but can more accurately be thought of as a permissionless exchange and liquidity pool built on the Ethereum blockchain. Curves’s focus is on extremely efficient stablecoin trading and low risk fee income for liquidity providers through their automated market maker. Aside from Ethereum, users can access the platform through Arbitrum, Avalanche, Fantom, Harmony, Optimism, Polygon, and xDai. The platform has an old-school design reminiscent of the early-stage Microsoft operating system, which is quirky, but it could be very confusing to navigate for some.
About Curve Finance
Curve supports nearly 50 swappable assets. Most of those assets are stablecoins, but they do support various versions of BTC, ETH, and LINK as well as gold and the euro. If you’re interested in more traditional crypto assets, Curve probably won’t be the place for you, but they have just about every stablecoin there is so their platform certainty appeals to a niche area of the market. The trading interface is very underwhelming, but charting isn’t particularly important when dealing with stablecoins so it shouldn’t pose too much of an issue.
Despite the lackluster aesthetics, the order panel at the bottom of the ‘Trade’ page is quite easy to use and allows you to optimize for slippage and gas fees in addition to easily switching back and forth between all the supported assets. It may take some getting used to given the barebones look and feel, but Curve’s trading is fairly comparable to other platforms and their traditional order panel design.
Curve Liquidity Pools
Curve has about 160 pools to choose from and APYs will vary according to the specific pool as well as the daily trading volume as fees paid to liquidity provides directly relate to the amount of volume on Curve. Many pools can include multiple assets rather than just one or two so when you provide liquidity in any of the included assets, it will evenly split that in the pool between all of them.
Each pool has a base APY that is automatically compounded back into your investment, but many pools also have a rewards APY added on top of that base APY that usually awards you CRV (the protocol’s native governance token). Both the base and rewards APYs change every day and can range from a few basis points up to double or even triple digits in rare cases. Most of the base APYs are a bit underwhelming, but when you add the rewards APY, which is kind of like a yield farming bonus added to the liquidity pooling, they become very enticing and competitive with the likes of Uniswap, Aave, and Yearn Finance, though not quite up to par with SushiSwap or PancakeSwap whose average APYs are easily over 20%. That said, the Curve pools are probably the go-to if you are looking to pool/earn yield on stablecoins.
Fees on liquidity pools range from 0.04% to 0.4%. The current fee varies based on how close the price is from the internal oracle. You can check a pool’s current fee which changes every trade on the bottom of a pool page. Regardless of the fee, 50% goes to liquidity providers, and 50% to 3CRV holders (members of the DAO). As far as how these fees compare to other platforms, it will depend on where in that 0.04% to 0.4% range you fall within, but most of the fees you’ll experience are considerably lower than the 0.3% of Uniswap and SushiSwap and even lower than most centralized exchanges like Binance (0.1%) or Huobi (0.2%).
An interesting and rather unique feature of the Curve platform is the ‘Stats’ tab where you can view charts and data points on daily APYs, trading volume, deposits, and trading fees for a number of different pools, pairs, and assets.
Many other DeFi platforms—including Uniswap, Sushiswap, 1inch, and PancakeSwap—offer general statistics for their various pools and assets, but they aren’t nearly as immersive as those on Curve. They don’t have stats for every single asset or pool, but it is an amazing resource for data hungry traders and investors.
Curve User Support
Curve doesn’t have a traditional help center, but if you head to their FAQ page, you’ll find a lot of basic information in addition to a number of links under the ‘Resources’ section (which you can also find at the bottom of the website) that will take you to tutorials and detailed walkthroughs for their various services. The resource center is actually very well put together and informative despite the site itself appearing very minimalistic. It could use a little more information on how their pools and rewards function, but it’s a useful resource nonetheless.
Curve also has a discord you can join full of thousands of people if you want to engage with the community or get additional assistance using or understanding their platform and services. It’s pretty robust and full of people who know the platform inside and out so it should be a great resource to utilize if you plan on seriously using the Curve platform.
The last support resource worth mentioning is Curve’s ‘News’ section. It’s a little hard to find, but if you move your cursor to the ‘?’ at the top of the site, you’ll see a dropdown window with a ‘News’ tab. In that news section, you’ll find a handful of thoughtfully written and well-organized articles aimed at keeping you up-to-date on all things new to the Curve ecosystem. The news section isn’t as developed as other platforms and doesn’t seem to have that many updates, but it’s good to know it exists nonetheless.
Conclusion: Curve Review
Curve has obvious advantages over other platforms in that it is truly decentralized and permissionless as well as an undeniable leader in supported stablecoins, but it appeals to a very niche area of the market. For anyone interested in trading or swapping any crypto assets that aren’t BTC or ETH, Curve is essentially useless and those whose focus is not on stablecoins will likely be better served using other DeFi protocols like Uniswap, 1inch, or the like. That said, Curve was clearly not made for most traders and was designed specifically for stablecoins. Whether that’s via liquidity pools or attempting to arbitrage differences among the different stablecoins, it will attract a very specific type of trading. With that in mind, I would say Curve is best suited for those well-practiced in arbitrage or primarily focused on stablecoin yield. If you dabble in other areas if crypto, it would probably be easier to just stick with one platform like Sushiswap, Uniswap, or 1inch, but none of them hold a candle to Curve with regard to stablecoins and Curve’s fees will generally be much better than those aforementioned alternatives. Bearing all this in mind, I would say you simply have to decide what assets you’re looking to pool or swap and take it from there. If your answer predominately consists of stablecoins, Curve is arguably the best choice for you.