Liquidity pool investments are only suitable for advanced crypto users
Ref. Finance Reviews
Ref Finance is a community-driven multi-purpose decentralized finance platform that was founded by Illia Polosukhin, co-founder of NEAR Protocol. The platform is built on the Near Protocol. Near protocol stands out with low fees and fast transactions. The platform was initially launched in 2021. The Near Foundation gave Proximity Labs a grant to scale up and bootstrap the platform. Proximity Lab created Ref Finance DAO as a governing organ for the platform. Early contributors were selected as members of the DAO depending on their contributions and activities.
The platform has a very large selection of finance tools including; trade, swap, pool, farm, boost farm, stake, and vote. The token trading algorithm is built on an automated market maker (AMM) model. Swap tools are built on top of Uniswap and stablecoin swaps are built on Curve. The platform acts like an intermediary when you want to swap a token or stablecoin.
REF is the platform’s utility and governance token. Using and holding REF tokens are incentivised with rewards from the revenue-sharing model. REF token stakers earn fees generated by the platform. If REF holders provide liquidity to a pool, they also receive swap fees from the associated pool. There is a special pool REF<>NEAR pool where users can stake REF tokens to earn LOVE or VeTokens. VeTokens are used for governance and LOVE tokens are used for extra rewards.
There is a total supply of 100 Million REF tokens but not all tokens are unlocked so the number of tokens in circulation is less than the total. More than half of the tokens are set to be released as liquidity incentives in the next four consecutive years. Ref Finance raised funds to support and maintain its operations. The deal was made as over-the-counter (OTC) with well-known investors. KuCoin Ventures, Woo Network, Alameda Research, OKX BlockDream Ventures, and Dragonfly Capital are among the investors. The investors paid $4.5 Million in stablecoins for 3.6 million REF tokens. The average price for a REF token was 0.78 cents but the price is below the initial price since the Luna crash.
The platform has a web app with a friendly user interface. Anyone can connect with a web app. The platform supports Near wallet and Sender wallet. The platform doesn’t directly interact with popular wallets like MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet, Coin98, etc. If you want to transfer tokens from your popular wallets to Near network supported wallets, you need to use a bridging service. Rainbow bridge is the most popular bridge between the Ethereum and NEAR networks.
The good thing about Ref Finance is that it is an open-source platform. The source code is available to anyone on GitHub. There is a detailed list of the team members on the official website which gives a safer impression of the project. The project gives an impression that they are trying to be fully transparent and working on improving community adoption. There are audit reports on the platform’s documentation page. Ref Finance has been subject to a hack issue in the past. The hackers were able to steal 3 million dollars. The team announced compensation for losses from the treasury.
Even though many DeFi apps are audited and reported safe, there have been many unfortunate experiences. Hackers drained millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies from various DeFi apps. Because decentralized finance is at an early stage and still growing. Ref Finance has taken an extra step to prevent unexpected exploits and created Guardian addresses. There are special NEAR addresses called Guardians with the privilege to stop the main contract’s activity. DeFi apps generally turn off user interfaces when there is an attack or risk but it might not be enough to stop an attacker. Guardian addresses are an innovative solution to prevent attacks and limit losses. But there are questions about the decentralization of the app when there are Guardian addresses.