An exploration into Pendle, a project offering upfront yield to investors
Pendle is a permissionless DeFi yield-trading protocol built on Ethereum and launched in 2020. Similar to the TradFi interest derivatives market, it allows users to speculate on the future earnings of yield-bearing assets, or purchase future assets at a discount, which is equivalent to enabling users to tokenise and sell the future earnings of certain assets. It aims to maximise returns for its users by increasing their revenue exposure in bull markets and hedging against yield downturns during bear markets.
Pendle wraps the yield-bearing tokens into SY (standardised income token) and then divides SY into PT (principal tokens) and YT (yield tokens).
YT can be considered as the “coupon payment” of the “zero-coupon bond” PT within a certain period. PT can be exchanged 1:1 for SY after maturity. PT and YT can be traded anytime, and PT is eligible for a manual claim on the Pendle Dashboard.
What Pendle Finance does can be summarised as follows;
- Original token (e.g. ETH) → Yield-bearing token (e.g. stETH)
→ SY = PT + YT
2. PT/YT is priced by their built-in AMM. The algorithm’s parameters determine the liquidity curve of the AMM, and the free market conducts the final pricing.
3. The conversion of SY to PT can lock the interest rate within a certain period, while YT provides an opportunity to gain increased leverage and bet on the rise of interest rates.
Market Cap: ~$39.6m
Circulating Supply: ~97.0m
Dual token model: $PENDLE & $vePENDLE
- $PENDLE — Utility token
- Token Distribution & Vesting Schedule
2. Inflation & Emission:
- Token issuance: 17/06/2021
- Stable incentives of 1.2M PENDLE per week for the first 26 weeks, 12/2021.
- Liquidity incentives will decay by 1% a week until week 260.
- Terminal inflation rate of 2% per annum.
$vePENDLE — Governance Token
- Max lockup: 2 years
- Use cases:
- Directs the flow of rewards to different pools.
- Reduces the supply of $PENDLE.
- Swap fees of 10bps (on 1 year-to-maturity products) are dynamically adjusted over time, 80% belongs to $vePENDLE, and 20% to LPs.
- 3% fees from the yield accrued by YT, all directed to $vePENDLE.
- The yield from matured, unredeemed PTs will be collected by the protocol in stablecoins as its revenue stream. A portion will be further distributed pro rata to $vePENDLE holders.
- $vePENDLE holders vote for reward boosting (i.e. greater $PENDLE incentives up to 250%).
- Potentially large addressable market: Pendle serves both sides — users pursuing certainty as well those after speculation. LSDs & Perp DEXs have brought about many yield-bearing assets, and Pendle seized the opportunity to capitalise on this market.
- Reputable Integrations: GMX, LayerZero Labs, Balancer and Rocket Pool.
- Unique Innovation: The logic behind token splitting, yield generation, AMM & ve-model are tenable.
- Early Mover Advantage: Pendle is the only interest rate swap market currently available on the market.
- Ambiguous Tokenomics: Various pockets of information are missing or need to be derived from other sources, such as initial token distribution, total supply, specific vesting details etc.
- Relatively low liquidity & sharply decreasing trend in trading volume.
- Although yield-generating assets display considerable demand and $PENDLE has increased more than 3x over the past months, the crypto interest rate swap market is relatively early. Interest rate swaps are also a complex topic for standard retail users.
- Low Revenue: Impacts the sustainability of the ve-model.
Pendle is an emerging crypto derivatives platform. Its flexible trading methods can help investors better manage risks and grasp opportunities when the market changes. After centralised staking services were cracked down on by the US SEC at the beginning of the year, decentralised staking has captured a significant portion of the market, with Lido, SSV, Rocket Pool, etc. entering the scene. Understanding Pendle as a notable participant in the LSD ecosystem and its evolution is necessary as this market begins to mature.
- CoinGecko. 2023. Cryptocurrency Prices, Charts, and Crypto Market Cap | CoinGecko. [online] Available at: <https://www.coingecko.com/> [Accessed 25 May 2023].
- CoinMarketCap. 2023. Cryptocurrency Prices, Charts And Market Capitalizations | CoinMarketCap. [online] Available at: <https://coinmarketcap.com/> [Accessed 25 May 2023].
- DefiLlama. 2023. DefiLlama. [online] Available at: <https://defillama.com/> [Accessed 24 May 2023].
- Home: Pendle documentation (no date) Home | Pendle Documentation. Available at: https://docs.pendle.finance/Home?utm_source=app&utm_medium=app (Accessed: 20 May 2023).
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