Compound (COMP) is one of 20 new ERC-20 tokens we launched this year, and we think it’s time we learnt a little bit more about it.
So, let’s find out what COMP is all about, what you can do with it and why its popularity has risen.
COMP is the governance token for the Compound Protocol. This means that anyone holding it can suggest, debate and implement changes to Compound, completely independently from the team who created it.
But what does the protocol do? Put simply, Compound lets users lend and borrow cryptocurrency. It aims to be a fully decentralised version of a traditional financial market.
The process works by lenders depositing crypto into lending pools on the protocol, which can then be accessed by borrowers. In return for their tokens, lenders receive cTokens that represent the deposited asset (e.g. cETH or cDAI) - holding these allows them to start accruing interest.
cTokens can be traded without restriction, but are only redeemable for the cryptocurrency they represent. The entire process is run by smart contracts, which allow users to withdraw their deposits whenever they like. This feature was a response to traditional savings accounts, which require your money to be locked in while they build interest.
Users are also free to borrow or repay loans at any time, and are rewarded with COMP tokens every time they interact with the protocol.
Compound was founded by long-time business partners Robert Leshner and Geoffrey Hayes in 2017. No strangers to founding businesses, their previous entrepreneurial endeavours included a company designed to aggregate inventory from local shops to be sold on PostMates.
The Compound token only launched in June 2020.
Compound raised $8.2 million in funding from venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz and Bain Capital Venture in 2018, plus an additional $25 million from Paradigm Capital in 2019. Both investors and employees receive a share of the total supply of COMP tokens.
Aside from being able to vote on Compound Protocol upgrades, holding COMP has plenty of other benefits for the everyday crypto fan. Wirex lets you buy and exchange it instantly in the app, at exclusive OTC rates. Not only that, but you can spend it in real life with your Wirex card, with no hidden fees or charges.
COMP gained over 500% in value before it even reached its first birthday, and was up an incredible 1,000% from its launch price at one point during that time. Today, its market rank is #60 and it has a loyal following of fans.